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 perceived as a shot at Anthony — though Stoudemire later discounted that claim, saying he and Melo are “family.”
Whomever Stoudemire was targeting with his comments, it doesn’t matter to Lin, who scored 21 points in the Hornets’ 105-100 win over the Nets Tuesday night at Barclays Center.
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 the game. “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 reportedly didn’t 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.”
Lin had more to say about his friendship with Stoudemire.
“I appreciate Amar’e,” Lin said after the game of the current Heat forward. “He’s a great guy. He was a great teammate. And I loved playing with him. I still keep in touch with him now.”
Lin’s 21 points Tuesday night came one day after he scored 29 in Charlotte’s improbable win over the Spurs. He is averaging 11.7 points, 3.1 rebounds and 2.9 assists in close to 26 minutes a 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 salary 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. One of those could be the fact that Lin’s agent reached out to the Knicks this past summer and was told there was no interest.
Either way, Lin said he 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 home court advantage, man, I’m all into that.
“I don’t even want to start thinking about it just yet.”