New York head coach Mike Woodson reiterated yesterday that the Knicks will “absolutely” match the offer sheet the Houston Rockets presented to Jeremy Lin and the Asian-American phenomenon will enter training camp as the starting point guard.
The 23-year-old Lin, who suffered a torn left meniscus in late-March that required season-ending surgery, averaged 14.6 points and 6.2 assists in 35-games as a Knick in 2012.
Lin, who inked a four-year deal worth approximately $28 million with the Rockets last week as a restricted free agent, will eventually be mentored by ten-time All-Star, and five-time All-NBA First Team selection, Jason Kidd.
The 38-year-old Kidd, the only ballplayer to amass at least 15,000 points, 7,000 rebounds, and 10,000 assists in his career, announced on July 5 he will sign a three-year contract that will pay roughly $3 million annually to perform at Madison Square Garden this autumn.
“Jeremy Lin has always been a big part of what we we’re trying to do as we move forward with our franchise,” said Woodson, 54, who compiled a glittering mark of 18-6 after replacing the terminated Mike D’Antoni in February. “Jason’s a veteran guy that brings leadership and I thought it would be a perfect fit for Jeremy Lin in terms of being able to tutor him as he grows as a point guard for our franchise, and Jason can still play and run a ballclub.”
Camby, 38, who remains a productive rebounder and shot blocker despite being a graybeard, snagged the NBA Defensive Player of the Year Award in 2006-07.
“The Camby Man,” twice named to the NBA All-Defensive Team, will be an extremely valuable backup to 2012 Defensive Player of the Year Tyson Chandler.
Granted, with quasi geriatrics like Kidd and Camby, New York will somewhat resemble The Golden Girls in high tops.
Still, Kidd and Camby are effective and, teamed with six-time All-Star and 2007 All-NBA First Team selection Amar’e Stoudemire, and five-time All-Star Carmelo Anthony, the Knicks finally have an opportunity to compete for their first franchise title since 1973.
Regardless of the ultimate results, this version of the Knicks has given hope to Gotham hoops fans and New York will enter the 2012-2013 season as genuine contenders to capture an elusive Larry O’Brien Championship Trophy.