Mets manager Terry Collins spent the morning in Port St....

Mets manager Terry Collins spent the morning in Port St. Lucie before taking a helicopter to Miami to watch the Knicks-Heat game at night in Miami. (Feb. 23, 2012) Credit: AP

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -- Jeff Wilpon, Sandy Alderson and Terry Collins boarded a helicopter on Field 2 Thursday for the commute to American Airlines Arena in Miami.

That turned what is usually a two-hour drive down Route 95, without traffic, into a trip that took about 25 minutes.

Collins, for one, was looking forward to seeing the Jeremy Lin phenomenon firsthand.

"I'm kind of caught up in it," Collins said. "I want to see this guy play. I've seen three of the games on TV and I'm as enamored as anybody because I think it's one of the great, great stories. He's the perfect guy that any coach can now talk about.

"Here's a guy who's days from being released, days from quitting, emotionally strung out, finally got his chance and said this is my chance. I'm making the most of it. It's what we tell every player at every level, no matter how good they are, how good they think they are, he's the story."

In another interesting twist, Jose Reyes also was supposed to be at the game, which amused his former manager.

"Good," Collins said. "I'll be sitting behind him throwing popcorn down his shirt."