Jeremy Lin's Participation in 'Small-Market Team' Charlotte Hornets A Blessing in Disguise? Nets PG Not Bothered by Knicks or Being Snubbed by SI
Ever wonder why the New York Knicks only expressed tepid interest in being reunited with Jeremy Lin when he officially became a free agent this summer?
Despite Lin's legendary 2012 run with the celebrated franchise, reports are team brass was disinterested in a potential encore because of concerns about Lin's history of defensive struggles.
Apparently, Lin's key role with the defensive-minded Charlotte Hornets last season and coach Steve Clifford's recent praise of him did little to move Phil Jackson and company.
Ultimately, Lin still made his way back to the area, inking a three-year, $36 million pact with Brooklyn, and the veteran swingman insists he hasn't looked back.
"If my life was done by what everyone else expected of me, I would've been done with playing a long time ago," said the man likewise dealing with the indignation of being left off Sports Illustrated's recent list of the league's top 100 players. "I don't really care what anyone else has to say.''
Lin later added fighting off stereotypes and mischaracterizations have become part of the job for him.
"A lot of the times I'm fighting a lot of stigmas that people came up with and for fair reasons when I played four or five years ago," he said. "My game has progressed a lot. What happened in Charlotte people didn't really see because we were a small-market team. I feel like I've been working, and if people see it, they do, and if not, I still know where I want to get better at, where I've improved."
Can Nets Rebound?
The Nets will need the 27-year-old Lin to be at his best to erase the stench of last season's 21-61 finish. Rookie coach Kenny Atkinson has wasted little time in asserting that Lin and veteran center Brooks Lopez will be the team's primary options in the Nets' new precision offense.
"If you talk about Jeremy Lin's strength, the pick-and-roll is his strength," said Atkinson, who served as an assistant with the Knicks during Lin's run of "Linsanity."
"I know when I talked to him he was excited about playing with Brook. "I said, 'Wow, two great pick-and-roll partners.' Brook is a great passer. Lopez was the sell to him."