Lin was 'extremely close' to playing in Italy

How's this for Linsane?

Jeremy Lin says he was "extremely close" to playing for an Italian club during the lockout.

"I booked a flight to go back to California to get my visa done and everything so I could go to Italy," Lin said on Wednesday after the Knicks' win over the Cavs.

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Lin: Game By GamePhoto Gallery LatestLiveLin says the Italian club Teramo Basket offered him a deal but rescinded it before he could accept. Instead, they gave it to Hofstra product Charles Jenkins. So Lin ended up staying in the United States.

"I found out that they offered it to (Jenkins) so I was like, 'OK, no Italy.' And the lockout ended a couple days later, so it was perfect," Lin said.

Lin was cut by the Warriors and Houston Rockets in the preseason before getting claimed off of waivers by the Knicks.

He was buried on the New York bench for his first month with the team. The Knicks decided to give Lin a shot in part because the team faced a deadline by which it had to guarantee his contract or cut him.

They gave him a chance to play in early February and he led the team to a season-high seven straight wins. They are 10-3 since Lin first played major minutes on Feb. 4 against the Nets.

There's a chance if Lin signs with the Italian club things don't fall into place for his star turn in New York.

But Lin's agent, Roger Montgomery, told ESPNNewYork.com earlier this season that any deal Lin signed with a European club would have included an out clause to return to the NBA once the lockout ended. Lin was under contract at the time with the Golden State Warriors.

Just how close was he to playing in Italy?

"I was close, I was extremely close," Lin said.

Luckily for the Knicks, he decided against it.

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