Before cosmic events interfered and New York Knicks fans began raising each other on chairs while chanting “Hava Nagila,” the Boston Celtics reportedly tried to sign Jeremy Lin… twice. (Boston Herald)
According to a source, the Celtics were poised to claim the Knicks sensation off waivers when he was cut by Golden State prior to the start of the season, but Houston chose ahead of them in the waiver order.
When Houston later released him, the Celtics were ready to make a move again, only for the Knicks to take Lin off the wire.
I don’t know much, but I know this: The world would be a worse place if the Celtics had signed Jeremy Lin. Rather than eventually earning a starting role and taking the world by storm while averaging 40 points, 12 assists and 11 turnovers per game (or something like that), Lin would have been relegated to a backup role behind Rajon Rondo (and possibly behind Avery Bradley, too). We never would have been introduced to Linsanity. It would have been more like collective Lindifference.
I know I sound crazy to say I’m glad the Celtics didn’t sign a point guard who’s playing like an MVP, but if the Celtics had signed Lin none of this glorious magic carpet ride would have occurred. Lin landed in a perfect environment. He thrives in D’Antoni’s system. The Knicks have no other worthy point guard. He adjusted to his sea legs while Carmelo Anthony and Amare Stoudemire were out of the lineup — Lin doesn’t seem like one to naturally defer, but it’s difficult to imagine he would have demanded the ball the same way he did from day one if those guys had been in the lineup. Everything unfolded perfectly in New York.
Not taking anything away from Lin whatsoever — what he’s done is still remarkable no matter how you look at it — but he landed in a perfect situation to do what he’s done today. He got his one shot, lost himself in the moment, owned it and never let it go, and he deserves all the credit for that. But the same opportunity never would have come in Boston. In Boston he would have been Jeremy Lin, the Harvard graduate who backs up Rajon Rondo. In New York he’s Jeremy Lin, superstar and world icon of hope. I should probably want Lin in Boston, if only to keep the Knicks from gaining such a weapon, but Linsanity is too much fun. I’m rooting for the kid, even if he threatens to make the Atlantic Division a much tougher place.
P.S. — I know Rondo missed eight games and Lin might have gotten his chance. But there’s still no way he would have done what he did while playing alongside the Big Three in Doc Rivers’ offense. And even if he did, he would have landed himself right back on the bench as soon as Rondo returned. So the world would have been deprived of a phenomenon and this website never would have happened. Believe me, we’re better off with Lin ending up in New York.
P.P.S. — But if Lin leads the New York Knicks past the Celtics in the playoffs, this year or any other, I take back everything I said in this post and wish he became Boston’s permanent backup to Rondo.