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Carmelo Anthony: Jeremy Lin “is the face of that franchise, believe it or not.”

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New York Knicks All-Star Carmelo Anthony was his blunt self on Friday, when he was asked if the Brooklyn Nets signing Jeremy Lin was making him “the face” of the franchise.

“What do I think about it? … He is the face of that franchise, believe it or not. He came up, they paid him and now the ball is in his hands,” Anthony told ESPN’s Ian Begley. “So now he’s one of the franchise players over there. What do you want me to say about that? I’m happy for him, excited for him to see how it’s going to work out, turn out over there.”

The Knicks handed the Nets their first preseason loss on Saturday, as Anthony led all scorers with 16 points on 6-of-11 shooting.

Lin sat out the game due to a coach’s decision along with forward Luis Scola.

While some might take the “believe it or not” part of his answer as an indirect shot at Lin, Anthony was clearly not expecting the question as it’s mostly unrelated to his team aside from being in the same division.

Lin surely did get the franchise treatment on Saturday by getting a rest day in the Nets second preseason game after his 21-point outing in the Nets 101-94 win over the Detroit Pistons on Thursday.

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