Jeremy Lin is not getting involved with the drama between Carmelo Anthony and Amar’e Stoudemire over his tenure with the Knicks.
Jeremy Lin wants nothing to do with whatever tension may be brewing between Carmelo Anthony and Amar’e Stoudemire.
Earlier this month, playing at the Garden for the first time since he was bought out by the Knicks, Stoudemire said he “didn’t think everybody was pleased” with Lin becoming a star during the 2011-12 season. The comment was a perceived shot at Anthony – though Stoudemire later discounted that claim, saying he and Melo are “family.”
For Lin, who is turning heads with a fresh start in Charlotte this season, he’d rather leave any bitterness in the past.
“I can’t speak on behalf of somebody else talking about somebody else,” Lin told the Daily News before Tuesday’s Hornets-Nets game in Brooklyn. “When you talk about journalism or being a professional or whatever, that’s not really what I like to do. I don’t like to guess or assume or predict or whatever. So I’m just going to stay out of it.”
In the aftermath of ‘Linsanity,’ rumors circulated that both Melo and J.R. Smith were unhappy with Lin’s torrid rise to stardom. Melo was reported to not want Lin back, and in the summer of 2012, the Knicks star called Lin’s three-year, $ 25-million deal with the Rockets a “ridiculous contract.”
Lin said his relationship with Melo during his time with the Knicks was “fine.”
“He was always nice to me. He took us out to eat,” Lin said. “I’ve hung out with him a few times and stuff. And so, like I’ve said for a long time, I’ve never had issues with [him].”
Fresh off a 29-point performance in the Hornets’ win over the Spurs on Monday, Lin entered Tuesday night averaging 11.7 points, 2.9 assists and 3.1 rebounds per game this season in close to 26 minutes off the bench. Hornets coach Steve Clifford, a former Knicks assistant, has played Lin at both points guard and shooting guard, which Lin said has provided more “diversity” to his game.
In the process of putting together a Sixth Man of the Year-quality year, Lin has made himself into a rather appealing free-agent acquisition – especially for a team in need of a point guard.
As it turns out, the Knicks are in need of a point guard.
Lin is in the first year of a two-year, $ 4.4-million deal, but the second year is a player option. So Lin is expected to opt out and take advantage of his improved play and the rising cap for next season.
The Knicks could be a fit, as long as certain players are comfortable with Lin’s presence. When asked if Melo leaving the Knicks would increase his chance of returning to the Garden, Lin said there are “many other factors” at play.
For now, Lin is focused on his current situation and the Hornets’ postseason run.
“I don’t really want to look to far ahead,” Lin said. “For me, after going through what I went through last year in L.A., to be in this position, fighting for playoff positioning and possibly homecourt advantage, man, I’m all into that.
“I don’t even want to start thinking about it just yet.”