The Knicks were happy to talk about everything from team defense, to building a win-now roster – just don’t ask them about the Jeremy Lin fiasco.
As media day commenced Monday, team president Glen Grunwald and head coach Mike Woodson were not eager to not talk about the team’s old age or Lin — but especially Lin.
“I’m not going to discuss Jeremy Lin,” Woodson said after the first Lin salvo was fired. “It’s a process we went through and we ended up getting Raymond Felton, Jason Kidd and Pablo [Prigioni]. ... This day is about this team.”
What Woodson wanted to promote was a point-guard rotation that included a player in Felton who admittedly came into camp last season overweight, “out of shape and complacent,” a future Hall of Famer in Kidd, who said it doesn’t matter if his 39-year-old body comes off the bench or not and a 35-year-old former Argentinian star and Spanish League sensation in Prigioni who’s making his first venture to the NBA.
Grunwald likes to avoid confrontation so he was quick to downplay the Lin saga. Ultimately, he said, the team thought that Lin’s upside wasn’t worth the luxury tax that matching Houston’s offer would’ve brought New York in year three of the deal. There was a “poison pill” escalator that would’ve cost the Knicks almost $30 million in the third year of the deal, which would’ve crippled the Knicks’ salary-cap space.
“Houston made a commitment to him that we weren’t prepared to make. But we’re very excited about what we’re building,” Grunwald said. “You have a lot of irons in the fire. We felt Felton was a better option and we’re very happy with that decision. ... We’re not disappointed [to let Lin go].”
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Follow Knicks beat writer Tony Williams on Twitter @TBone8.