Jeremy Lin to Lakers: My Feelings Upgraded from Very Concerned to Cautious Optimism

Wow! What a day, yesterday, in the NBA! The New York Times commemorated Lebron’s “decision” with an awesome cover for its Sports section. I’ve always respected LeBron’s game (how could anyone not?!), but now, I respect him as a person for what he conveyed in his heartfelt letter to explain why he chose to go back to Cleveland. I love that he chose to write a letter to share his decision. LeBron has, indeed, matured and I see a great deal of character in this man. I’m actually rooting for him to win a ring in Cleveland now, which is something I never expected I’d ever do.

King James spoke, and the dominoes did, indeed, fall. But for Devil Money (AKA Daryl Morey), it was like he was laying the final card on his house of cards in his dark evil headquarters and Chris Bosh walked in and opened the window to let in some fresh air. This is what McMorey (AKA McHale and Morey) gets for their superstar-fucking ways. For worshiping only the players they perceive to be superstars, while treating everyone else like “disposable numbers”, as Chris Baldwin so aptly puts it in his latest excellent article on Lin. This is poetic justice at its best! I’m embarrassed by the delightful sense of Schadenfreude that engulfed me when I heard the news that Chris Bosh had spurned the Rockets to stay in Miami. It’s a very rare moment for me to be so giddy at the misfortune of someone else. I’m sure a lot of Lin fans felt the same way yesterday after hearing the Chris Bosh news.

Yesterday, my initial reaction to the news that Lin had been traded to the Lakers was to be very concerned, yet, hoping for the best. Now that I’ve had some time to think about it and have digested the comments of the Lin fan base, I realize that I was thinking too small and was missing the bigger picture. There is really only one negative about Lin going to the Lakers and that’s him playing alongside another ball-dominant guard, Kobe Bryant. That’s really it! Everything else about Lin going to the Lakers is hugely positive. I also discovered, via a Bleacher Report article, that that Lakers GM, Mitch Kupchak “has been intrigued by Lin for a long time—to the point that Lin’s family was led to believe the Lakers would draft the former Harvard star with the 58th overall pick in the 2010 NBA draft.” This is something that I was completely unaware of when I heard the Lin news and this is HUGE. I thought the Lakers were only interested in Lin because of the sweetners that comes with taking on Lin’s contract and didn’t really care about Lin as a player. But after learning this, I can see the potential of Lin being a Laker for Life (or close to it) and that’s the big picture that I was missing in my knee jerk reaction, yesterday.

I also didn’t think more deeply about Kobe and where he is at in his career and how that could have very positive implications for Lin playing alongside Kobe Bryant. I think Kobe is a lot more humble now in his old age and his devastating injury would make him a much better teammate. Kobe is also more mature than Harden and has less to prove, since he’s done it all. Kobe also has a lot of fans in China and is too smart to do anything to upset his fan base there by doing anything that could be construed as him not welcoming Lin. All of this, along with Kobe’s respect for Lin’s game, would allow Kobe to be a much better teammate than Harden was to Lin. In my post yesterday, I said that “Kobe is worse than Harden, or at least just as bad, when it comes to ball hogging and having an ego.” I was wrong. I think Kobe, because of his injury and old age, is going to be more willing to share the scoring load and is much more humble (even declining his All Star invitation this past season, saying in effect that young guys like Lillard deserve to be there, not him).

Yesterday, the Lin news to Lakers came as a shock to me, since I hadn’t heard any news about discussions between Rockets and Lakers as it pertains to Lin. And the Lakers is one of the teams that Anthony was considering joining, so it wouldn’t make sense for the Lakers to get Lin before Anthony has made his decision (this also shows a level of respect that the Lakers organization has for Lin, because there’s no way Anthony joins now that Lin is on the team, right?!). Since I haven’t had time to really think about the Lakers and Kobe, my perceptions about Kobe hadn’t been properly updated to capture present-day realities. Now that I have had time to process things, my concern about the type of teammate Kobe would be to Lin has been mitigated to a level that more accurately resembles reality. And this is why I’m cautiously optimistic and actually feel like this move is probably the best-case-scenario for Lin and–especially overall because Houston gets screwed in the process as an unexpected bonus. I’ve always liked Chris Bosh. Now, I like him even more for using the Rockets to get a better deal to stay in Miami (basically giving Morey a taste of his own medicine).

Anyway, back to Lin. Now that my concern about Kobe has been abated, I do think Lin came out a big winner, which is the complete reverse of how I felt yesterday. Aside from my abated concern about Kobe, everything else about the Lakers is a huge positive for Lin.

  • Lin is with an organization (and a GM) that respects his game–even before Linsanity.
  • Lin has a chance to make a big mark on a storied franchise with the potential of becoming their star of the future!
  • Lin could likely be the number two or maybe three option on the team, depending who else the Lakers bring on (the Lakers’ roster situation still pretty fluid at the moment).
  • As long as Nash remains with the Lakers (I believe the Lakers are trying to get rid of his contract), Nash will be a big name supporter of his within the organization.
  • Lin is in a big market, where he will, once again, get the attention and relevance that he deserves (even though he may not want it).
  • The Lakers fan base is high on Lin and are hungry for any injection of excitement that Lin will likely provide, so even doubters of Lin there will likely be converted to Lin supporters.
  • The LA media appears to be pretty positive about Lin, from what I’ve seen. They actually report accurate stuff about Lin. In addition, LA and NYC own the national media landscape, so the media will be on Lin’s side now that he’s in LA.
  • Magic Johnson, who has a big megaphone, has always been a Lin fan and he now has even more reason to support Lin.

So there is a great deal to love about this move as a Lin fan and much to look forward to. And I’m so glad to rid myself of McHarden, Devil Money, Toxic Rockets, JFaken (Jonathan Feigen) and the KluKlutchFans (e.g., Clutch Fans, The Dreamshake, etc.) of the world. It’s such a cathartic feeling to shed myself of all the disgusting grime that has built up from having to deal with this organization and most of its fan base.

About JLintel

NOTE: On June 11, 2016 I switched the comments section to Disqus's platform. As a result, all comments from previous platform have disappeared from all articles.
  • Dr. Gary Teng

    I am so glad to learn that you woke up from your nightmare and smelled the roses this morning.

    There is one more potential reason that the Lakers is a huge positive for Lin:

    … but I hear Byron Scott, who is the front runner for the Lakers coaching job, is a huge fan of yours. Maybe you will do better there…

    Source: KC_Smalling (http://blog.chron.com/ultimaterockets/2014/07/jeremy-lin-from-face-of-rockets-to-trade-to-lakers-in-two-years/#24500103=0&24631101=0)

    Lets have our fingers crossed!

    • Ha ha. Thanks, Dr. Gary Teng! So am I. It’s nice to actually be excited for the NBA season, again. Yeah, Byron Scott does seem to genuinely respect Lin’s game. Even points out that Lin’s defense is solid, from this interview: http://www.twcsportsnet.com/videos/2014/07/11/byron-scott-is-a-jeremy-lin-fan

      • MrPingPong

        Perhaps I am a bit cynical here but, B. Scott is interviewing for the Lakers coaching job so naturally he has to be complimentary of all the moves made by the Lakers FO. However, he need not have to proclaim himself a Jeremy Lin fan. So may be he is a Lin fan, not a LOF but simply a Lin fan.

        Since Scott is a the front runner for the job, and since he is said to run the triangle offense, I looked up Youtube for videos on the triangle offense just to have an idea of what it is all about. In case don’t know already, here is a link to an explanation of the triangle offense.

        http://youtu.be/eewCYox5MuI

        • Dr. Gary Teng

          Thanks a lot for the interesting video link.

          It seems that Scott’s liking of Lin is genuine. Let us hope that Scott will get the Lakers’ coaching job.

          With a competent and experienced coach like Scott who really appreciates Lin’s true talents and potentials, it will be just a matter of time that Linsanity 2.0 will reemerge at the LA Staple Center.

          I can’t wait for the new NBA season to start.

          • MrPingPong

            I am with you, Dr. Teng. Scott played PG for the Show Time Lakers and is a Lakers fan favorite. I’ll be shocked if he doesn’t get the job. And yes, I do think he will be good for Lin.

            Same here, can’t wait to see Lin play purple and gold! 🙂

          • Yeah Scott already has the job. just needs to be official in my view. i would be shocked if they gave the job to someone else at this point. I thought Scott played SG, but that was a long time ago, so not sure if my memory serves me right.

          • Dr. Gary Teng

            Dear MrPingPong,

            It seems that JLintel is right: Scott used to play SG for the Show Time Lakers.

            However, this is NOT important at all. As long as he is going to treat Lin with common decency and respect, we will all root for him to get the Lakers’ coaching job.

            Let the good time roll again in LA!

          • MrPingPong

            Yes, Dr. Teng, I meant SG but typed PG. It’s old age syndrome, ya know. And yes, I’ll root for any coach that treats Lin and his players with common decency and respect.

          • I think Byron Scott is the fall back plan for the Lakers. I think they’re trying to convince George Karl to be their head coach, which would be awesome, since George Karl is an excellent coach and has respect for Lin’s game. Said good things about Lin in this article: http://www.denverpost.com/ci_22437660/nuggets-journal-take-look-at-jeremy-lin-now. I would prefer Karl over Scott, but would also be happy with Scott. The added bonus with Karl is that I think he can maybe reign in Kobe more than Scott. But overall, both these coaches appear to be win/win for Lin.

          • MrPingPong

            I don’t think the Lakers are serious about coach Karl based on the following article from ESPN:

            http://espn.go.com/los-angeles/nba/story/_/id/11215925/los-angeles-lakers-expect-hire-coach-next-week-two

            I’ve been spending my post World Cup spare time reading up on the Lakers. And it has been all about Kobe. Kobe seems to “own” the Lakers! In 2007, Kobe gave Kupchak an F and demanded to be traded. After Kupchak pulled off a trade to get Gasol, Kobe then changed the grade to an A+! So far, Kobe has been mum on the Lin trade but did publicly give a nod to Byron Scott.

            Kupchak seems like a smart and tough person. He is a well-respected NBA GM. For what it’s worth, McMorey ranked him as the top NBA negotiator (http://www.lakersnation.com/lakers-news-daryl-morey-calls-mitch-kupchak-top-negotiator-in-nba/2014/02/28/). So, in Kupchak I trust! 🙂

  • Paul

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts. This is my first time visiting ur site (came here trough CNM ;)). I’m happy that Jeremy is out of Houston but I can’t say that I’m as thrilled with the move as many other Lin fans are. The Lakers have no coach and quite honestly Jeremy will be playing on the worst team during his short career so far. Kobe is a force but his other team mates will be Swaggy P, J Hill, a rookie in Randle and Sacre. On the Rockets all of them (except Kobe ofc) would be on the bench. It’s gonna hurt to see Lin lose a lot of games and be on a sub .500 team. I mean can u imagine the Lakers winning a lot of games? In my opinion it would have been better for Jeremy to be traded to a young and talented team like the Sixers. Oh well, maybe I’m just underestimating Lin too much but this could be a do or die season for him regarding where his career in the NBA is gonna go..

    • We’ll see. I see things somewhat differently, because I see Lin as a star PG. So I think Lin is actually better playing with no-namers than he is playing with stars, since he is at his best when he’s the number one or two option on a team. Lin can do great things with practically ANY four players on the court and make them all play better than they’re capable of, if allowed to run the offense and be the offensive leader (we saw this during Linsanity). This is what Lin is good at and this is what he did during Linsanity. It’s when Lin is held back or has to defer that Lin isn’t as effective. The West is really tough and the Lakers roster is still not set, so will have to see how everything shakes out. I’m not ready to call them a sub .500 team, yet, though, because I have a lot of confidence in Lin’s abilities. To me, he’s a star PG that just needs the opportunity. So depending on what condition Bryant is in, The Lakers actually have two stars on their team in my view. That’s not bad. And, besides, it’s not so much about stars as the right fit. I wouldn’t be surprised if the Lakers do better than the Rockets this coming season if the Rockets don’t do much to add depth. For example, if the Rockets Re-Sign Parsons and run out of money I don’t think Rockets make the playoffs. They just don’t have the right fit right now and no one there is capable of running the show and being a stabilizing force, which is critical. They also have a horrible coach. So wouldn’t surprise me at all if Lakers do better than Rockets and make the playoffs. We’ll see, though. I do expect Linsanity to strike in LA consistently and it will come close to matching Linsanity in NYC. That’s how optimistic I am now.

    • Shih-wei

      Hi, Paul. It’s indeed hard to predict the future for certain. But though consisting of some big names like Anthony, Chandler, Stoudemire, wasn’t Knicks also on a sub .500 record just before Linsanity startled the world.

      I side more with JLintel’s optimism. It’s true that the situation at Lakers doesn’t look promising right now but things also can change quickly. As for Jeremy Lin, “we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him”! That’s why even before anyone had a clue, he is moved to Lakers and I believe God is going to lead his way. ~Shih-wei

      • Very interesting point about God’s plan for Lin. That LA move was definitely a shock to me. So far, a lot of what’s happened to Lin has been very unexpected, like the Knicks not matching and letting him go and, of course, the Linsanity run.

        • MrPingPong

          I am not a religious person, but “the hands of Providence” is just as good an explanation to the whole surreal Lin saga from Broadway to Hollywood by way of Red Neck Nation!

          La la Lin! 🙂

  • James

    Let’s see what Lin can steal from the best player of Kobe and best PG of Nash.

    • Yeah, I really do believe and hope that Kobe will be a mentor to Lin. Kobe loves people who are dedicated to winning and working hard, because that’s what he’s all about. So we’ll see. I have no doubt Nash would be a great mentor to Lin and Nash would relish in that role. At this point in Nash’s career that’s probably the most exciting thing for him to do in the NBA. I’m sure Nash is thrilled that Lin is coming to LA.

  • MrPingPong

    Hey Philosopher, what is the opposite of Schadenfreude? I googled for it but have not found anything that would justly describe the feelings of LOHs at this moment. 🙂

    • So if Schadenfreude is to delight in the misery of others, then the opposite of that would be sadness at one’s own good fortune?! I believe that’s called self-hatred, which is actually a pretty apt description for LOHs. Well done, MrPingPong!

      • MrPingPong

        Self-hatred! You are a whole lot more logical than me, Philosopher!
        It’s the LOHs that need to consult Tony Robbins, don’t ya think? 🙂

        • I don’t think Robbins could do them any good, because they’re not a very open-minded bunch.

          • MrPingPong

            I was thinking of a Saturday Night Live skit with a meeting of the minds between Robbins and the LOHs, Philosopher! Don’t ya think it will be hilarious? 🙂

          • Yeah, that would be hilarious. Somewhat related, a SNL skit of Morey giving away Rockets like Oprah does would also be hilarious: https://twitter.com/jas83j/status/488711483568574464/photo/1

          • MrPingPong

            Yes, it’s hilarious but why Oprah? Does she talk like that on her show? You can tell I don’t know much about Oprah besides the fact that she is a famous talk show hostess.

          • Oh. it might take too long to explain the whole Oprah thing. But it’s become a joke that Oprah gives away free stuff to her audience on her show. Once, she gave away a car to each audience on her show. And she’ll just keep screaming, “You get a car. You get a car. You get a car. Everybody gets a car!” And the entire audience would go wild. So just imagining Morey giving away all his Rockets players while GMs are sitting in the audience would be hilarious.

          • MrPingPong

            OK, I got it!
            Thanks!

  • Ed

    I used to live in Houston and know the city fairly well. I worked for a catering company during college and we had gigs for all sorts of upscale, professional venues. Now, Houston is supposed to be a highly metropolitan, racially diverse city, with huge populations of hispanics and blacks. But whenever I worked for these gigs, all you saw were white people with a token black and an asian. Strangely enough, I almost never saw a hispanic. The city’s mayor, Perry, is so freaking backward and cynical, he holds prayer sessions for rain in the Astrodome, while being the center of the oil industry that causes the drought in the first place. Houston, and Texas overall, is the bastion of white privilege and they will do anything to not let outsiders in. Remember GW Bush got his power base in Houston, thus got elected, because the Protestant revival started in Houston. I actually met the guy that was “leader” of this revival. They turned the Church into an outright political instrument to elect Bush, while previously it was more or less distant from politics. Hence, liberals hatred of the American church, hence the tea party. Total distortion of the Christian faith and everybody is confused. Sorry for the political rant, you may disagree, but I am just glad Lin is out of that freaking cynical town.

    • Forthelin

      I remember visiting Houston when I was about 7 and had just immigrated to the US. What I remember most, with no command of English, was watching 6 channels on tv and 3 of them were wrestling channels. Like Melo and Bosh, I never returned.

      • Ed

        Lol. They keep their population dumb and fragmented. The underclass of Latinos and blacks always fighting each other in their little ghettos. But when you go to downtown on evenings, you won’t find a latino or a black person. They are ruled over there whereas they should be ruling given the population.

      • MrPingPong

        A friendly refresher of H-Town just for you, Forthelin:

        http://www.thrillist.com/entertainment/houston/the-99-problems-with-houston

        🙂

        • Forthelin

          LOL, except for the weather, the swamp body of water, and the BBQ, could well sound like LA! Good one, Mr. Pingpong!

    • Very good to know, Ed. i welcome tangential conversations on here, because I’m more than just a Lin fan. I have many diverse interests and socioeconomic issues is definitely one of them. So thanks for the brief, yet thorough, background on the city of Houston. I’ve never been to Houston, so this is all new information for me. I look forward to more of your comments!

    • MrPingPong

      Ed, I think you meant Perry, the Governor of Texas:

      http://governor.state.tx.us/news/proclamation/16038/

      I used to teach at UH and at Rice, BTW.

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