Jeremy Lin is officially a member of the Houston Rockets. These pictures and video of him receiving his new uniform and the ensuing press conference Thursday in Houston prove it.
I'm just excited to be here and I think the biggest thing that excites me is the fact that I know what this organization is about, Lin said during the press conference, adding later in his remarks that, It just made sense. I don't see myself as a conquering king, but it's been just an unbelievable ride.
The ceremony capped the long lead-up to the end of Linsanity in New York by providing a visual confirmation that he's really gone to Houston two days after the Knicks -- the team where he became a bona fide superstar last season -- officially let Jeremy Lin go.
Lin told Sports Illustrated's Pablo S. Torres shortly after the Knicks let him go to the Rockets that, honestly I preferred New York. And it seemed for many of the days leading up to the final decision that he would be returning to the team where he blossomed into an international sensation.
In fact, the news that Jeremy Lin would not be coming back to New York Knick, and would instead become a Houston Rocket, came less than a week after New York head coach Mike Woodson said Jeremy Lin would absolutely return to the Knicks as the team's starting point guard next season. It also comes just a few days after a Knicks source told ESPN that the team was willing to match Houston's offer sheet for up to a billion dollars.
And it seemed like that was bound to be the next phase of Linsanity, during which Jeremy Lin broke records when he averaged 14 points and 7 assists in 25 NBA games, during which he scored 20 points nine times in 10 games and scored 38 points in a gem of a performance against the Los Angeles Lakers.
But in the end, the monetary implications inherent in re-signing Lin convinced the Knicks that it was better to just go ahead and let Lin go to Houston, despite all the attention he brought to the team, and his massive popularity with many New York fans.
That third-year balloon in his sticker price was the clincher for the Knicks. The Rockets almost definitely designed Lin's contract to be back-loaded as such, knowing that the Knicks would be hit hard in the wallet if Lin were to stay in New York, as
The Knicks also made some moves in the past couple of weeks that called into question the team's claim that they would be bringing Jeremy Lin back as starting floor general.
First they picked up veteran point guard Jason Kidd, a 10-time All-Star who led the Dallas Mavericks to an NBA championship in 2011, but who at 39 years old is showing signs of his age.
Then the Knicks signed point guard Raymond Felton and jettisoned Landry Fields in a major day of deals. As such, Jeremy Lin was not anywhere near as needed for the squad as he was just a month ago.
And now he's a Houston Rocket, despite what anyone would have expected.
I still have to kinda remind myself that this is all happening sometimes, Lin said during Thursday's presser.
So do we, Jeremy.
Click play below to watch a video from the press conference introducing Jeremy Lin as a Houston Rocket: