- Last Updated: 9:29 AM, July 18, 2012
- Posted: 2:20 AM, July 18, 2012
One of sports’ most all-time captivating rags to riches stories, the rise of Jeremy Lin, is turning the page to its next chapter.
But it won’t be set in New York.
The Knicks confirmed Tuesday night they have officially severed ties with the 23-year-old point guard who made Linsanity an international sensation, by declining to match Houston’s 3-year, $25.1 million back-loaded offer sheet.
The Knicks had until 11:59 last night to inform the Rockets of their decision, but confirmed the move nearly two hours before the deadline.
“I can confirm we are not matching,” a Knicks spokesman said via text message.
NYPost.com reported Saturday night and The Post reported Sunday the Knicks would not match Lin’s offer and instead would make Raymond Felton the starting point guard after agreeing to reacquire him in a sign and trade with Portland.
Lin acknowledged the Knicks’ decision on his Twitter account not long after the team’s widely expected decision to part ways was made public. Lin was briefly with the Rockets last season before being cut and tweeted last night he was “Extremely excited and honored to be a Houston Rocket again!! #RedNation’’.
He also expressed his gratitude toward the Knicks.
“Much love and thankfulness to the Knicks and New York for your support this past year ... easily the best year of my life #ForeverGrateful.”
Earlier, shortly after the Knicks’ decision became official, a reporter from The Post knocked on the door of Lin’s family home in Palo Alto, Calif.
“No, no, no, no,” was the initial response from Lin who seemed genuinely surprised to see a reporter at the door before closing it while saying “sorry.”
A second attempt to talk to Lin was met with his mother politely saying her son didn’t want to talk. He is expected to participate in a conference call today.
Knicks fans had clung to the glimmer of hope their team would have a sudden change of heart and re-sign Lin so the one-time inhabitant of his friends’ and relatives’ couches would suit up at the Garden again next season. Didn’t happen.
“U will be missed my friend,” tweeted Knicks forward Steve Novak, who began his career with the Rockets. “As great a teammate as I’ve had. Wish u all the best in H-town!’’
The Knicks were angered when the Rockets reworked their original offer, a four-year, $28.9 million proposal that was far more palatable to the Knicks. But in the revised deal the Rockets added a poison pill in the third year — worth $14.9 million — that would slam the Knicks for an estimated $43 million in luxury taxes. The Rockets were said to have reconfigured the deal after Lin advised them he had assurances from the Knicks they would match.Follow @NYPostsports