But the "chink in the armour" gag, written at 2.30am at the end of Federico's shift after the Knicks narrowly lost to New Orleans, was viewed by many as racist.
The headline was removed from the website after 35 minutes, and ESPN issued a statement describing the phrase as "offensive and inappropriate.
"We again apologise, especially to Mr Lin," it said. "His accomplishments are a source of great pride to the Asian-American community, including the Asian-American employees at ESPN."
Lin himself appeared relaxed about the remarks, after returning to winning ways against the Dallas Mavaricks last night (SUN).
He said: "I don't think it was on purpose or whatever, but they have apologised and so from my end I don't care anymore.
"Have to learn to forgive and I don't even think that was intentional. Or hopefully not."
Federico has also apologised to Lin, saying that he did not realise that what he wrote would be offensive.
"This had nothing to do with me being cute or punny," he told the New York Daily News.
"I'm so sorry that I offended people. I'm so sorry if I offended Jeremy."
Bretos was suspended after turning to another commentator on air and asking: "If there is a chink in the armour, where can he improve his game?" He too has said that he meant no racial reference, and disclosed that his wife was Chinese.
"My wife is Asian, would never intentionally say anything to disrespect her and that community," he said. "Despite intention, phrase was inappropriate in this context."
Lin has scored an average of 25 points a game since he began starting for the Knicks, one of the highest tallies in the team's history.