Lin tweeted about his excitement in returning to Houston, and thanked the Knicks and New York fans for his time in the Big Apple.
Much love and thankfulness to the Knicks and New York for your support this past year...easily the best year of my life #ForeverGrateful— Jeremy Lin (@JLin7) July 18, 2012
When the clock struck midnight, Lin officially became a Houston Rocket, according to the New York Post.
“I can confirm we are not matching,” a Knicks spokesman told the Post in the last hour.
Linsanity will now take his worldwide marketability and his basketball upside to the Houston Rockets, and the Knicks will likely start the 2012-13 season with Raymond Felton and Jason Kidd sharing time at point guard.
For several days now, league sources have claimed the Knicks would not match the Rockets’ three-year, $25.1 million offer sheet to Lin.
Some time after 10 p.m. EST, the Knicks notified the Houston Rockets of their decision, ending the speculation.
Lin fans held out hope that the Knicks might make an 11th-hour reversal, but the $14.9 million "poison pill," third-year salary was just too much to swallow for a team already expected to be well over the salary cap in 2014-15.
After exploding onto the scene in February, leading the woebegone Knicks to a seven-game win streak, Lin's popularity transcended sports and garnered global attention.
In 35 games, including 25 starts, Lin averaged 14.6 points and 6.2 assists. His season ended in late March after knee surgery to repair a torn meniscus.
Only last week, Knicks head coach Mike Woodson said Lin would be back in New York.