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Jeremy Lin: Opponents don’t want to be embarrassed by me because I’m Asian

Jeremy Lin is used to having the odds stacked against him. Aside from the fact that his name was never called on draft day and almost every team he has played for has contemplated releasing him at some point, there is the obvious issue of race. There are very few Asian-Americans who have found success in the NBA, and Lin said that has made him somewhat of a target for opponents.

“I’ve always been a target,” he told Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports. “Everyone looks me and says, ‘I’m not going to let that Asian kid embarrass me. I’m going to go at him.’ That’s how it’s been my whole life. This has been different, though. Now, I was on the scouting report. People started to pay attention to what I could and couldn’t do.

“But a target? I was used to that. I’m not saying I get everyone’s best shot, but I would say people don’t want to be embarrassed by me because of my skin color.”

Lin’s contract situation created a ton of buzz at the conclusion of last season. Is he worth the money? The Houston Rockets were willing to pay $25 million over three years for Lin — a contract offer that Carmelo Anthony was not shy in criticizing. J.R. Smith, another one of Lin’s former teammates, said the New York Knicks would be offending their other players if they paid Lin that handsomely.

“I was a little surprised, but I wasn’t shocked,” Lin said of the criticism he received as a free agent. “I honestly feel it’s part of the underlying issue of race in American society … of being an Asian-American. I haven’t figured it out. I haven’t wrapped my head around it. But it’s something I’m thinking about.”

It should be noted that Lin quickly came back to earth when Mike D’Antoni resigned and Mike Woodson took over. Many of his critics may simply be skeptical that his magical run with the Knicks had more to do with D’Antoni’s guard-friendly system than Lin’s skill set. That being said, it would be incredibly naive to say race is not a factor in the criticism he faces.

Photo credit: Derick E. Hingle-US PRESSWIRE

Jeremy Lin accidentally said farewell to Scott Machado when Jeremy Lamb was traded to Thunder

When Jeremy Lin caught wind that one of his new teammates had been traded from the Houston Rockets to the Oklahoma City Thunder, he wanted to do the right thing by calling the rookie and wishing him luck in a new city. The only problem is he called the wrong rookie.

According to the Houston Chronicle, Lin accidentally called rookie guard Scott Machado to wish him well with the Thunder. Obviously he should have called rookie Jeremy Lamb, and as a result he gave Machado quite a scare.

“I was like, ‘Hey, it’s Scott, it’s not Jeremy,’” Machado said when describing the conversation. “’Did you hear something about me?’ I was all nervous. He was like, “Oh, I apologize, I apologize.’ It all worked out.”

Machado was unsure if he would make the Rockets’ roster to begin with until Monday when veteran guard Shaun Livingston was waived, so you can understand why Lin’s phone call restarted an emotional roller coaster that he thought had come to a halt. A new team would have meant a new situation where Machado had to prove himself — something he had already spent an offseason doing in Houston on a non-guaranteed contract.

Crisis averted, Scott. You can go back to getting some shut-eye now.

H/T Game On!
Photo credit: Derick E. Hingle-US PRESSWIRE

Tyson Chandler: Jeremy Lin wasn’t able to run the Knicks’ offense

When Jeremy Lin first took over for the Knicks last season, things appeared to be going quite well. After struggling mightily to start the year, New York ripped off seven straight wins and became one of the hottest teams in the league when Lin was inserted into the lineup. Despite that success, Tyson Chandler says he didn’t quite have a handle on the offense.

“Baron was hurt and Jeremy was a young point guard who was just learning and figuring out an offense,” Chandler told the NY Post. “It was nothing against them and it was definitely nothing against Baron. Jeremy was a young point guard who was inexperienced, who brought a great light to the organization. But as far as being able to run the offense and putting players in the right position he just wasn’t there. We got some veteran point guards that are capable of doing that.”

Many point guards have succeeded in Mike D’Antoni’s offensive scheme, so perhaps Lin’s high scoring totals and ability to take over games was a direct product of that. He may not have been the best at getting everyone involved, but overall the team seemed to do quite well when he was in the lineup.

In reality, Lin is gone now so Chandler can’t be talking about how much better the team was with him. They have no choice but to move forward, and expressing confidence in the current roster rather than dwelling on the past is probably the right thing to do.

Jeremy Lin asks to sleep on teammate’s couch despite big contract

Jeremy Lin may have signed a three-year, $25.1 million deal with the Houston Rockets, but that doesn’t mean he’s too good to sleep on a couch like he did last season.

Lin must be getting ready to move into a new place in Houston before training camp begins, because he apparently texted teammate Chandler Parsons to ask if he could stay at his buddy’s while waiting for his place to get furnished. Parsons shared the following tweet containing a screengrab of a text from Lin:

Lin famously was living on his brother’s couch in New York before breaking out with the Knicks and ultimately getting added to the team’s roster for the rest of the season. Once he got a guaranteed contract with the Knicks, he moved out and got his own place. And even though he’s now set to make multi-millions guaranteed, he’s still not too cool to live on a couch.

But what was the funniest part about Parsons’ tweet? He shared it with the world before actually responding to Lin!

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Jeremy Lin Skype chats with 5-year-old who cried when he left Knicks (Video)

When Jeremy Lin signed with the Rockets and the Knicks chose to not match his offer sheet, there were plenty of long faces to be seen in the New York area. Very few people were more upset than 5-year-old Naim, whose father recorded him for a few minutes as he cried his eyes out when he found out his favorite player had moved on to Houston. That video can be seen below.

The video above that Angry Asian Man shared with us shows Lin’s response to the young fan. Jeremy took time out of his busy schedule to have a Skype session with the five-year-old, who was understandably shy when he realized he was face-to-face with his idol. I think it’s safe to assume Naim is either the newest addition to the Rockets fan base or one of the most loyal Knicks fans in America if he stays on board.

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Yao Ming thinks lack of media coverage in Houston can be good for Jeremy Lin

Jeremy Lin considers Yao Ming to be a role model and sought guidance from him throughout last season. The two became close thanks to the their Asian roots, and Yao even said he tried to sign Lin to his Chinese team during the lockout. Now Lin is following Yao’s career path by signing with the Rockets, and the former All-Star center thinks that will be a good career move for the point guard.

“I’m so glad the Knicks didn’t match the contract,” Yao told the New York Times. “Houston is a good place for Jeremy to come to. It’s a good fit because both sides can provide the best opportunity for each other.

“In Houston, we have a very good community and great fans,” Yao said. “With less media coverage, I think it made me focus more on basketball. I think that’s one reason I played so well.”

Lin recently admitted that Linsanity got to his head last year. Playing in New York with all the media and attention is a big reason why he blew up, but it also results in many distractions. Being in Houston will allow him to focus on his game without worrying about much else. Like Yao says, this should be good for him.

Jeremy Lin admits ‘Linsanity’ got to his head

Jeremy Lin went from being a bench warmer lucky to be on an NBA roster to being the most popular player in the league in a matter of weeks. “Linsanity” took over the NBA as soon as the former Harvard point guard started lighting it up for the Knicks. Being on magazine and newspaper covers became the norm for Lin. He recently admitted that the sudden buildup of “Linsanity” got to his head.

“If I’m being honest, in some ways, yes,” Lin told the Bay Area newsgroup. “I fought it every day. But I think subconsciously it had its effect, everyone catering to you. People were saying only good things for so long that when people said negative stuff, it was like, ‘Whoa, what’s going on?’”

That last quote is pretty funny. Lin got so used to hearing praise that he wondered what was going on when anyone said anything negative. But at least he’s being honest. Who wouldn’t have been affected had they been in his situation? I think it’s a credit to his humility that he can at least admit it.

Lin turned down most endorsements offered to him because he wanted to concentrate on improving his game during his time off, not making money. He also was very humble and spoke graciously about his teammates after games. Lin may have been affected by Linsanity, but he sure handled it exceptionally well.