Jeremy Lin was one of the main reasons why the NBA was so exciting last season. He was an overnight sensation in the NBA, spawning Linsanity from the Big Apple. And just as fast, Lin faded as his season ended with knee surgery before the postseason.
Adrian Wojnarowski had an eye-opening talk with Lin about how slow he’s building a relationship with the Rockets and how he’s beginning to trust people again.
“I went into an absolute shell for a few months in New York,” Lin told Yahoo! Sports. “I went through a phase when I didn’t want to talk to anybody. I didn’t want to talk to my friends. I didn’t want to give anybody close to me a chance to mess up our relationship. I saw how publicity and fame changed certain people around me, and changed how people looked at me. And I hated it.”
And it’s very understandable. Suddenly, people want a piece of that pie. Suddenly, people are going to you because of the sudden fame (and fortune). It’s a very fine line to walk when you become an overnight sensation like Jeremy Lin. At that point, were they really friends that are going to support you? Or were they going to use you because of your fame?
Here’s a few more excerpts from the story…
Fame had come so fast, so without warning, it hasn’t been until training camp and starting the season with Houston that Lin has finally breathed out, finally understood he had found a franchise that will let him grow, let him make his mistakes, let him be.
“It wasn’t like I worried they were going to cut me,” Lin said. “But it just seemed too good to be true. Like, the coach actually cared about what plays I enjoy running, or that the coach would text me on a day off to see how I was feeling. That type of stuff was too good to be true.”
Lin was asked, “You had that with Mike D’Antoni, didn’t you?”
“But it was so short,” Lin responded.
And when Mike Woodson took over?
“It changed,” Lin said. “Different style, different coach.”
Lin had been cut by Golden State and Houston last year. And he was ready to be cut by New York until Mike D’Antoni got desperate and played him. That desperation saved Jeremy Lin’s NBA career and he’s reaping the benefits from his dazzling play by getting a $25 million contract. A contract New York refused to match after saying several times they would match any offer.
Lin figured out that his career was better served in Houston, where there’s no pressure to succeed immediately. With the Rockets, he can grow together with the squad; they’re a very young team with interesting pieces in Omer Asik and the recently acquired James Harden, who took a lot of burden off Lin.
He also talked about having a target on his back due to his race. Lin is a rare Asian-American in the NBA and has given a lot of inspiration to all other aspiring Asian-American basketball players out there.
It really is a very interesting story and, if anything, we can learn a lot from. He mentioned that he still wants answers to a lot of questions he’s asking but, at least, he doesn’t have to figure it out all at once.
Lin is averaging 11.9 points, 4.6 rebounds, 6.4 assists, and 2.4 steals per game so far this season.