Knicks News: Jeremy Lin was Interested in Returning but Knicks Had no Interest


Saturday night the New York Knicks took on the Charlotte Hornets in their fifth preseason game. The Hornets were without a former-Knick sensation for the evening, Jeremy Lin was sidelined with an undisclosed illness.

The Hornets signed Lin this summer to a biannual exception of two years, $4.3 million. According to Stefan Bondy of the New York Daily News, Lin was interested in returning to the Knicks this summer but New York had no interest.

"“There was no conversation other than them telling me they weren’t interested,”"

Lin says that he has always been open to returning to New York but does not feel the organization returns his sentiments.

"“I’ve always been open to it, ever since I, you know, I don’t want to say I necessarily left, ever since (they decided they didn’t want to re-sign me),”“But I’ve always been open to it. But I don’t think they’re as open to it.”"

After Knicks’ owner James Dolan initially said he would match any offer sheet for Lin in the aftermath of “Linsanity”, Dolan then went back on his word stating he felt “deceived” by Lin…as per Frank Isola of the New York Daily News.

"The Daily News reported in Tuesday’s editions that the Knicks would not match Houston’s offer.The decision was both financial and emotional since Garden chairman James Dolan was upset over Lin restructuring his deal with Houston last week to include a third year salary of $14.9 million. Dolan, according to sources, felt he was deceived by the 23-year-old Lin."

It is no wonder the Knicks are not open to Lin returning, it is because New York’s owner got some hurt feelings…

Lin told the Daily News that he has not have much contact with James Dolan in his short stint with the Knicks in 2012.

"“Honestly, I haven’t really had much communication with him. So I don’t really have much of an impression of him.”“(There’s no animosity) from my perspective,”“I understand. And I understand why it happened. But no animosity. To be honest, I’m very much past it.”"

Head coach Derek Fisher said that he was never contacted this summer regarding Lin’s interest in returning to the Knicks.

"“If his agent did call, he didn’t call my phone. He called Phil’s or (GM) Steve (Mills’) phone. So they can better answer to that,”“Jeremy’s obviously a really good player and coming into this league as a guy who people really didn’t know if he could even make it in the league. I think he’s proven that he belongs here and seems like this opportunity is working out in Charlotte for him and I’m happy for him.”"

After the astonishing success of “Linsanity”, Lin found himself in situations that did not provide the environment to replicate that kind of success.

"“It was very difficult for various reasons. In Houston, they kind of brought me in and didn’t know they were going to get James (Harden). Me and James are both ball-dominant pick-and-roll players,”“And L.A. was just a different system and they were going in a different direction in general.”"

In year one with the Houston Rockets, Lin shared the ball-handling duties with James Harden, averaging 13.4 points, 6.1 assist but continued to struggle with turnovers, committing 2.9 turnovers per game. In year two, Lin’s responsibility was lightened as Patrick Beverley proved himself to be a better fit with Harden in the backcourt.

In the summer of 2014 Lin was traded to the the Los Angeles Lakers in exchange for the rights to Sergei Lishouk, a move essentially freeing up enough cap space for Houston to attempt to sign free agent Chris Bosh. Lin struggled in the triangle offense and would lose his starting position mid-season.

Now Lin hopes for a fresh start in Charlotte and feels that he can come off the bench and play both guard positions for the Hornets.

"“I can play (shooting guard),” “I played it in college. So I’ve always said my bread-and-butter would be the point guard but I have no problem playing the two as well. I consider myself a combo guard. And honestly in this system it’s at times interchangeable.”"

It would have been interesting to see Lin play a similar role in a return to New York, especially since the Knicks’ guard position is not exactly stacked… Yes, the Knicks have Jose Calderon, Langston Galloway, and Jerian Grant but none of them will ever have a “Linsanity” moment.

Although on the other hand Lin would have been a major distraction for a team trying to rebuild from a franchise worst 17 wins. Either way, it does not matter because New York never had interest in bringing back “Linsanity”.

Next: Derek Fisher Not Judging Kristaps Porzingis by Stats

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