Sports

Lin’s Departure A Surprise To Former Teammates

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NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 24:  Walker Russell #23 of the Detroit Pistons drives against Jeremy Lin #17 of the New York Knicks on March 24, 2012 at Madison Square Garden in New York City.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2012 NBAE  (Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images)

NEW YORK, NY – MARCH 24: Walker Russell #23 of the Detroit Pistons drives against Jeremy Lin #17 of the New York Knicks on March 24, 2012 at Madison Square Garden in New York City. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2012 NBAE (Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images)

BRIAN MAHONEY,AP Basketball Writer

MANCHESTER, England (AP) — Jeremy Lin’s departure from New York surprised his former coach and teammates, and even the player on the wrong end of his best performance.

Lin became a Houston Rocket on Tuesday night when the Knicks refused to match a three-year deal worth about $25 million, ending a brief but amazing run as New York’s point guard.

U.S. Olympians Carmelo Anthony and Tyson Chandler both believed the Knicks wanted Lin back and he wanted to return, but that the Rockets’ offer made that too hard for Lin to pass up and the Knicks to afford.

Neither knows what Lin’s ceiling is, but former Knicks coach Mike D’Antoni says he’s going to be a good player. Kobe Bryant, whose Lakers were the opponent when Lin scored a career-high 38 points, agreed.

(© Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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