Carmelo Anthony of the New York Knicks reacts in the...

Carmelo Anthony of the New York Knicks reacts in the second half against the Miami Heat in Game 4. (May 6, 2012) Credit: Getty Images

WASHINGTON -- If Carmelo Anthony had his wish, Jeremy Lin would be sporting a Knicks uniform again in the fall.

Anthony wants to see Lin wowing crowds at the Garden again, and he said he believes the point guard and Knicks owner James Dolan would like to make it happen if at all possible.

Whether that's the case won't be known officially until 11:59 p.m. Tuesday, when the Knicks face a hard deadline to match the Rockets' three-year, $25.1-million offer sheet.

"I hope we get it done, man," the Knicks forward said Monday night after Team USA's 80-69 win over Brazil at the Verizon Center, the team's final tuneup in the United States before heading overseas Tuesday to continue preparations for the Olympics later this month.

"I would love to see him back, honestly. I would definitely love to see him back. But knowing the business of basketball, it's a tough situation, kind of for both of our sides. With Jeremy, I know he definitely wants to be back in New York and Dolan definitely wants him back. So it's just a matter of figuring it out."

Anthony had taken it from all angles for nearly 36 hours, getting bombarded by people who believed he was out of line Sunday when he termed the offer sheet Houston threw at Jeremy Lin "ridiculous."

Anthony was referring to the third year of Lin's offer -- the $14.89-million "poison pill." Given the Knicks' current commitment to more than $70 million in salary in 2014-15, it's not exactly ideal for their future salary-cap situation.

So Anthony had more than enough time to reflect on the brushfire he caused, but he isn't about to backtrack one bit. He also isn't the least bit bothered by the seemingly nonstop criticism he's received since blasting the Rockets for putting a monkey wrench in Lin's deal.

"I always get backlash. It's nothing new," Anthony said. "It is what it is. It was ridiculous for them to do what they did, as far as throwing that out there and making it tougher on us to sign him back. That's why it's called free agency, though."

Anthony doesn't seem overly bothered by the notion that's floating out there among fans, a perception that he doesn't like Lin for some reason. He has no clue why some think that's the case.

"I don't know," Anthony said. "I can't worry about that. Ask Lin. He'll tell you what a good relationship we have."

The Dolan family owns controlling interests in the Knicks, Madison Square Garden and Cablevision. Cablevision owns Newsday.


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