Jeremy Lin fesses up in an upcoming magazine cover story he not only wanted to remain in New York the next three seasons, he wanted to retire a Knick.

Lin, who will be on the cover of November's issue of GQ, is in training camp with his new team, the Rockets, but in his most emphatic remarks on the subject, he said he preferred New York.

"You can't ask for a city or a fan base to embrace somebody more than they embraced me," Lin said in a 4,300-word piece hitting newsstands today. "I know it's kind of silly to talk about it with only two years under my belt in the league, but going in before free agency, I was like, 'I want to play in front of these fans for the rest of my career.' I really did.

"I really wanted to play in front of the Madison Square Garden fans for the rest of my career, because they're just unbelievable."

It didn't happen that way. After Lin and Houston general manager Daryl Morey ramped up the initial three-year offer sheet by backloading it more severely, the Knicks, furious at the change, balked and obtained Raymond Felton. The final year of Lin's $25 million contract was raised to $14.5 million, and it scared off owner James Dolan because of the new luxury-tax penalties.

"The Rockets thought I was going to be a Knick," Lin said. "They told me when I signed. We think it's an 80 to 95 percent chance of that happening.''