NEW YORK — To Jeremy Lin, Mike D’Antoni was more than his Knicks head coach. He was his career savior. After going undrafted, not getting a real shot with three NBA teams (the Mavericks, Warriors and Rockets) and being sent down to the D-League three times, Lin found himself at the end of the Knicks’ bench — wondering, praying, hoping he would get a chance.
Then, on Feb. 4 against the Nets, Lin’s world as he knew it changed forever. With 3:34 to play in the first quarter, D’Antoni called Lin’s name for him to sub in for Iman Shumpert. From there, Linsanity was born.
Now, the man who enabled Lin to become a global sports figure will no longer be guiding the second-year player from the sideline. And that thought didn’t sit well with the 23-year-old when he received the news Wednesday morning that D’Antoni was resigning.
“Obviously, I miss him a lot,” Lin said in the Knicks’ locker room Wednesday night, after his team routed the Blazers 121-79. “What he did for my career, I’m not going to forget what he did for me personally. It was very emotional. I’m sad to see him go. I owe a lot to him.”
Lin said he called D’Antoni and received a text message back. “I plan on talking to him for a long time,” Lin said. Behind the scenes, there are many who believe Carmelo Anthony led to…