HANG TIME HEADQUARTERS — Welcome to Houston @JLin7! We plan to hang on this time. You will love #RedNation
With that late-night welcome Tweet from Rockets general manager Daryl Morey the Jeremy Lin era in Houston was off and running.
The undrafted point who inspired a movement last season in New York is a Knick no longer after his former team decided not to match a back-loaded three-year, $25.1 million offer sheet that Lin signed with yet another one of his former teams.
This puts an end to Lin’s Broadway run and allows him to return to the same Rockets team that cut him after two preseason games last season, due a glut of point guards (guys who have since relocated) on the roster.
Lin delivered a gracious Tweet to the aforementioned “#RedNation” while also sending kinds words in the direction of the Knicks and the fans who will no doubt be angry that the Knicks did not keep him:
Much love and thankfulness to the Knicks and New York for your support this past year…easily the best year of my life #ForeverGrateful
The best year of Lin’s life was a roller coaster ride that saw him go from sleeping on couches (his brother’s and former teammate Landry Fields) in New York City apartments to seeing his face on the cover of magazines around the world.
Lin rose from relative obscurity to the starting point guard for the Knicks after injuries forced him into the lineup. The Knicks won seven straight games and kicked off a three-week stretch where torched all comers, sank game-winners and dazzled fans with his play and his compelling back story (a Harvard grad and the NBA’s only Asian-American player who’d spent time in the D-League on his road to the big time).
“Linsanity” was born, though his season did end with a knee injury that didn’t allow him to play in the Knicks’ playoff series against Miami.
Lin averaged 14.6 points and 6.2 assists in 35 games with the Knicks and entered this summer as one of their top priorities in free agency.
And that’s where Morey and the Rockets stepped in with that third year of their offer sheet for $14.8 million, a price the Knicks deemed to steep. They signed veteran free agent Jason Kidd and traded for Raymond Felton, another former Knick point guard, and allowed Lin to walk out the door and into a new situation in Houston after initially vowing to match any offers to their prized restricted free agent.
That deadline passed at 11:59 p.m., ending Linsanity’s New York run and kicking off the second act in Houston.
Only time will tell if it was the right move for the Knicks … and the Rockets, for that matter.
And we’re guessing it won’t take three years to figure it out …