Jeremy Lin has always had a special place in his heart for New York, having a remarkable run with the Knicks the one season he played there. Lin was a restricted free agent in the summer of 2012, but his team never matched the Houston Rockets offer, despite that Lin wanted to play for New York.
Lin revealed that he really wanted the New York Knicks to match and tried to lower the Rockets’ offer sheet in July 2012. The Rockets offer was the only one Lin received in free agency. That is what Lin says now in an hour-long one-on-one interview with MSG Network broadcaster Mike Breen via New York Post.
“I was only offered one contract,” Lin said. “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 promise you, I had just finished a workout and got into my car and got the phone call from my agent and I said to him, ‘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,” said Lin, who was playing in China this season before the coronavirus pandemic. “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 of a 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.’”
The unlikely hero of the 2011-12 Knicks’ season began his explosion against the Nets on Feb. 4, 2012, and led New York to 10 wins in the next 13 games.
The next season, Lin continued his career with the Rockets, playing with James Harden and Dwight Howard. He also played for the Lakers and the Brooklyn Nets having a decent career in the NBA in the last 7 years.