NBA Sensation Lin Moves to Houston After New York Knicks Refuses New Offer

Posted July 18th, 2012 at 2:00 am (UTC-5)
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Taiwanese-American basketball player Jeremy Lin, who became an overnight sensation last season with the National Basketball Association's New York Knicks, is now a member of the Houston Rockets franchise.

Lin signed a three-year, $25.1 million offer sheet with the Rockets earlier this month, but the Knicks had a chance to offer a matching contract under NBA rules. But the Knicks allowed the midnight Tuesday deadline to pass without making Lin a formal offer.

Lin issued a statement through his account on the social media feed Twitter expressing “much love and thankfulness” to the Knicks and the team's fans for what he says was “easily the best year of my life.”

The 23-year-old Harvard graduate was an unknown, undrafted reserve player when he came off the bench and became the Knicks' starting point guard, leading the floundering team to a seven-game winning streak with his dazzling playmaking and buzzer-beating shots. The NBA's first U.S.-born player of Chinese or Taiwanese descent electrified both New York City and the NBA, creating a frenzy that became known as “Linsanity.”

But his strong start was followed by several subpar performances against better defensive teams and Lin eventually suffered a knee injury that required surgery, ending his season.

Lin was picked up by the Knicks early in the season after he was let go by the Rockets. In his tweet, Lin said he was “extremely excited and honored” to rejoin Houston.

The Rockets became hugely popular in China when Houston drafted Chinese basketball star Yao Ming in 2002. He retired last year after battling numerous injuries.