No one was more stunned about New York Knicks head coach Mike D'Antoni's resignation than the man at the center of all of the Linsanity— Jeremy Lin, himself.
"I was surprised," Lin said of D'Antoni's departure. "I know some people were talking about it and what-not, but I didn't know the reality of it. I figured after the shoot-around he's definitely be here."
"What he did for my career, I'm not going to forget what he did for me personally," Lin said. "It's very emotional. I'm sad to see him go and I owe a lot to him."
Lin has many reasons to be thankful for D'Antoni.
The Knicks coach took a chance on the little used and oft-travelled point guard— who was bunking on his brother's couch— when he got the chance to show his skills. Putting Lin in the starting lineup turned New York and the NBA upside-down.
Lin thrived under D'Antoni's fast-paced system and turned the Knicks from a plodding, boring team into a winning sensation. The team was 8-1 after Lin was given the chance to take over on Feb. 4 and brought roaring crowds back to Madison Square Garden.
Interim coach Mike Woodson— a defensive coach— indicated he will make changes to the Knicks lineup and style of play, but after one game, the most noticeable difference was a lull in Lin's game. He finished last night's 121-79 rout of Portland with un-Lin-teresting numbers (six points, six assists and six turnovers).
Whether or not it was Carmelo Anthony's return or if D'Antoni lost control of the team as the reasons for the end of Linsanity, it's a moot point now. D"Antoni is gone and Linsanity has subsided.
Lin, on the other hand, will continue to take the changes in stride.
"It's going to be, including the D-league, like my sixth or seventh system in the last year and a half. It'll be all right," Lin said with a smile after last night's game. "We're not going to change everything. Some things will be the same."
One thing that won't ever be the same is the few weeks of optimism that thing called Linsanity brought to the Garden.