As if news that Brandon Jennings interest in big market teams wasn't disappointing enough, now Jeremy Lin is doing his best to convince every other NBA player who thinks they might have a breakout year, that there is no better place to do it than a major market team. Lin is making $800,000 this year for the Knicks, but ESPN recently interviewed a publicist, who indicated Jeremy Lin is the hottest human commodity in Gotham right now and could fetch appearance fees as high as $100,000.
That is exactly what I am talking about when I refer to the impact a major market team can have on a player's income outside of their basketball salary. Would anyone in the three-state area of Wisconsin, Minnesota or Indiana be willing to pay Jeremy Lin to show up at the opening of their club for $100,000, as more than one entrepeneur in NYC has indicated they would do? Likely not.
While Jeremy Lin is a feel-good story for many basketball fans, it is a cautionary tale for any NBA fan who pulls for a team outside of New York, Chicago and LA, because his story would never draw anywhere near the attention that it does while he is playing for the Knicks. The success he is achieving will continue to make major market teams more attractive to coveted free agents, while teams in markets like Milwaukee, Minneapolis and Cleveland will continue to suffer as a result.
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