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Newest Ranger John Scott invites Jeremy Lin to punch him in the hallway

Mar 1, 2012, 12:30 PM EDT

john scott AP

A couple of weeks ago, John Scott — then a member of the Chicago Blackhawks — took in a Knicks game with teammates Patrick Kane and Patrick Sharp. While Kane was impressed with New York point guard Jeremy Lin (“He definitely dished,” Kane said), the 6-foot-8, 270-pound enforcer was less enthralled.

“Not very impressed — I think D-Rose can take him,” Scott told reporters, pledging his Windy City allegiance to Bulls PG Derrick Rose. (He also said Lin needed to work on his defense.)

Little did Scott know that comment would eventually haunt him.

See, Scott’s now a member of the New York Rangers, having been acquired at the trade deadline. That means he now works in the heart of Linsanity — Madison Square Garden — and, as such, was asked on Wednesday if he’d like to clarify his earlier Lin-alysis.

“No, it’s O.K.,” Scott said. “You can’t kill a guy for offering his opinion. I was just saying he had one weakness to work on. Most of us have a lot more than that. Look at me. No one thought I could make it to the N.H.L., and there are a lot of people who still don’t think I belong.

“I haven’t come close to reaching his level, and I never will, but I can relate to Jeremy. I hope I get to meet him soon at the Garden or the practice facility. For what I said, he can even punch me in the hallway if he wants to.”

Call it workplace vioLINce.

/I’ll show my way out.

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