BY: RAMZY KAWAJA
Life in Rocketland is a roller-coaster ride right now. The shifting, trading, cutting, signing and amnesty-ing that has happened in the past couple weeks is all to accommodate the pursuit of one “super” man. Morey has taken a team, which was once filled with crafty and experienced veterans, and replaced them with kids who need permission from their parents to go on a road trip. Don’t forget to buy your programs when you get to the arena, by the way, because you won’t recognize the roster.
One name and face that will be bringing the ball up the court I’m certain will ring a bell is one Jeremy Lin. After trading the best contract in all of sports to Toronto and bidding farewell to the most desired point-guard on the market, Daryl Morey had to demonstrate some genius GM-ing to snatch the second best Asian player in NBA history from right under James Dolan’s nose. It’s not a surprise that Daryl Morey had, once again, made the New York Knicks his personal play toy, but it was a bit unexpected that the Rockets were able to replace two very good, up-and-coming players so quickly. Jeremy Lin has a higher ceiling than both of his predecessors combined.
Yes, I said it.
The combination of raw skill and work ethic that Lin possesses are the ingredients from which stars are born. Unfazed from the limelight, this homeless Harvard graduate would rise up from his teammate’s couch every morning and lace them up in what is recognized by the locals as “The mecca of basketball,” Madison Square Garden. Amid the picture flashes, the puns, and the entire country of China hanging on his every dribble, Lin consistently poured in game-winning buzzer-beaters and memorable performances. Jeremy Lin is the ultimate example of the saying “Ashy to classy.”
One thing we already know about the kid is that he’s smarter and always a step ahead. The renegotiation of the “poison pill” deal was a subliminal message sent to Dolan that said “If you want me, you better go all in.” Lin wasn’t the same when Carmelo and Amarè came back because the offense had to go through them rather than their point-guard, where it belonged. The selfishness wasn’t recognized and addressed when it needed to be. Forced to act as the third wheel, Lin felt disrespected, especially when there was no contract offer from the Knicks in the first place.
Now Jeremy can comfortably stroll down the sidewalk that Yao Ming built. It wouldn’t be a far-fetched assumption to say that the Houston Rockets were the most popular team among the Asian population for the past 10 years. Lin, being a dear friend of Yao’s, likely followed his current club at one point. After being released from the Rockets early in the shortened season, fate brought the young sensation back to where he rightfully belonged. It’s funny how things work out. A joke of a franchise like the Knicks doesn’t deserve Jeremy Lin. It was a great trampoline to get his career going, but Houston should be his home. Houston is where he will be treated like a human being and not some gimmicky piece of meat where he would get torn to shreds by those cackling hyenas if things started going bad over there.
So, if the Rockets are going to rebuild, might as well do it in style. Lose with the crowd on their feet. It has been set up where Houston can possibly own another three picks in the first round of next year’s draft, two of them maybe in the top 10, if things fall into place. This is great ammunition for an aggressive GM in Daryl Morey. The “Red Nation Rebuild” has the potential to be much shorter than expected. Getting Lin was the ideal start.