Jeremy Lin said in a new interview with the Daily Beast that he did not re-sign with the New York Knicks after his "Linsanity" run in 2012 due to "multiple points of opposition" inside the organization. Instead, Lin ended up signing a three-year deal with the Houston Rockets that summer.
Lin is doing the media rounds ahead of his new documentary, "38 At The Garden," which will be released later this month. The title refers to his memorable 38-point game against the Los Angeles Lakers, which was one of the high-points of Linsanity, but the film also explores the challenges that Asian Americans face, particularly in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Still, basketball is always going to be the foundation of any story involving Lin, and in his recent interview he offered some insight on the end of his Knicks tenure. Despite his success at the end of the 2011-12 season and his massive popularity, the Knicks decided not to re-sign him. There have been hints of jealousy from other teammates, specifically Carmelo Anthony, and locker room discord, but no one truly knows the exact reason the Knicks moved on.
The most likely explanation, as Lin notes, is that there were multiple different factors behind the scenes.
I'm a die-hard Knicks fan, so I've been through a lot. But both Mike D'Antoni and Amar'e Stoudemire have come out and said that some of your Knicks teammates resented you at the height of Linsanity. Did you feel that?
That's the part that we don't touch on as much [in the documentary], but for sure. I never experienced that personally, and the fact that D'Antoni and Amar'e said what they said is coming from their perspective, but at the moment I was so naïve and overwhelmed. I never felt that personally, but if they came out and said it then I know it existed, and the fact that I didn't come back to New York... that was all an indication of what was happening behind the scenes.
The reality is, you were a global icon and experts estimated at the time that you had raised the value of the Knicks team by hundreds of millions of dollars. I know Houston inserted a poison pill in your contract, but it still doesn't make sense. What do you think happened there? Do you think Melo, and his jealousy, was the reason why you weren't re-signed?
I mean, I think that's… that's the theory, and that's what everyone says, but I can't feed the speculation train because I don't actually know. I know, and I'm saying this truthfully, that there were multiple points of opposition completely outside of Melo within what was going on, and once D'Antoni resigned, there was already opposition within the organization—whether it was the coaching staff that took over or certain members of the front office. But there was definitely, from what I've heard or gathered in the few years after, it wasn't all as rosy as people thought it was. I don't know who to attribute it to, but I know there were multiple points of opposition.
Moving on from Lin is just one of many poor decisions the Knicks have made over the past decade. While he was never going to carry his form during Linsanity throughout an entire season, it was clear then, and later in his career, that he was a quality player.
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Now 34, Lin's NBA days are likely behind him. He has not played in the league since 2020, and despite an impressive showing with the Golden State Warriors' G League affiliate in 2021 no team even gave him a call-up. He has since returned to China for his second stint in the country and will play for the Guangzhou Loong Lions this season.