Jeremy Lin says he wanted to stay with Knicks

Jeremy Lin said Wednesday that while he “preferred New York” over Houston, and wanted to play in front of Knick fans “for the rest of my career,” he is now relieved to be joining the Rockets.

Lin told SI.com’s Pablo Torre, a former Harvard classmate, that Knicks GM Glen Grunwald contacted him at 11 p.m. EST on Tuesday night to inform the second-year point guard that the club would not match the $25.1 million offer sheet Lin signed with Houston.

According to Lin, Grunwald said: “We wanted to keep you, but it couldn’t work out. Tell your family I say hello, and good luck the rest of the way.”

Lin then thanked Grunwald and wish him “best of luck in the future.”

“Honestly, I preferred New York,” Lin told Torre. “But my main goal in free agency was to go to a team that had plans for me and wanted me. I wanted to have fun playing basketball. … Now I’m definitely relieved.”

– Reported by Frank Isola of theĀ New York Daily News