'Excited' Lin joins Rockets from Knicks
Houston, TX (Sports Network) - Houston, you have Linsanity.
Jeremy Lin, after a star-making late-season turn with the New York Knicks, is leaving the Big Apple to join a team that cut him seven months ago.
The Rockets landed Lin after the Knicks refused to match an offer sheet for the point guard on Tuesday night.
Lin confirmed the news, exclaiming on Twitter: "Extremely excited and honored to be a Houston Rocket again!!"
The Knicks cut ties with Lin, as they decided not to match a three-year, $25.1 million offer sheet from the Rockets within the three-day window. The Knicks had until midnight ET to retain Lin.
"Welcome to Houston!, We plan to hang on this time. You will love RedNation," Rockets general manager Daryl Morey tweeted.
Lin was claimed off waivers by the Rockets prior to the work stoppage- shortened season and played in a pair of preseason games for them. The day prior to the start of the regular season, he was waived to clear payroll space for Samuel Dalembert and then joined New York three days later.
The Knicks, of course, were rallied out of a mid-season funk by Lin's sudden emergence from a reserve to a reliable scorer and passer, gaining the point guard a vocal following and giving rise to the "Linsanity" phenomenon.
He set the NBA on fire with his incredible February performances, scoring at least 20 points nine times in a 10-game stretch during the month. The Chinese native became an international highlight-reel as the first American of Chinese or Taiwanese descent to play in the NBA.
"We are thrilled to have Jeremy back as part of the Rockets family," Rockets owner Leslie Alexander said. "In his limited opportunity last season, Jeremy showed that he has all the skills to be a great player in this league for many years to come. In addition to being a great passer, he is also exceptional at driving to the rim and finishing plays. He also showed a poise well beyond his years by making winning plays at the end of numerous games last season. Jeremy is a winner on and off the court and we view him as an important part of our plan to build a championship contender."
Lin, 23, had left knee surgery in April to fix a small meniscus tear, missing the last month of the regular season and New York's only playoff series.
He averaged 14.6 points, 6.2 assists and 3.1 rebounds in 35 games for the Knicks last season, including 25 starts.
Lin went undrafted out of Harvard before playing 29 games for Golden State during the 2010-11 season and averaged just 2.6 points.
07/18 00:24:09 ET