Lin leaves Knicks for Rockets

 New York bid farewell to “Linsanity” on Tuesday when point guard Jeremy Lin was allowed to leave for Houston after the Knicks declined to match a salary offer from the Rockets.

The Knicks had until midnight (0400 GMT) to equal Houston's three-year $25.1 million proposal for the restricted free agent, but decided the valuation was too steep for their resources.

The 23-year-old Lin exploded onto the NBA scene last season as an undrafted and overlooked Ivy League student, who briefly breathed new life into a stuttering Knicks side and made headlines around the globe for his livewire performances.

Lin's breakout campaign was cut short in March, however, when he suffered a season-ending knee injury and missed the playoffs after averaging 14.6 points and 6.2 assists in 35 games of the lockout-shortened season.

“Much love and thankfulness to the Knicks and New York for your support this past year. Easily the best year of my life,” Lin tweeted shortly before the deadline passed. “Extremely excited and honored to be a Houston Rocket again!”

The Los Angeles-born Asian-American had a brief spell with Houston last December, completing seven minutes in two pre-season games before he was cleared off the payroll and claimed by New York.

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