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Lin to work hard in bid to silence doubters

SAN JOSE, California -- Jeremy Lin says he has developed a thick skin over the years, so nothing doubters can say will throw him off his game or spoil the excitement of returning to Houston to play for the Rockets.

“I will always, always have doubters,” Lin told the San Jose Mercury News. “But I really want to reach my potential to bring glory to God. That is more motivation than haters and doubters. I want to work just as hard, give just as much, whether or not I have haters.”

The 23-year-old Lin signed a three-year, US$25 million contract with the Houston Rockets last week.

He said at the time he was “shocked” by the negative reaction of some basketball fans to his decision to leave the New York Knicks for the Lone Star State. But any ill feelings didn't last very long.

“You have to say something about my mom or my family for me to get really, really upset,” Lin said last week when he signed with the Rockets.

Lin said he had really hoped to re-sign with the Knicks but when it came down to the crunch there was only one offer on the table.

“I didn't go back to them and ask for more money,” Lin told the Mercury News.

“It wasn't like they gave me the choice to sign one of the two and I chose the one that would hurt the Knicks. I had one contract offer. That was it.”

The former Knicks star was claimed off waivers by Houston after the New York team refused to match the US$25 million offer sheet, which pays the point guard US$14.8 million in the third year.

Lin said he has tried to stay positive through it all and rise above any petty-mindedness.

His decision to give up potentially millions in endorsements that come with playing in New York prompted Forbes.com to run a story with the headline “Jeremy Lin May Be The Dumbest Harvard Grad Ever.”

“It's not about who's right or who's wrong. I'm going to respond with love,” Lin said.

And Lin says if he had to do it again, he would do it the same way.

“It did kind of hurt,” Lin said. “I had to remind myself who I'm living for. Do I fear God or do I fear man? I know my actions, and I know I would change nothing if I could go back.”

Lin rocketed to fame last season with the Knicks, thrilling New York fans with his clutch shooting and passing skills, sparking the Linsanity phenomenon.

Lin, whose parents are from Taiwan and has a grandmother from China, quickly became a global sensation.

He became the first player in NBA history to score at least 20 points and pass for seven assists in his first five starts.

He appeared on the cover of Sports Illustrated twice and was named one of Time Magazine's 100 Most Influential People as even casual basketball fans found themselves captivated by his Cinderella story.

Lin said he wishes people would look past the US$25 million he will make over the next three years and accept him for who he is. He said the biggest misconception about him is that he did this because of greed.

“It just comes down to knowing who I am as a person,” he said. “People who know me know I didn't want all this. I didn't ask for this. It was uncomfortable.”

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