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August 19, 2017

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Anthony a factor behind Lin's Knicks exit: report

LOS ANGELES--An article published on the ESPN website said that New York Knicks star forward Carmelo Anthony played a role in the departures of the team's former point guard Jeremy Lin this summer and former coach Mike D'Antoni earlier in the year.

Lin, who shot to fame in early February not long before Anthony became injured, drove the Knicks to seven consecutive wins and became a worldwide sensation from being a relatively unknown benchwarmer.

Anthony returned in mid-February to "a team vastly different from the one he had left," Tim Keown wrote in the story posted on the website Oct. 16.

"Carmelo's dream was to go to New York and be the man," a source close to several Knicks players told ESPN. "That's why he fought to get out of Denver, and all of a sudden this little guy nobody's ever heard of is living his dream."

The Knicks lost eight of the first 10 games following Anthony's return, partly because at one point he refused to follow D'Antoni's five-man technique and insisted on going solo, the story said.

"Lin was getting what Carmelo was promised," said a source close to the team. "And Carmelo thought D'Antoni was going to favor Jeremy, so he had to get D'Antoni out of there."

William "Worldwide Wes" Wesley, a consultant for the agency that represents Anthony and a good friend of Knicks owner James Dolan, reportedly later told Dolan about Anthony's displeasure with "the direction of the team under D'Antoni."

Soon after, D'Antoni resigned and assistant coach Mike Woodson took over as acting coach in mid March. With Anthony clearly being "more engaged and energetic on the defensive," the Knicks won 18 of the final 24 games and secured a spot in the playoffs.

Before Lin suffered a knee injury in late March that ended his season, he did not play in his previous center role under Woodson's tenure.

The Harvard graduate eventually signed a US$25 million three-year contract with the Houston Rockets in July after New York failed to match the deal to keep the restricted free-agent.

The story was cited by U.S. sports website Bleacher Report, which described Anthony as "reportedly jealous of Linsanity" and alleged that he ran Lin out of New York.

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