Linsanity 2012: Madison Square Garden Stock Is Rising Without Jeremy Lin

The Madison Square Garden Company stock hasn't taken much of a hit since Jeremy Lin headed south to the Houston Rockets in July. In fact, the MSG market cap has been hitting record numbers since late August, despite the popular sentiment that the Knicks weren't doing themselves any favors by letting Lin go.

As it turns out, none of the talk about Lin's worth to the MSG off-court brand is relevant at this point. The market cap at MSG as of late Tuesday night was $3.07 billion, up from the $2.98 billion all-time record on August 20.

Jonah Keri did an excellent job going over the complexities of Lin's stock value in a July article on Grantland. Keri reported that MSG's stock closed at $31.15 on February 10, the day Lin torched the Lakers for 38 points at the Garden. The next day, the stock opened at $31.41, rose as high as $33.18, and closed at $32.32, up 1.2 percent.

It's hard to argue that Lin didn't move the market himself, certainly worth our attention.

But MSG's stock ranged from $41.02 to $42.07 on Tuesday.

Pulled from the same Grantland link, here's some insight from John Tinker, an equity analyst who covers MSG for New York-based banking, securities, and investment management company Maxim Group:

"These things are really hard to quantify," Tinker said. "You don't make a lot of money on the team, but you can on the TV side, with ratings. When Lin turned up, the team actually started winning, and in spectacular fashion. Ratings really started going up. Suddenly the Knicks were becoming part of the conversation, not just here in the U.S., but the international conversation. When was the last time that happened?"

Lin would've been an asset to MSG's global brand, but that's not a company hurting for anything. Meanwhile, the true error in judgement for the Knicks was not looking at Raymond Felton and Jason Kidd and deciding on a better backup plan at point guard if they didn't feel like Lin was worth the extra dollars.

As for Houston, we'll see pretty soon how Lin impacts the Rockets' brand, because he really is the closest thing they have to an interesting player.

Read more on the Rockets at The Dream Shake and SB Nation Houston.

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