Iman Shumpert has incredible hair

In news this site has ignored for far too long, injured Knicks guard Iman Shumpert has incredible hair. You may have spotted him on the Knicks’ bench this season wearing a suit and a high-top fade. I can’t find a great picture of him on the sideline, but this self-portrait from Shumpert’s Instagram will suffice. Apparently he was heading to an 80s party:

Here's what Iman Shumpert looks like.

He’s also responsible for this music video, which features him using sneakers as a phone and a hat, wearing a backwards Carmelo Anthony jersey, and spending paper at the Muni-Meter:

The prophecy fulfilled

New York Knickerbockers Executive Vice President, Basketball Operations and General Manager Glen Grunwald announced today that the team has signed free agent forward/center Rasheed Wallace to a contract. Per team policy, terms of the deal were not disclosed.

– Knicks press release

I was keeping mum because I didn’t want to jinx anything, but it’s official: The Knicks are the silliest sports franchise in the city. Sorry, Mets, Jets and Islanders. Better luck next year. It was a good game, both teams played hard.

I don’t even know if it’s a bad move from a basketball standpoint, for what it’s worth. It’s just, he hasn’t played in two seasons and it’s Rasheed Wallace.

Tyson Chandler’s photography available

Last year, a photographer named Ari Marcopoulos published a fan “zine”—a print publication circulated to a small audience—about Tyson Chandler, from when Chandler played for the Dallas Mavericks. He didn’t know if Chandler would even see it. As it turned out, Chandler was flattered by it….

And their unlikely friendship will be on display Wednesday at a Unicef benefit auction of Chandler’s photographs. The show’s 15 pictures include a portrait of ex-Knick Jeremy Lin and one of Carmelo Anthony in a towel. There is a print of Team USA’s locker-room whiteboard from the Olympic gold-medal game and even shots of exotic wildlife. The exhibit, called “A Year in a New York Minute,” was curated by Marcopoulos.

Ben Cohen, Wall Street Journal.

Good read from the Journal on Chandler’s foray into the downtown art scene and his relationship with Marcopoulos, a one-time associate of Andy Warhol’s.

For me, all tall-man art exhibits start and end with Shaq’s, but good for Chandler for pursuing an off-court interest.

Sims city

New York Knickerbockers Executive Vice President, Basketball Operations and General Manager Glen Grunwald announced today that the team has signed free agent guard Oscar Bellfield, center Henry Sims and forwards John Shurna and Mychel Thompson to contracts. Per team policy, terms of the deals were not disclosed.

– New York Knicks.

OK, so this news comes right on the heels of even further evidence that James Dolan just absolutely cannot quit Isiah Thomas, which is almost unspeakably hilarious and enough to keep me from rooting for the Knicks in earnest anytime soon.

But Sims went from massive disappointment to fan favorite by rededicating himself to basketball during the summer before his senior year at Georgetown, and seemed to entertain the hell out of his teammates in the process. If he even makes the club, I’m not sure his presence enough will be able to hold my attention with the new-look Nets firing up across the East River, but he’ll almost certainly be better for the Knicks than Isiah Thomas will.

It’s ya boy

Suite owners will have access to a Champagne bar serving Armand de Brignac, an expensive bubbly that Mr. Carter promotes and in which he holds a financial interest, according to a biography by a writer for Forbes. The arena will contain a 40/40 Club, an iteration of his sports-bar-style nightclub chain. There will be a Rocawear store, selling his clothing line, on the arena’s exterior. Even the advertising agency used by the Nets, Translation, is half-owned by Mr. Carter.

There is also an important intangible asset, particularly for a rapper: the bragging rights that Mr. Carter has enjoyed as a part-owner since Mr. Ratner’s group paid $300 million to acquire the Nets. His slender stake was enough for Mr. Carter to thump his chest in his lyrics, promising to “bring you some Nets.”

Mr. Carter has capitalized further on his Nets investment by extending the Jay-Z brand into endorsement deals normally reserved for elite athletes. He stars, wearing a Nets cap, in a Budweiser TV commercial that was broadcast during the Olympic Games. And he was named executive producer of the basketball video game, “NBA 2K13.”

David Halbfinger, N.Y. Times.

Good read from the Times on Jay-Z’s role in the Nets’ move to Brooklyn and vice versa. Bonus points because it refers to the Jiggaman as “Mr. Carter” throughout.

I reserve the right to write more about this in the future, but I suspect I will take up some rooting interest in the Nets this season and likely abandon whatever minute attachment I still have to the Knicks. You may think this makes me a sellout or a bad fan or whatever, but I wasn’t a very good Knicks fan to begin with, fandom doesn’t seem to operate in any rational way, and I feel way more excited about the new-look Nets than the same-old Knicks.

Here’s what I’ve got off the top of my head:

Reasons to like the Nets
Play a few blocks from where I lived for five years, still hang out sometimes
Cool uniforms
Jay-Z affiliation
Tickets more likely to be available/inexpensive (?)
Brand new arena
Arena easier to get to from my home by subway
Not the Knicks

Reasons to like the Knicks
I liked them in the ’90s

Am I wrong?

Reggie Miller says he is an “all-world pitcher” and “could play Major League Baseball today”

In related news, the Mets should totally sign Reggie Miller. I secretly love Miller in a Stockholm Syndromey way because he’s responsible for several of the craziest and most heartbreaking things I’ve ever seen on a basketball court — or in any sporting arena, really. And it’d be pretty sweet to have him in the bullpen if the Mets ever needed to square off against the Knicks in some sort of bizarre exhibition.

Via N.Y. Baseball Digest, via Repoz.

Don’t watch this if you haven’t since gone to college and found a basketball team you care about way more to make it sting less:

Angle of Lincidence

Yet Smart was one of many coaches — college and pro — who passed on Lin and he has no regrets.

“Everyone said, ‘Well, you should’ve played him more,’” Smart said. “Well, you had Monta Ellis, a top five NBA scorer, Steph Curry, a runner-up for Rookie of the Year. You had Acie Law and Reggie Williams and you had a young, undrafted guy who didn’t know how to play in the NBA yet.”

Smart says Lin fell into a perfect storm with the Knicks, who desperately needed a competent point guard because of the injury to Baron Davis and the ineffective play of Toney Douglas.

Adam Zagoria,

When I stepped into the coffee shop this morning, the cute girl behind the counter beamed. “Did you see the game last night?” she asked.

“No, but I heard about it.”

“They won by 15 points. He only scored 10 but-”

“I know. Amazing… Seven in a row.”

This is Linsanity. In the narrowest of coffee shops and out in the avenues, from the subways to high-rise office buildings, all New York City’s small talk and awkward pleasantries have been replaced by daily rehashings of Jeremy Lin’s latest heroics.

Many of us haven’t even seen most of them, but perhaps all the better. They are swiftly becoming the stuff of folk legend: This undrafted, Harvard-educated, Taiwanese-American, twice-waived point guard turning an unlikely window into the opportunity to put a seemingly forever-woeful team on his back and carry it to win after win after win after win.

It’s awesome. And the timing, in the short lull between the Giants’ improbable championship and the start of baseball’s Spring Training, is impeccable.

But after reading articles like the one from Zagoria linked above, and after a conversation with Mike Salfino yesterday, I urge you to consider something too frequently overlooked in sports: Think of all the scenarios in which Jeremy Lin — this Jeremy Lin, Linsanity — never happens. Think of the slew of injuries and setbacks it took to get Lin on the Knicks’ roster, and the numerous ways and reasons Lin might have been cut before he ever got a chance to shine.

For that matter, consider all the things that could have kept Kurt Warner stocking grocery shelves and Drew Brees flopping around the NFL as a journeyman backup.

Then try to tell me there aren’t 100 guys bagging groceries or selling phones somewhere with the talent and the drive to succeed in professional sports who haven’t yet and likely never will get that chance.

It’s that randomness thing again. Lin’s story is an amazing one, and he deserves all the credit he’s currently getting on every corner. The Knicks have won seven straight games with him running the point, and even if he ultimately regresses a bit Lin has likely proven himself a viable NBA player who’ll earn millions in the game.

But as heartwarming and unifying and stunningly awesome as this is, it should also be another reminder not to count out athletes with histories of success at every level just because they’ve been counted out before. Stories like Lin’s are great because they are so rare, but they are by no means unprecedented. Sometimes the entire professional sporting establishment just misses a guy. Sometimes that guy eventually gets a shot, and, I’m assuming, many times he does not.

Today’s Daily News sports section: