Apr 27, 2013; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Rockets point guard Jeremy Lin (7) brings the ball up the court during the first quarter against the Oklahoma City Thunder in game three of the first round of the 2013 NBA playoffs at the Toyota Center. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports
It has been a whirlwind of an off-season for Houston Rockets point guard Jeremy Lin this summer. While it wasn’t as crazy as it was last year, Lin came face to face with criticism from the Houston community, trade rumors, and fans calling for him to lose his starting job. He recently spoke with HoopsWorld’s Alex Kennedy about his brief, yet controversial career so far.
Lin on his already eventful career, which is still very much in its infancy:
“It’s so funny; I guess it’s all about expectations, right? People forget that I’ve started less games than Chandler [Parsons]. I’ve only played in a little over 100 games. I still feel like I’m really young in my career. I’ve seen everything, I’ve seen the top and I’ve seen the bottom. I’ve seen the whole Linsanity thing and I’ve seen the D-League and getting cut.
For me, I think having that wide scope of perspective helps me stay more balanced and stay more even keel through ups and downs. It also keeps me from taking anything for granted. Every day, I’m able to appreciate that I’m able to play in the NBA. I realize that this is a gift from God. I think that’s the most important thing.”
Lin on how the addition of Dwight Howard will benefit him as a player:
“I think it’s(Howard’s acquisition) going to help because there’s going to be less focus on me. I think that’s going to give me some space to grow and develop as a player.”
“For the first time in my career, I’m going back to the same team that I was on the year before. To be able to have that consistency and continuity, that can only help. I don’t know if I’m going to have a breakout year or whatever, but I definitely want to see improvements in my game. Obviously, having Dwight just makes us so much more versatile of a team. For me, I’m going to have to shoot and be efficient. My efficiency is going to have to be at an all-time high next season.”
Lin on how he feels about the Rockets as Western Conference contenders:
“All of the best teams are the ones that have multiple options and multiple weapons. I think, for us, we have a nice combination. We have a low-post presence, who is probably the best center in the NBA. We have possibly the best shooting guard in the NBA. We have Chandler, who is a shooter and slasher that doesn’t command the ball a lot and plays really well off of other people. Then, I’m also a pick-and-roll guy, who can be on the other side of James so that we’re able to attack both sides of the floor.
I think if we do it right, if we draw it up right and if we bind, it’ll really be a well-balanced attack. Right now, we’re feeling pretty good, but the end of the day being good on paper doesn’t mean anything. There have been teams in the past that have looked really looked good on paper, but haven’t materialized. For us, we understand that this is just the beginning of the battle and that we haven’t accomplished anything yet.”
Lin on being injured for the last 2 postseasons:
“That’s obviously the most frustrating thing. You work so hard throughout the whole season and then you have to sit on end of the bench in a suit come playoff time, when it really matters. It was frustrating, to say the least. But next year, if we hopefully make playoffs, maybe I’ll be able to appreciate it a little bit more. I’ll also be able to experience being fully healthy during the playoffs. That’s something that I’m really looking forward to.”
Lin on rumors about possibly of being traded before the deadline this season:
“It’s just part of it. We’ve all had to deal with it, the guys who have played in the league, except for a select few. For me, I’ve dealt with it for my whole career. I mean, I’ve dealt with rumors about being cut so I can deal with trade rumors. I still remember what it was like being on the edge of my seat and wondering if I was even going to be on a roster tomorrow, so this is nothing(laughs).”