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Lin returns to N.Y., but Linsanity doesn't

  • Article by: BRIAN MAHONEY
  • Associated Press
  • December 16, 2012 - 7:57 PM

NEW YORK - Jeremy Lin was barely hanging on to an NBA job when he stepped on the floor at Madison Square Garden last February.

Although he's not tearing it up in Houston like he was in New York last year, averaging 11 points and six assists and struggling to find a role next to ball-dominating shooting guard James Harden, Lin returns to New York on Monday having proven he's a legitimate starter and sometimes star, capable of energizing a franchise and a fan base, a player who saved his team's season and was rewarded with a lucrative contract.

Lin makes his lone New York appearance with the Houston Rockets, who threw big dollars at Lin in July and were maybe just as surprised as so many others when the Knicks let them have him. They could have kept Lin simply by matching the Rockets' offer, which was widely considered to be a foregone conclusion, and the big-market Knicks certainly could have afforded him.

Instead, they traded for veteran point guard Raymond Felton, and signed Jason Kidd and Pablo Prigioni, and nobody can argue now, with the Knicks leading the Atlantic Division with an 18-5 record.

"What he did was amazing. I mean, I was watching every game. He was hitting game-winners, he was doing all that. He was amazing," Felton said. "But it's time to move on. We're 18-5, whatever the record is, we're 10-0 at home, so no need to talk about that no more."

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