Jeremy Lin really wanted the Knicks to match and tried to lower the Rockets’ infamous offer sheet in July 2012. That is what Lin says now in an hour-long one-on-one interview with MSG Network broadcaster Mike Breen in the capper to “Linsanity Week’’ that airs Friday. Lin’s run in New York ended when owner James …
Jeremy Lin really wanted the Knicks to match and tried to lower the Rockets’ infamous offer sheet in July 2012.
That is what Lin says now in an hour-long one-on-one interview with MSG Network broadcaster Mike Breen in the capper to “Linsanity Week’’ that airs Friday.
Lin’s run in New York ended when owner James Dolan refused to match Houston’s rearranged offer sheet that included a $15 million poison-pill final year that would’ve put the owner in luxury-tax hell.
The Post reported at the time Lin was a restricted free agent and the Knicks encouraged him to find an offer sheet to match.
“I was only offered one contract,” Lin told Breen. “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.”
Dolan, however, was bitter the Rockets redid the offer, thinking it was Lin’s idea.
“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 global icon of 2012 still says he can’t be upset at how he handled the situation.
“I’m not sure if I’ve ever even said this publicly because, in my mind, I’m looking forward,” Lin said. “And I think, I’m not sure if I said this publicly, but I don’t have any regrets. Because really, to me, I didn’t really have a decision, like I only have one contract. ‘We’re at the end and this is the only offer that you got, you have to sign it.’”
Linsanity began his explosion against the Nets on Feb. 4, 2012 and the downtrodden Knicks reeled off 10 wins in 13 games.
“My mindset going into game was, if I don’t do well I’m getting cut and if I don’t do well my NBA career is over.,” said Lin, who scored 25 points with five rebounds and seven assists in the 99-92 victory.
“So that was something that my agent had made me aware of. And the night before in Boston, I just played it safe and my agent Roger Montgomery was just like ‘this might be it for you, you cannot play safe’. The one thing I couldn’t accept is to go out not swinging…I struggled heavily with anxiety before games. Like really, really bad anxiety – couldn’t sleep.”
MSG Network is airing nine of Lin’s memorable outings during the winter of 2012.
“I’m so thankful to the Knicks and to MSG for giving me this opportunity because they could have chosen any point in New York history to rebroadcast,’’ Lin said. “There are some legends that have come to this organization and done amazing things and they choose to broadcast Linsanity.”