Although “Linsanity” represented one of the most memorable runs in recent Knicks history, Jeremy Lin‘s time in New York was ultimately short-lived. The point guard only appeared in 35 games for the franchise, departing in restricted free agency following his breakout 2011/12 season.
Revisiting his departure in a conversation this week with MSG Network broadcaster Mike Breen, Lin said he wanted to remain with the Knicks in 2012. New York encouraged him to find an offer sheet in restricted free agency, and he hoped the team would match it, as Marc Berman of The New York Post details.
“I was only offered one contract,” Lin told Breen. “We couldn’t get anything from any other team. And so, I had to go find a contract from somebody. And I remember when Houston gave the offer, I said to (my agent), ‘Can you tell Houston to lower the offer? This is too much. Can you tell someone to lower the offer?’ Because I wanted to go back to New York and I wanted New York to match.
“The time there, with the fans, everything. It was so special. I was like, ‘I need to go back to New York,'” Lin continued. “That’s where my heart is. So, I call my agent and said, ‘Hey, find a way to get out of Houston. Give me a less good contract so that New York will match it,’ and he said, ‘We can’t, this is Houston’s final offer and we’ve been talking to them for a week, two weeks, three weeks, this is it.'”
As Mike Vorkunov of The Athletic notes (via Twitter), reporting at the time suggested that Lin was initially planning to sign a four-year, $28MM offer sheet from Houston, which the Knicks were expected to match. The Rockets adjusted it to make it a three-year, $25MM deal with a $15MM “poison pill” salary in year three. According to Berman, Knicks owner James Dolan was “bitter” about the reworked offer, believing it was Lin’s idea.
Here’s more on the NBA’s two New York teams:
- Following up on a series of March reports which suggested the Knicks may have interest in trading for Chris Paul during the offseason, Ian Begley of SNY.tv proposes a pair of hypothetical trade scenarios and explores how they would impact the club’s cap going forward.
- According to Alex Schiffer of The Athletic, there are some people within the Nets‘ organization rooting for interim head coach Jacque Vaughn to get the full-time job, though that may be a long shot given the names that have already surfaced as potential options. Michael Lee, Joe Vardon, and Sam Amick join Schiffer to debate the pros and cons of the Nets’ rumored coaching candidates and to suggest other targets for the club to consider.
- Our latest roundup of Knicks notes was published on Wednesday night, with our most recent collection of Notes notes posted on Sunday. Be sure to visit the New York and Brooklyn team pages for all the latest updates on the two clubs.