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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.

Raymond Felton says he is a better point guard than Jeremy Lin

Raymond Felton has some pretty big shoes to fill. He is well aware of that. The Jeremy Lin frenzy in New York last year was one that is unrivaled by any other in sports that doesn’t have to do with Tim Tebow. Linsanity became an infectious disease across New York, and the fans loved every second of it. Now, he’s gone and Felton is supposed to take his place. The former Blazers guard said there is no question he can do it.

“I am a competitor, I am a point guard just like he is, so do I think I am better? Of course, I am going to say that,” Felton said according to the NY Post. “I think I am better than any point guard. That’s the way I am supposed to think. But at the same time it’s nothing personal between me and Jeremy. But people are going to make it about that. I am fine with that.”

Chances are, Felton will not be able to win New York over the way Lin did even if he performs as well. He played well with the Knicks for 54 games during the 2010-2011 season (over 17 ppg) before being shipped to Denver in the Carmelo Anthony deal, but that was under Mike D’Antoni. Lin and Felton were both beneficiaries of D’Antoni’s point guard-friendly system, but as we know Mike is gone.

Losing Lin is about more than just basketball to the fans in New York. His story made him a celebrity. Felton is a former fifth overall pick out of UNC who has been a good player throughout most of his career but has ultimately underachieved. Having come out of Harvard and almost been forced out of the NBA, Lin has a completely different background. In reality, Felton will probably never be a New York celebrity that inspires fans to make posters like this.

Photo credit: Kelley L Cox-US PRESSWIRE

Jeremy Lin says he’s not about the money

Jeremy Lin may have left New York for Houston and the $25.1 million contract they offered him, but the new Rockets point guard says he’s not about the money.

Lin did an interview with ESPN’s Rachel Nichols on Thursday and was asked an open-ended softball question: Are there any public perceptions out there that are bothering you? That’s when Lin tried to say he’s not greedy.

“That all I care about is money,” Lin answered. “Anyone who really knows me knows that I’ve never been about that.”

Regardless of what Lin says, many people will view him as greedy because he left the Knicks for a fat contract. Players don’t often get the benefit of the doubt from fans when it comes to contract negotiations, and Lin is no exception.

Lin also said he’s not sure why he’s not a Knick. He says he recognized that the Knicks were unlikely to match his offer sheet from Houston when he heard all the reports about New York acquiring Ray Felton.

Fans can talk all the trash about Lin that they want, but he says it won’t bother him.

“You have to say something about my mom or my family for me to really really get upset,” he said. “But I still have love for everybody out there.”

Lin may have killed the New York marketing dream by leaving the Knicks, but I think he’ll still do fine in Houston. And I don’t have any problem with him signing a rich contract offered to him by a team. Why shouldn’t he sign somewhere he’s really wanted and valued?

Jeremy Lin on signing with Rockets: ‘Honestly, I preferred New York’

Knicks fans may need a few days before it officially sinks in, but Jeremy Lin is a Houston Rocket. Between the knee injury last season and New York letting Lin walk in free agency, Linsanity ended about as quickly as it began. With New York’s decision to not match Houston’s $25.1 million offer, Jeremy’s life will undergo yet another rapid change. During an interview with Pablo S. Torre of Sports Illustrated, Lin made it clear that he is thrilled the Rockets gave him the opportunity but admitted he would have liked to stay in New York.

“Honestly, I preferred New York,” Lin said. “But my main goal in free agency was to go to a team that had plans for me and wanted me. I wanted to have fun playing basketball. … Now I’m definitely relieved.

“I love the New York fans to death. That’s the biggest reason why I wanted to return to New York. The way they embraced me, the way they supported us this past season, was better than anything I’ve ever seen or experienced. I’ll go to my grave saying that. What New York did for me was unbelievable. I wanted to play in front of those fans for the rest of my career.”

The Knicks were the only team remaining in the NBA that was willing to give Lin a shot. He became a celebrity practically overnight, with the fans in New York making crazy posters about him and Spike Lee even wearing Jeremy’s high school jersey. The Knicks claimed they intended to keep him and make him a starter. It makes perfect sense that Lin would feel a connection to the city and its fan base, but such is life in the world of professional sports. The marketing machine belongs to Houston now.

H/T Pro Basketball Talk

Connor Barwin offers up his couch for Jeremy Lin (Picture)

Toward the beginning of last season, Jeremy Lin had a slightly different financial situation than the one he currently has. For that reason, he was sleeping on a couch in his brother’s living room. Considering Lin wasn’t sure if he even had a future in the NBA, it was a fiscally responsible decision. Now that he has signed a three-year, $25.1 million contract with the Rockets, Lin doesn’t have to worry about sleeping on other people’s furniture anymore. But if he still wants to, Texans linebacker Connor Barwin has him covered.

Barwin tweeted the photo you see above on Tuesday night with the following text: “It’s official @JLin7 can shoot free throws from his new bed!”

He’s even got a hoop set up and everything. Some Knicks players felt as though Lin’s teammates would be bothered by his big contract. Now, they don’t have to worry about it. The Houston community has wasted no time taking him in.

Houston Rockets land Jeremy Lin after Knicks choose not to match bloated offer

Jeremy Lin is officially a Houston Rocket for the second time in his career.

Lin became a member of the Houston Rockets on Tuesday night when the Knicks decided not to match the three-year $25.1 million offer Houston made to him during his period as a restricted free agent. The $8 million per year figure may have been doable for New York, but it was the bloated $15 million “poison pill” he was owed in 2014-2015 that most likely discouraged the Knicks.

Had New York matched the contract and retained Lin, they would have owed $77.3 million to four players that season — Jeremy Lin, Tyson Chandler, Amar’e Stoudemire, and Carmelo Anthony — and they would have owed $50-60 million in league taxes per the terms of the new CBA. New York would have had plenty of time to work around that crazy thought and could have traded Stoudemire and possibly waived Melo with the amnesty provision, but they decided to keep the team’s current core together in hopes of making a title run. They also opted to go the cheaper route by agreeing to a sign-and-trade with Portland where they acquired Ray Felton, and by adding Jason Kidd as a backup.

The Knicks would have been a better team with Lin, and now they’ve upset a big part of their fan base by getting rid of the best thing that’s happened to the team in years. But at that price, and without Mike D’Antoni (under whom Lin flourished as a point guard), it was the right move for the team to make even if it hurts them in the short-term. Linsanity had died and the fans will be satisfied as long as the team wins. That’s something they can do with or without Lin, as long as they manage things well in the future.

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