With Jeremy Lin–the NBA's latest media darling–out for the remainder of the season with a torn meniscus in his left knee (requires surgery), attention turns to the organization and whether or not they withheld the seriousness of the injury to boost ticket sales for the playoffs.
In an argument made by Frank Isola of the New York Daily News, the Knicks did exactly that. Isola states that Lin had the MRI showing the extent of the injury two days before the March 28th deadline for season-ticket holders to buy postseason tickets and knew that it would require surgery and would therefore be the end of Lin's season.
He states that they held the information because they didn't want the news to clash with an e-mail sent to fans encouraging them to buy postseason tickets that features Lin leaping in celebration.
Despite the MRI, Lin held out on announcing his surgery till Saturday and the organization made it seem that he would possibly be a back-up to that point.
On Friday, interim coach Mike Woodson made comments that said he had “no idea” if Lin would be able to make his return. While that comment, in itself, may be technically accurate, it is evasive at it's core.
In defense, the Knicks have denied the accusation. The Madison Square Garden Co., the parent company of the Knicks, issued the following statement on the subject.
"Today's Daily News story is completely inaccurate, and serves only as another example of fabricated reporting by (the Daily News). The suggestion that the timing of Jeremy Lin's injury report is in any way connected to a longstanding Knicks playoff ticket deadline is a malicious attack on The Madison Square Garden Company. Jeremy Lin decided on Saturday to have surgery now in hopes that he would be able to return in time for, or at least during, the playoffs. The Knicks have sold out 61 games in a row, including last season's playoffs, and as standard practice we provided season ticket holders a first opportunity benefit to reserve playoff tickets before going on sale to the general public."
Whether or not this story is just the imagination of some conspiracy theorists or it's the ugly truth, one thing is for certain; this is a sad end to a story that helped the NBA get over the disaster of last year's lockout.