Jeremy Lin was assured by nearly everyone at the top of the New York Knicks organization, from head coach Mike Woodson to owner James Dolan, that the he would continue to be an important part of the team for the 2012-13 season. At 11:00 p.m. ET on Tuesday, however, general manager Glen Grunwald called Lin and told him that the Knicks would not be matching the Houston Rockets' three-year, $25.1 million offer sheet.
Lin spoke with SI.com on Wednesday to discuss what happened during one of the offseason's most hotly-discussed free agency signings.
"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 phone call reportedly lasted just 30 seconds. Grunwald thanked Lin and wished him luck, and Lin returned a kind word towards the Knicks. If Lin feels like he was misled in anyway, he didn't show it. He had nothing to say but nice things to say about New York City, the Knicks and the fans that helped make Linsanity possible.
"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."
The Rockets, meanwhile, have seemingly embraced Lin with open arms, going so far as to admit they made a mistake when they cut him last December.