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Guard Lin becomes Rocket

HOUSTON — Jeremy Lin's incredible run in New York won't have a sequel.

The Knicks announced Tuesday, shortly before their deadline to match Houston's offer sheet, that they would let their popular guard go.

The Rockets signed Lin to a three-year, $25 million deal just months after releasing him.

"Extremely excited and honored to be a Houston Rocket again!!" read a post on Lin's Twitter account, @JLin7. "Much love and thankfulness to the Knicks and New York for your support the past year … easily the best year of my life."

The NBA's first American-born player of Taiwanese or Chinese descent catapulted to stardom in February when he joined a struggling Knicks team and sparked a quick turnaround, averaging 21 points and 8.4 assists.

The undrafted Harvard graduate went from sleeping on a teammate's couch to becoming the flavor of the month, inspiring catchphrases ("Linsanity") and T-shirt slogans ("All He Does is Lin"), not to mention selling out MSG as Taiwan's Tourism Bureau suddenly began advertising on Knicks' radio broadcasts.

Lin initially agreed to a four-year offer sheet worth about $28 million. The Rockets then revised the offer, making it three years and including a guarantee of about $15 million in the third year.

That, and the fact that the Knicks just picked up two other point guards, Jason Kidd and Raymond Felton, ended Lin's run with the Knicks.

New York has $70 million in the 2014-15 season committed to Carmelo Anthony, Amare Stoudemire, Steve Novak, Tyson Chandler, Kidd and Felton. Keeping Lin would have pushed that figure to $85 million — and triggered a luxury tax hit of at least $30 million and perhaps $40 million.

Lin added huge international value for the Knicks. That now falls to the Rockets, already immensely popular in Asia since China's Yao Ming played for them.

When Lin burst onto the scene, he made Sports Illustrated's cover in consecutive weeks, only the 12th athlete to do that since 1990.

CLIPPERS: Forward Grant Hill, 39, agreed on a two-year deal, Yahoo Sports reported.

HEAT: Mike Miller believes his balky back can improve without surgery, and he plans to help the NBA champions defend their crown. The former Florida star says that he and his Miami neurosurgeon, Dr. Barth Green, expect that a combination of rest and rehabilitation should suffice.

NUGGETS: The team signed forward/center Anthony Randolph and cut Chris "Birdman" Andersen.

WIZARDS: Forward Andray Blatche was waived, with the team designating him as its amnesty player.

Guard Lin becomes Rocket 07/18/12 [Last modified: Wednesday, July 18, 2012 1:30am]
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