Jeremy Lin wanted to remain with New York Knicks
Jeremy Lin revealed in an interview that he was disappointed the New York Knicks did not match the Houston Rockets’ $25.1 million offer sheet, after making many assurances to secure the player themselves. And even after signing with the Houston Rockets, Jeremy Lin stated he would still prefer to play for the New York Knicks.
“Honestly, I preferred New York,” confessed Jeremy Lin. “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.”
The New York Knicks had long trailed on a decision on the offer sheet, since the backloaded contract offered Jeremy Lin $14.8 million in the third-year, which would have been a big hit on the team’s cap space. The New York Knicks could only arrive at a decision with an hour to the deadline when general manager Glen Grunwald called Jeremy Lin to deliver the disappointing news.
"We wanted to keep you, but it couldn't work out,’ said Glen Grunwald. “Tell your family I say hello, and good luck the rest of the way."
The New York Knicks have a long list of broken promises to Jeremy Lin. In June, New York Knicks coach Mike Woodson assured Jeremy Lin that he will be a “starter” and a “big part” of the team’s future.
However, for many New York Knicks fans, Jeremy Lin was an overnight star who could lead the team with the promise of making it big in the NBA playoffs. But when Jeremy Lin’s time came, he was sidelined with injury and although he assessed his performance to be at an “85” percent, the guard never took to the court in the post season. Jeremy Lin received backlash questioning his commitment to the New York Knicks in the scenario when most of the players were playing alongside injuries. Later, Jeremy Lin clarified he was 15 from "absolute minimum threshold to play."
"Every single vet on our team that has been in the league longer than five years pulled me aside and told me that I shouldn't play," Jeremy Lin later stated. "And I had arguments with them about why I should.
Even the New York Knicks Owner James Dolan supported the decision that the young player should fully recover to ensure a long-run with the team next season.
"I have plans for you in the future," Jeremy Lin recalled James Dolan saying. "This is a long-term investment. Don't rush back."
However in the end, for Jeremy Lin, it was more about commitment than money and although he intends to begin afresh with the Houston Rockets (who waived him l=before last season), New York Knicks will always remain close to his heart.
“The way they embraced me, the way they supported us this past season, was better than anything I've ever seen or experienced,” said Jeremy Lin of the New York Knicks fans. “I wanted to play in front of those fans for the rest of my career."