Jeremy Lin Says He ‘Preferred’ to Play for the Knicks

Jeremy Lin maybe excited about joining the Houston Rockets — a development that continues to be a shock to many — but Lin says that his heart belongs to New York. Surely, this will make Knicks fans feel much better about this entire fiasco (or, y’know, not at all.) Per SI: “The call was from New York general manager Glen Grunwald and the conversation lasted no more than 30 seconds. Grunwald’s message, Lin said, was simple and direct: ‘We wanted to keep you, but it couldn’t work out. Tell your family I say hello, and good luck the rest of the way.’ That was it. One of the more intriguing and publicly debated personnel decisions in NBA history ended in half a minute. No questions were asked, no pointed comments were uttered and no animated feelings were expressed. Lin, the undrafted 23-year-old who rose to global stardom in his first 25 starts after being cut twice, politely told Grunwald, ‘I just want to thank you. Best of luck in the future.’ […] ‘Honestly, I preferred New York,’ Lin says. ‘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 last time Lin talked to Knicks owner James Dolan was right before Game 5 of the first round of the Eastern Conference playoffs, when New York was down, 3-1, to eventual NBA champion Miami. Lin, who had suffered a meniscus tear in his left knee, had been ruled out for the remainder of the regular season and had already missed the first four games of this playoff series. Now Dolan, with point guard Baron Davis also injured, wondered about Lin’s availability. But the matter had already been settled. ‘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,’ Lin says. ‘And I had arguments with them about why I should.’ Dolan — who didn’t talk to Lin often but had generally been ‘really nice to me’ –wound up expressing support. ‘I have plans for you in the future,’ Lin recalls the owner saying. ‘This is a long-term investment. Don’t rush back.’ […] ‘I love the New York fans to death,’ Lin says. ‘That’s the biggest reason why I wanted to return to New York. The way they embraced me, the way they supported us this past season, was better than anything I’ve ever seen or experienced. I’ll go to my grave saying that. What New York did for me was unbelievable. I wanted to play in front of those fans for the rest of my career.'”