Updated 11:37 AM EST, Fri, Jan 15, 2021

Jeremy Lin Welcomed by Lakers, Reclaims No. 17 Jersey

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Scan Madison Square Garden during any given New York Knicks game and one will find Jeremy Lin jerseys scattered about. He was the driving force behind the team's 2011-12 playoff run and caused a spike in No. 17 jersey sales.

After two underwhelming years in Houston, Lin is bringing "Linsanity" to Los Angeles, along with the number he donned during his breakout season.


The Lakers acquire Lin-along with a future first round pick and 2015 second round pick-in exchange for the rights to Ukrainian center Sergei Lishchuk. More importantly, only $8 million of $15 million Lin is owed counts against their salary cap.

During "Linsanity's" peak, the Taiwanese-American point guard averaged 14.6 points, 6.2 assists, and 3.1 rebounds per game. His jersey sales' trailed only Chicago's Derrick Rose in 2012.

"I'm not trying to relive that banner season," Lin said during his introductory press conference Thursday. "I'm not trying to recreate a 'Linsanity.' I'm not trying to be that phenomenon that happened in New York. I think I just want to be myself more than ever."

Lin expected re-sign with New York, especially after the team's claim they would match any offer up to $1 billion. They didn't; Lin signed a three-year, $25 million deal with the Rockets while taking the No. 7 jersey.

Houston courted Knicks superstar Carmelo Anthony before trading Lin. Ironically, they posted images of Anthony in his No. 7 near entrances to the Toyota Center. For his part, Lin responded by quoting a bible verse.


Now the 25-year-old point guard joins a downtrodden Lakers team reeling from their first missed postseason in nine years. He likely takes Steve Nash's starting slot, barring a miracle recovery from the 18-year NBA veteran.


As for Lin's decision to reclaim the No. 17? Lakers' small forward Xavier Henry already wears the No. 7, giving Lin reason to choose his number with the Knicks and D-League Reno Bighorns.

"I'm not trying to be a player from the past. I'm trying to make history again," Lin said. "It's not so much about me trying to be something that happened beforehand, and now I'm looking to the future and trying to be a much bigger and better player than I was ever before."

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