Tuesday, September 27, 2016 | Updated at 8:01 PM ET

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Jeremy Lin Left Off Sport's Illustrated Top 100, Still Seen as Centerpiece for Brooklyn Nets

First Posted: Sep 14, 2016 08:45 AM EDT
Jeremy Lin and Kobe Bryant

Jeremy Lin and Kobe Bryant(Photo : Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)

As if returning to the land where "Linsanity" was born wasn't motivation enough, Jeremy Lin now has another cause for being on his game.

The newly signed Brooklyn Nets and former New York Knicks star now has the indignation of being left off Sports Illustrated just released Top 100 Players list to further serve as impetus for his improbable rise.

Lin Accustomed to Being Overlooked 

The omission or disregard is nothing Lin hasn't experienced or heard before.

"At first, when I was younger, I would get really mad (at critics)," Lin recently shared. "They always said 'too slow, he's not quick,' I thought to myself, how is that possible? The entire NBA combine, John Wall and I were the fastest / quickest. They had the measurements. They saw that I was an Asian, (they said) 'Oh, he must be able to shoot, but he has no athleticism.' So I would get mad back then."

That seems worlds away from where Lin now finds himself, namely cast as the engine to the Nets' entire offense.

Time of 'Linsanity'

Rookie coach Kenny Atkinson, who previously worked with Lin as an assistant during his 2012, life-changing run with the Knicks, where he averaged 18 points and eight assists over a 26 game stretch that made him a household name.

Not bad for a player who can recall a time as recently as last season when the parking attendant in Charlotte asked him who he played for when he arrived at the arena.

"Sometimes I wanted to quit, wanted to retire, didn't want to play anymore," Lin admitted of his long history of struggles. "I kept telling myself, if you aren't happy playing basketball, then just retire. Don't have to play anymore."

No chance of that now, not with Atkinson having already pronounced Lin and star center Brooks Lopez the heart and soul of the Nets attack.

And not with Jeremy Lin still having so much to prove.

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