Upset young Lin fan still rooting for Knicks

August, 9, 2012
8/09/12
9:21
AM ET
Naim Shabazz is taking Jeremy Lin's advice.

He's back to rooting for the Knicks.

The 5-year-old Knicks fan and YouTube sensation was despondent after New York declined to match Houston's three-year, $25.1 million contract offer to Lin.

You may have seen the video. If not, just click here.

He says at the 1:55 mark of the clip (which was recorded by his father) that he's done with the Knicks.

"I don't like them anymore," says Naim.

His dad can relate.

Husein Shabazz is a long-time Knicks fan, and he feels his son's pain.

"The Knicks have done this to me a couple of times," Husein said by phone on Wednesday.

Husein thought his son's reaction to Lin was unique, so he decided to film it and share with a few friends.

His buddies who were Knicks fans were drawn to it.

"They said, 'Yeah, this is pretty much how we feel,'" Husein said with a laugh.

After seeing how his buddies reacted to the video, Husein decided to post it on Lin's Facebook page.

Lin saw the video and apparently, it touched a nerve.

Because at around 8 p.m. last Wednesday, Lin sat down in front of his computer and had a 25-minute conversation with Naim and Husein via Skype.

"It was unbelievable," Husein said by phone.

Lin advised Naim to remain loyal to the Knicks.

"You need to still root for them," he told Naim, "'Cause they’re gonna be a great team with or without me, all right? So you have to keep going to their games and watching them. They'll be really good.”

It took a full 24 hours to sink in, but eventually Naim agreed. He told his dad last Thursday that he'd root for New York again.

"Jeremy convinced him," Hussein said, adding that what Lin did was "indescribable" and called the 23-year-old the perfect role model.

A few weeks from now, Naim will attend his first day of kindergarten.

If Naim's teacher asks him to tell the class what he did over the summer, the young fan from Yonkers will have a pretty remarkable story to tell.

"Naim can tell kids that he had a virtual meeting with Jeremy Lin," Husein said. "That's pretty awesome."

You can follow follow Ian Begley on Twitter.

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TEAM LEADERS

POINTS
Carmelo Anthony
PTS AST STL MIN
27.4 3.1 1.2 38.7
OTHER LEADERS
ReboundsC. Anthony 8.1
AssistsP. Prigioni 3.5
StealsI. Shumpert 1.2
BlocksA. Bargnani 1.2