Carmelo Anthony on Jeremy Lin: “He is the face of (Nets) franchise – believe it or not”

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Carmelo Anthony was throwing shade at Brooklyn after Knicks practice Friday.

Or at least it came off that way. Anthony was asked about Brooklyn’s offseason signing of Jeremy Lin to a three-year, $36 million deal, and he seemed surprised that the former (and much-loved) Knicks was now back in New York, a subway ride away. He seemed surprised the Nets brought him in as the face of the franchise — then it sounds like he tries to soften that edge. Via Marc Berman of the New York Post:

“He is the face of their franchise – believe it or not,’’ Anthony said after Friday’s practice. “He came up, they paid him. Now the ball is in his hands. Now he’s one of the franchise players over there. I don’t know what you want me to say about that. I’m happy for him, excited for him to see how it’s going to turn out over there.’’

I’m not sure why it’s a surprise — the Lin signing makes a lot of sense for both sides.

For Lin, he gets to start and gets the ball in his hands, something he hasn’t had consistently since the Linsanity days (at least until Anthony got healthy and returned to that team, that duo had poor chemistry). He’s going to be able to run the high pick-and-roll with Brook Lopez, attack downhill, find shooters (such as they are in Brooklyn), and play to his strengths. Lin looked good in a 21-point preseason debut for Brooklyn (outside one Shaqtin’ a Fool blown layup). The Nets aren’t going to be very good, but Lin should have a solid season as a starter, maybe a good one.

For the Nets, point guard was a black hole last season and Lin is a quality upgrade. Plus, he should help sell some tickets to a team that is trying to rebuild but is probably still at the base camp of that Everest.

This deal made sense for both sides.

It just seemed to catch Carmelo off guard.