Jeremy Lin is returning to Oracle Arena on Wednesday, but it will be as a Knick.
Lin was claimed off waivers by New York on Tuesday and confirmed he will be on the visiting sideline for the first time tonight. The Palo Alto native had something of a cult following since signing with the Warriors in October 2010. The second-year guard out of Harvard said his returnto Oracle will be emotional.
LIN: “I’m so thankful for the Warriors fans, I have no way I can even express it.”
December has been a long, difficult month for Lin. The second-year guard was pulled from the first day of Warriors training camp Dec. 9 and told he was being waived. Golden State did it to create salary cap space for an offer to Los Angeles Clippers restricted free-agent center DeAndre Jordan.
The Warriors’ offer was matched by the Clippers, meaning Golden State gave up Lin for nothing. But he said he remains in good spirits and is taking a positive approach. I talked to a few people about him, and they raved about his professionalism and how well he took the news. A class act all the way around.
LIN: “That’s what I’m understanding through all this – it’s a business. It was a calculated business decision they made to benefit the team. I have no hard feelings.”
After being waived by the Warriors, Lin was picked up by Houston. But on Christmas Day, the Rockets waived Lin, making him available for the Knicks to grab.
So Tuesday night, Lin joined his third team in less than three weeks. He’s gone from beloved underdog to journeyman. He’s gone from the perfect situation for him – in his hometown, with an owner who values him, on his favorite team growing up – to not knowing what his situation will be.
LIN: “God is teaching me to control what I can control and be thankful for what I have. Everything I expected coming into the season has been flipped upside down.”
Golden State was not able to claim Lin off waivers per league rules. A team source did say the Warriors would have signed Lin if he had cleared waivers. But they had little doubt Lin would be claimed.
The Knicks are in need of a guard after Iman Shumpert sprained his right knee Christmas Day. Baron Davis and Mike Bibby are dealing with back issues, leaving Toney Douglas as the only point guard on the roster.
LIN: “I’m thankful that people want me. I understand my position: I’m competing for a backup spot, and people see me as the 12th to 15th guy on the roster. It’s a numbers game.”