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Goodbye, Linsanity: Knicks let Lin walk
HOUSTON (AP) - Say goodbye to Linsanity, New York.
Jeremy Lin is taking his game off Broadway _ way off _ to Houston after the Knicks announced Tuesday night they would not match the Rockets’ three-year, $25 million offer for the restricted free agent.
“Much love and thankfulness to the Knicks and New York for your support the past year…easily the best year of my life.”
The 23-year-old point guard, undrafted out of Harvard, became an international phenomenon and the biggest story in sports during one dazzling month in the Big Apple. But the Knicks decided keeping the show in town was too costly.
“Welcome to Houston (at)JLin7. We plan to hang on this time. You will love (hash)RedNation.”
“In his limited opportunity last season, Jeremy showed that he has all the skills to be a great player in this league for many years to come,” Alexander said. “In addition to being a great passer, he is also exceptional at driving to the rim and finishing plays. He also showed a poise well beyond his years by making winning plays at the end of numerous games last season. Jeremy is a winner on and off the court and we view him as an important part of our plan to build a championship contender.”
The Knicks said they would match any offer to retain Lin, but the Rockets made it tough for New York to keep him by backloading their offer sheet with a $15 million salary in the third season. If the Knicks agreed to that deal, they would’ve faced a hefty luxury tax in 2014-15 because of other big contracts on their books _ between $30-40 million.
One sports consultant said the adjustment to the offer sheet was a stroke of genius by Morey.
The Knicks picked him up and gave him first real shot. He was briefly demoted to the developmental league, recalled and finally got his chance when coach Mike D'Antoni put him in with the Knicks floundering at 8-15. Lin scored a career-high 25 points in a 99-92 win over New Jersey Nets and “Linsanity” was born.
Lin had slept on teammate Landry Fields’ couch the night before, still refusing to get his own place as he headed into that week, knowing the Knicks would have to decide whether to cut him or guarantee his contract for the rest of the season.
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