One guy who’s happy to see Jeremy Lin get his chance to run the show in Brooklyn is former Hornets teammate Kemba Walker.
In an interview with Rick Bonnell of the Charlotte Observer on Thursday, Walker heaped praise on his ex-backup, saying that he deserves his opportunity to start.
“I hate to see him go, but at the same time I’m definitely happy for him,” Walker said. “He deserves to be a starter in this league. He’s such a great player and he proved that last season. There were games where I was off and he carried the team.”
Walker, 26, enjoyed the best statistical season of his career in 2015-16. But Lin’s effectiveness running the second unit took much of the burden off Walker’s shoulders and was instrumental to Charlotte’s surprise sixth-seed playoff berth last year.
For Lin, who signed a three-year deal with the Nets this offseason and will get the chance to be their full-time starting point guard, his rim-attacking mentality and productivity operating out of the pick-and-roll are very much starter-caliber material. It’s great to see that Walker, who is himself becoming one of the Association’s top young point guards, thinks so too.
Image Credit: Sam Sharpe-USA TODAY Sports
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In just 35 games with the New York Knicks a few seasons ago, Jeremy Lin basically became his own brand. The term “Linsanity” was born almost immediately, and the undrafted player out of Harvard was not prepared for it.
That won’t be an issue in Brooklyn.
Lin, who signed a three-year, $36 million deal with the Nets this offseason, has already submitted an application to trademark the phrase “Brook-Lin.”
According to NetsDaily.com, a fan had already applied for the trademark on July 1 but says he willingly transferred it to Lin.
If Lin can rediscover some of his old magic in The Big Apple, he had better hope the trademark gets approved quicker than his trademark for “Linsanity” did. Lin’s lawyers had to send cease and desist letters to marijuana shops for selling products like this when the point guard was with the Knicks. As ESPN’s Darren Rovell notes, it took the “Linsanity” trademark more than four years to be approved.
- Jeremy Lin
Jeremy Lin has played 25 or more minutes per game in each season since he became a household name with the New York Knicks four years ago, but he apparently still has trouble with security staffers not recognizing him when he shows up to work.
In a lengthy interview with Steve Serby of the New York Post, Lin was asked if he still encounters racism on the job or in everyday life. He hinted that he believes he is a victim of racial profiling when he’s stopped by arena security.
“I still get stopped when I try to go through away arenas and stuff, and I’m walking with my teammates, and obviously none of them are Asian but I’m the only one that gets stopped, and they ask for my credentials, stuff like that,” Lin explained. “‘Hey, we need your credentials,’ or ‘Are you part of the team?’ Stuff like that. But I really don’t let it affect me. … I’m so used to it now. It doesn’t bother me.
“There’s gonna be racism everywhere I go, and some of it’s more subtle, some of it’s less malicious. I mean, every day there’s guys with certain stereotypes or whatever, and it’s not just me. But yeah, I still go through it.”
Lin also said he sometimes has “really racist things” said to him on Twitter, but he understands that is an unfortunate part of the world we live in.
If you remember, Lin dealt with insensitive racist jokes almost immediately at the height of his “Linsanity” era in New York. Some of it came from his own team, and there were also ignorant marketing ploys from major companies. It’s a shame he still has to put up with it.
- Jeremy Lin
Jeremy Lin has historically fared well in the New York metropolitan area, and the Brooklyn Nets are hoping that continues into the 2016-17 season.
Nets head coach Kenny Atkinson said on Wednesday that the Nets will be looking to Lin for leadership next year and that the Harvard product will be the team’s full-time point guard, per Andy Vasquez of The Record.
Coach Kenny Atkinson said Nets are looking for Jeremy Lin "for leadership, No. 1." He also said Lin will be the "full-time point guard."
— Andy Vasquez (@andy_vasquez) July 20, 2016
Brooklyn signed the 27-year-old Lin to a three-year, $36 million deal earlier this month. He averaged 11.7 points per game, 3.2 rebounds per game, and 3.0 assists per game for the Hornets last season.
Lin always functioned in more of a secondary role at each of his stops since Linsanity lit the globe ablaze during his time with the Knicks in 2012. While a repeat performance may not necessarily be in the cards in Brooklyn, it should be exciting to see what Lin can do now that he can be top dog in the backcourt once again (and hopefully in a more supportive locker room setting).
Linsanity may have been fun for the general public, but evidently it was not the most fun time for the New York Knicks’ locker room.
Former Knicks coach Mike D’Antoni told Adrian Wojnarowski’s The Vertical podcast that it was difficult to get the Linsanity Knicks playing well because teammates resented him and refused to adapt their games to best accommodate him.
“It was there, it’s real,” D’Antoni said, via Stefan Bondy of the New York Daily News. “The problem that we had was that for Jeremy to be really good, which he was, he had to play a certain way. It was hard for him to adapt.
“Amar’e [Stoudemire], Melo [Carmelo Anthony], whatever, had to play a certain way too to be really, really good. So there was that inherent conflict of what’s better for the team? What isn’t? Can they co-exist? Can they not? And again, they could have co-existed if Melo went to [power forward], which he really didn’t want to and Amare came to back-up Tyson [Chandler at center], which he didn’t want to. So now it’s like, what are we going to do? We could see how to go and I didn’t know how to get there and with losing again and you’re trying to prod them and you’re trying to tell ’em to play harder and all the coach’s speak and communication just like deteriorated.”
D’Antoni said that Anthony in particular was slow to adapt.
“I had one vision that I wanted him to play one way,” D’Antoni said. “He wanted to go the other way. I couldn’t get to my way.”
Stoudemire has made some assertions about Anthony’s role in Linsanity that aren’t positive. D’Antoni seems to be saying as much too. For whatever talent that Knicks team had, it seems that they just couldn’t coexist behind the scenes.
The Brooklyn Nets signed free agent point guard Jeremy Lin to a three-year deal on Friday, less than 24 hours after waiving veteran point guard Jarrett Jack. It would appear that Jack found the roster moves to be hilarious.
Shortly after Lin announced on Twitter that he is now a Net, Jack tweeted the following:
— JARRETT JACK (@Jarrettjack03) July 1, 2016
Of course, the 32-year-old immediately backtracked.
There are more things that make me laugh more than basketball please don't feed into the dumb stuff
— JARRETT JACK (@Jarrettjack03) July 1, 2016
If Jack was laughing at something else, that is one incredible coincidence.
Jack averaged 12.8 points and 7.4 assists while playing just over 32 minutes per game last season. Lin played just over 26 minutes per game with the Charlotte Hornets, averaging 11.7 points and just 3.0 assists. Lin shot only slightly better from the field at 41.2 percent compared to Jack’s 39.1 percent.
The Nets could have kept Jack for $6.3 million next season, but they have instead chosen to pay Lin double that. Since Lin is five years younger, the move is more about potential going forward.
This isn’t the first time a fellow NBA player has been critical of how much Lin gets paid. Sounds like jealousy to me.
Jeremy Lin has signed with the Brooklyn Nets.
Lin, who spoke earlier this offseason about how he wants to find a home where he can stay a while, announced the move on his Twitter account Friday morning.
— Jeremy Lin (@JLin7) July 1, 2016
Adrian Wojnarkowski of The Vertical reports that Lin’s contract is a three-year, $36 million deal with a player option for the third year.
Lin has yet to rediscover the incredible magic of Linsanity that he brought us while he was with the New York Knicks, but that hasn’t stopped him from finding work. The Nets will be his fifth NBA team in six years.