Posted July 18, 2012 on AP on Fox
Harvard_vs_georgetown_c9e8
Mike D'Antoni was there for the start of Linsanity, Kobe Bryant on the wrong end of its greatest highlight. Neither imagined next season opening without Jeremy Lin on the New York Knicks. ''No. Not when the kicker was they can match. I'm thinking, for sure,'' said former Knicks coach D'Antoni on Wednesday before the U.S. Olympic team practiced. ''Even when I was there, well at least we got him, we don't have to worry about him blowing up and us not being able to afford it.'' But the Knicks ultimately decided they couldn't or wouldn't. Lin became a Houston Rocket on Tuesday night when the Knicks refused to match a three-year deal worth about $25 million, ending a brief but amazing run as New York's point guard. The Knicks had repeatedly said they planned to keep the restricted free agent, and Olympians Carmelo Anthony and Tyson Chandler both believed they would. ''I know the Knicks organization wanted him back, I know his teammates wanted him back, I felt like Jeremy wanted to come back, but can't pass up what Houston threw out there,'' Chandler said. D'Antoni, who gave Lin a chance to play in February, resigned a month and a half later when the Knicks were struggling. He remains a firm believer in the undrafted point guard from Harvard. Bryant had no choice but to become one after Lin scored a career-high 38 points, outplaying one of the NBA's biggest stars during a nationally televised victory over the Lakers. ''The plays that he was making, it didn't seem like he had too much of a difficulty making them. He seemed like he was pretty comfortable in making those plays and he was pretty consistent afterwards,'' Bryant said. ''His numbers weren't 30 and 15 assists or whatever, but they were more than solid numbers. He can play, he's a very good player.'' How good is impossible to predict, because Lin made just 25 starts before his season ended because of surgery to repair torn cartilage in his knee. His numbers were already falling by then, a combination of fatigue and a lesser role in the offense once Mike Woodson replaced D'Antoni, who is now an assistant coach on the U.S. Olympic team. ''I mean, I don't think nobody really has an idea what his ceiling is,'' Anthony said. ''What he was able to do for that little stretch that he played before he got hurt, he was at the all-time high, from a game standpoint doing what he was able to do, averaging 20 something-plus points, almost 10 assists. I'm ready to see what's next.'' He would have seen it in New York, but the third year of the contract, worth nearly $15 million, could have cost the Knicks more than double that in luxury tax payments. ''Houston threw something in the game that was kind of crazy,'' Anthony said. It's possible Lin may never live up to the deal, but D'Antoni refuses to rule it out. And he won't accept the idea that Lin was only a creation of his high-scoring offensive system. ''First of all, I think that's not fair to anybody, I think especially not to Jeremy,'' he said. ''For 20 games he was one of the best in the league and he was dominating from the headlines to even on the basketball court. So you can't discount that he'll never be able to do it, because not only did he do it, he did it at the highest level possible. ''So I'm happy for him, I think it's a great contract for him and Houston could find themselves a very, very, very good basketball player. At least he's going to be a good player. The guy's got quickness and determination, so he's going to be good. Now it depends on what level, nobody knows that, but I wouldn't bet against him.''
THE BACKYARD
BEST OF MAXIM
RELATED ARTICLES

Fire sale! Get your Jeremy Lin as a Knick Fathead for only $16.36!

Apparently, the brain wizards running the show over at Fathead understand the rapidly decreasing worth of a once-prized Fathead once an athlete moves on and changes teams. It’s economics, people. Supply and demand and so on and so forth. You see, the Fathead of Jeremy Lin in a New York Knicks uniform, once available for [...]

Linsanity official begins for the Houston Rockets

The Houston version of Lisanity part deux officially began on Thursday as Jeremy Lin was reintroduced to the media. The Knicks opted to let the marketing whirlwind go, now we see if it was the system, a fluke or flat out talent that caused all the hoopla last season. Lin also appears to be taking [...]

It's Time to Get to Know Raymond Felton & Jason Kidd

"Linsanity" has come to a close in the Big Apple. Jeremy Lin is no longer a member of the New York Knicks' organization.Now that you've had time to weep and wipe your tears away, let us focus on much more positive things. Though Lin is indeed gone from the equation, the Knicks already have two worthy point guards more than capable of filling the void.The time is...

Fiddlin' & Diddlin' - Daily Links 7/19

Herald  Jason Terry signing now official Celtics E’Twaun Moore confident he’ll return Knicks mum on Jeremy Lin’s departure Streetball hits town Lakers get forward Antawn Jamison to bolster bench Timberwolves lose Nicolas Batum to Trail Blazers Amnesty clause is a Pistons’ option next year to dump Charlie Villanueva Former NBA star Dennis Rodman finally meets father...

Today's Celtics Links 7/19

Herald  Jason Terry signing now official Celtics E’Twaun Moore confident he’ll return Knicks mum on Jeremy Lin’s departure Streetball hits town Lakers get forward Antawn Jamison to bolster bench Timberwolves lose Nicolas Batum to Trail Blazers Amnesty clause is a Pistons’ option next year to dump Charlie Villanueva Former NBA star Dennis Rodman finally meets father...

Kobe Bryant Believes Team USA Players Should Lose Citizenship If They Don't Win Olympic Gold

The USA men's Olympic basketball team is littered with talent from wall to wall. So much so that team leader Kobe Bryant said that members of the USA team should have their citizenship revoked, should they return home from London with anything less than gold. Now, this is a little extreme for Bryant to say, although he has been very vocal since joining the squad out in Los Angeles...

New York Jets Fact Or False: Sanchez, Holmes, and Linsanity Edition

With less than a week to go before the New York Jets report to Cortland for the start of training camp, there have been countless topics and stories emerging on the Gang Green front, some good, some not so good. Regardless of what most sports books are predicting, we are carrying on as usual here at Turn On The Jets. For this week’s edition of New York Jets Fact Or False, we’ll...

Kobe Bryant on potential under-23 Team USA: ‘It’s a stupid idea, stupid’

Kobe Bryant and Mark Cuban do not agree when it comes to the Olympics. As you probably know, Cuban is the most enthusiastic Olympic hater in sports. He roots for Team USA to fail because he feels that the concept of allowing players who are under contract with NBA teams to risk injury in international competition is incredibly dumb. David Stern obviously agrees with Cuban in some...

Poll Question: Should There be an Age Restriction on NBA Players Headed to the Olympics?

When Kobe Bryant caught wind that David Stern was tossing around the idea that members of team USA be age 23 or younger, he called the idea “stupid.” Calm down, Mr. Bryant, this isn’t the worst idea the commissioner has proposed. Kobe Bryant and David Stern don’t see eye to eye on a potential age restriction for Olympic basketball players. (Image credit: Kevork Djansezian...

Current Dream Team vs. the 1992 Dream Team:

This is a little bit of old news at this point, but Kobe Bryant let it be known that he thought the current version of the Dream Team could beat the original Dream Team. My initial thought was to scoff at him completely; it’s one thing if he wanted to compare the team that was planned for the Olympics, but now that Rose, Dwight, et al there seems to be a sizable gap. Rather than...

Lakers won't use amnesty provision on World Peace

The Lakers declined to use their "amnesty" provision before Tuesday's deadline, meaning Metta World Peace can keep partying. The team could have waived him without having to pay luxury taxes on his salary, though the Lakers decided against it. World Peace, 32, has two more years and 15 million left on his contract. As per terms of the new collective-bargaining agreement...

Hubris makes this Team USA unlikeable

This may ruffle a few feathers, many will call me un-American or some other crazy name, but I have grown to dislike this years version of Team USA. Why you ask? Hubris. Hubris is defined as an overbearing pride or presumption; arrogance. Let’s be honest, that pretty much defines 80% of this Team USA roster. Lebron James, Carmelo Anthony, Kobe Bryant, Blake Griffin (he was a part...

Spotted: Carmelo Anthony and Tyson Chandler Hang With Durant and Kobe In England

  July 18: Team USA has landed in Manchester for tomorrow’s friendly matchup with Great Britain.  Melo and Tyson were spotted hanging out with teammates Kobe Bryant and Kevin Durant on their way to support the Women’s Olympic team who play Great Britain today. via @nuggetakatiny
NBA News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.