- (Photo: Reuters/Andrew Innerarity)
Jeremy Lin, New York Knicks starting point guard who recently underwent possible season-ending surgery, may have been prohibited by Madison Square Garden officials from announcing the severity of his injury in order to sell tickets, according to recent headlines. However, MSG and Cablevision officials are speaking out to deny the claims that they withheld Lin's surgery announcement in order to sell more tickets for the upcoming postseason.
In the New York Daily News article, "NY Knicks hold off on Jeremy Lin Injury Announcement Until After NBA Playoff Ticket Deadline Passes," Frank Isola insinuated that MSG executives withheld information about Lin's injury to ensure that their playoff tickets were sold.
"[...] March 28 represented the deadline for season-ticket holders to purchase all four rounds of the playoffs," Isola wrote in the article published April 1. "In fact, in the email sent to subscribers, there is a picture of Lin leaping in celebration. Yet, it was two days before the deadline when Lin and the Knicks' medical staff learned that the second-year point guard/cash cow was suffering from a torn meniscus in his left knee and that he wouldn't be jumping for joy anytime soon."
However, MSG executives chided the author of the article, the newspaper where it was featured and its publisher, Mort Zuckerman.
"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," an official statement from Madison Square Garden Company read. "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."
Cablevision Systems Corporation, owner of MSG Inc. which controls the Madison Square Garden Company, also released a statement accusing Zuckerman of attempting to partner with the companies in exchange for better press.
"Mr. Zuckerman has engaged in a campaign of intimidation and extortion to effect a merger between Newsday and the Daily News. He has made repeated overtures to Mr. Dolan and his executives to combine the operations with joint ownership and shared printing and editorial expense," the Cablevision Systems Corporation read. "This proposal was rejected multiple times. In fact, at a Four Seasons lunch meeting on March 6, Mr. Zuckerman once again made his proposal, this time adding that 'the bad press would end if we became joint owners.'"
Despite the controversy between the newspaper and owners of his team and venue where he plays, 23-year-old Lin remained focused on praising God after he underwent a successful surgery recently.
"Praise God for a successful surgery! Now on the road to recovery," Lin posted to his Facebook account. "Much love to all the fans for your support and kind words."