Jeremy Lin on signing with Rockets: ‘Honestly, I preferred New York’
Knicks fans may need a few days before it officially sinks in, but Jeremy Lin is a Houston Rocket. Between the knee injury last season and New York letting Lin walk in free agency, Linsanity ended about as quickly as it began. With New York’s decision to not match Houston’s $25.1 million offer, Jeremy’s life will undergo yet another rapid change. During an interview with Pablo S. Torre of Sports Illustrated, Lin made it clear that he is thrilled the Rockets gave him the opportunity but admitted he would have liked to stay in New York.
“Honestly, I preferred New York,” Lin said. “But my main goal in free agency was to go to a team that had plans for me and wanted me. I wanted to have fun playing basketball. … Now I’m definitely relieved.
“I love the New York fans to death. That’s the biggest reason why I wanted to return to New York. The way they embraced me, the way they supported us this past season, was better than anything I’ve ever seen or experienced. I’ll go to my grave saying that. What New York did for me was unbelievable. I wanted to play in front of those fans for the rest of my career.”
The Knicks were the only team remaining in the NBA that was willing to give Lin a shot. He became a celebrity practically overnight, with the fans in New York making crazy posters about him and Spike Lee even wearing Jeremy’s high school jersey. The Knicks claimed they intended to keep him and make him a starter. It makes perfect sense that Lin would feel a connection to the city and its fan base, but such is life in the world of professional sports. The marketing machine belongs to Houston now.