NEW YORK - Agence France-Presse
Jeremy Lin. AFP photo
Jeremy Lin’s sparkling Broadway run is over, but the point guard who took New York by storm says he is excited to launch the next phase of his NBA career with the Houston Rockets.
“Extremely excited and honored to be a Houston Rocket again!!” Lin said on Twitter shortly after the New York Knicks confirmed yesterday they wouldn’t match Houston’s three-year, $25 million offer for the 23-year-old player.
The Knicks announced their decision less than two hours before a midnight deadline. The Rockets were one of two teams to cut then-unknown Lin last season.
Rockets general manager Daryl Morey said that wouldn’t happen again as he welcomed Lin to Houston via Twitter.
“Welcome to Houston @JLin7!” Morey tweeted, adding: “We plan to hang on this time. You will love #RedNation.”
Even the Knicks were preparing to waive Lin when injuries to two players gave him a chance to come off New York’s bench earlier this year. Lin responded by sparking a seven-game Knicks winning streak, thrilling New York fans with his clutch shooting and passing skills.
Lin, whose parents are from Taiwan and has a grandmother from China, quickly became a global sensation. He became the first player in NBA history to score at least 20 points and pass for seven assists in his first five starts.
He appeared on the cover of Sports Illustrated twice and was named one of Time Magazine’s 100 Most Influential People as even casual basketball fans found themselves charmed by a Cinderella story that included a spell sleeping on Knicks teammate Landry Fields’ couch. “HUGE Congrats to @JLin7!,” Fields tweeted. “So excited for you and all the great things to come.. Houston, you got yourself a good one!”
The Knicks were widely expected to match a reported three-year, $19.5 million offer from the Rockets. However, Lin eventually signed the higher offer sheet.