Jeremy Lin seeks closure in return to New York
by Jeff Zillgitt, USA TODAY Sports
TORONTO – Get ready, New York. Linsanity is returning.
Jeremy Lin became the sensation of the basketball world for a short time last season when he had a run of fantastic performances.
He returns Monday with the Houston Rockets to play the New York Knicks at Madison Square Garden (game time is 7:30 p.m. ET on NBATV), where he prospered last season, his second in the NBA, with an amazing and unlikely tale: Harvard grad, undrafted rookie who failed to catch on with two teams and ultimately captivated the world with one outstanding performance after another from Feb.4 through March 24.
It included memorable games: 38 points against the Los Angeles Lakers, a game-winning shot against the Toronto Raptors and 28 points and 14 points against the Dallas Mavericks, re-energizing the Knicks and the world’s most famous arena.
His time with the Knicks fizzled when the Knicks decided to go in another direction at point guard and declined to match the Rockets’ three-year, $25 million offer sheet in July.
“I’m definitely ready to get it over with just because I think in some way there’ll be some closure,” Lin told USA TODAY Sports after Houston lost at Toronto 103-96 on Sunday. “This will be the first return back to MSG, and there’ll never be another first return. We’re going to go out there, play and have some fun and enjoy it and move on.”
One of Lin’s teammates, James Harden, who recently faced his former team, the Oklahoma City Thunder, on the road, cautioned not to make too much out of his return.
“I don’t think Jeremy’s really caught up in going back and trying to make an individual performance,” Harden said. “It’s good to see old teammates and coaches and fans, but to be honest, you guys, the media, really hypes it up to be bigger than what it is.”
But it’s New York. The Knicks are soaring and Lin is struggling, but it should be a fun night. He still has a strong Asian fan base and interest in Lin remains. Dozens of fans wore Lin jerseys and T-shirts Sunday, and no fewer than … [For more on Jeremy Lin seeks closure in return to New York, click here.]