'Best year' of Lin's life? Try unpredictable
July, 18, 2012
By Jared Zwerling | ESPNNewYork.com
After becoming a Rocket late Tuesday night, Jeremy Lin tweeted: "Extremely excited and honored to be a Houston Rocket again!! Much love and thankfulness to the Knicks and New York for your support this past year ... easily the best year of my life. I'm forever grateful!"
How about the most unpredictable year of his life? Here's a rundown of the top 10 things that made it that way:
1. Lin plays a total of about 50 minutes over the first 22 games with the Knicks, and then plays 70 percent of that time in just one game on Feb. 4, his breakthrough performance, recording 25 points and seven assists against the Nets. Just two nights later, he gets his first start.
2. Four nights later, on Feb. 10, he outscores Kobe Bryant, going for a career-high 38 points.
3. After continuing his tear, he's elected to the Rising Stars Challenge at All-Star Weekend in Orlando, where he holds his own news conference, like NBA commissioner David Stern does. And there's more media in attendance at Lin's.
4. In late March, word spreads that Lin is hurt, not realizing the severity. Next thing you know it's a small chronic meniscal tear in his left knee. Out approximately six weeks. Linsanity done?
5. During the playoffs, there's some talk of a Linsanity return, but will he? The Knicks create some suspense, but then decide to shut him down.
6. At season's end, Mike Woodson says that Lin will not only be "absolutely" back, but he'll be the starting point guard. Then a few weeks later, Glen Grunwald says his priority is to re-sign the team's free agents, including Lin. But he decides to sit back first and see what Lin's market value will be.
7. So in early July, Lin takes a meeting -- his only one -- with the Rockets, where they surprise everyone with a hefty offer sheet. But, still, sources say the Knicks will match anything for Lin up to "a billion dollars."
8. Then around that time, Woodson repeats his "absolutely" comments, and fans feel confident about Linsanity Part II.
9. All of a sudden, the Rockets up the ante and change the third-year amount in the offer sheet to include $14.8 million guaranteed in the third year. But, again, the feeling is that the Knicks will match no matter what.
10. However, in the closing days and hours, the unpredictability factor strikes again -- this time without reversing course. It becomes clear that Lin won't return.
And that's just what the Knicks officially announced late Tuesday night.
You can follow Jared Zwerling on Twitter.
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