Jeremy Lin is at Peace and Ready to Compete and Win in Lakerland

Like many of you, I saw Jeremy Lin’s press conference. It’s clear to me that Lin is in a very good place mentally, psychologically and physically. He appears to be completely over all the nonsense that took place with the Toxic Rockets (which is still ongoing, with Harden’s latest remarks about everyone else, aside from Howard and him, being merely role players or “pieces”.) Thank Lin’s God we don’t have to deal with all that craziness anymore.

I’m so over the Rockets, I barely paid attention to any of that stuff with Harden, yesterday, or the delusional tweet that Patrick Beverley sent about how he was angry about not being included in the US Olympic team. Like I keep tweeting: “Toxic Rockets”! Of course, it still gives me great pleasure to see how much that organization is falling apart in front of everyone’s eyes. As long as Harden, Morey and McHale stay, they’re not going to be any good. If they don’t get a Point Guard in there, I don’t expect the Rockets to make the playoffs this coming season. Nick Johnson, could emerge as the PG that they need. That’s their only hope in my eyes. The chemistry of that team is a total mess and McHale is only going to make that chemistry worse. To me, chemistry is the most important element to the success of a team. Not “superstars” and especially not wannabe leaders (real leaders don’t feel the need to remind others that he’s their leader). Harden actually hurts a team more than he helps. I’ve discussed this in the past and it appears that people are only starting to see this now. It actually gave me pleasure to see that thoughtless quote by Harden, because it shows me that Harden hasn’t learned a damn thing and I hope he never does and remains a Rockets for life. I also really hope the Rockets keep McHale and Morey as lifers, as well, but I expect both to be fired after the Rockets miss the playoffs or have another first round exit.

Anyway, enough about the Rockets. Jeremy Lin is a peace and that’s what matters. In my open letter to Jeremy Lin, I expressed concern about his psyche. The press conference yesterday put my concerns at ease–at least for the time being. I still think Lin can benefit tremendously from expanding beyond bible verses to work through issues that he encounters, but being a devout Christian, I don’t think that’s likely. At least he’s doing his best with his Faith. One thing that I’m a little concerned about is that Lin seems to take pride in being a martyr (as if that’s the Christian thing to do). And I think that holds him back when it comes to being a little too respectful to ask for what he wants or needs and taking everything that people throw at him, no matter how unfair it may be. I think that attitude caused him to be pretty much a punching bag for McHale and company in Houston. But, again, it’s always tough to push back against the guy who pretty much owns your job. So I’m not sure if there was anything Lin could have done about being demoted in Houston that would have made the situation better. I think he could have at least been more upfront with the media about his disappointment with being demoted, but it’s tough doing that and not come off looking bad. McHale certainly wasn’t about to listen to anything Lin says and had no regard for Lin whatsoever. So maybe just taking it and biding his time was the right thing to do. Lin comes out as the good guy in the whole Toxic Rockets drama and now has a fresh start with a great opportunity. That being said, it’s not always going to work out like that, so I hope Lin learns from his time in Houston and doesn’t continue to be a martyr throughout his career in the NBA. This is one situation in which his view of his Faith runs up against a star NBA career.

What Lin’s faith has given him is peace of mind. Again, this can be found through so many other avenues with arguably more depth, but I guess you work with what you know. So I’m glad to hear, from Lin’s testimony, as well as at Lin’s press conference that his Faith has allowed him to really move on from his mistreatment in Houston. I was glad to see Lin calling out McHale and Harden in a respectful manner in this interview: “I believe I’m a much better player now than I was in New York. You can’t always account for your role or the system or the way the coach uses you…there’s so many different factors. Your teammates and how that affects the way that you play. What your role is…I do believe in myself. I do believe I’m capable of what I think I’m capable of. I believe that I’m a much better player now than I was three years ago in New York.”

The reason that I was glad to see Lin calling out McHale and Harden is because it shows me that Lin does still believe he is a star NBA player and that he is a better player now than during Linsanity, which is completely accurate. One thing that Lin said at the 15:50 mark of his press conference that really stuck with me is, “I’m not trying to be a player in the past, I’m trying to make history again. And it’s not so much about me trying to be something that happened beforehand…now I’m looking to the future and trying to be a much bigger and better player than I was ever before.” To me this is a very confident statement from Lin. It’s as close to a macho statement as you’re going to get out of the very humble Lin. He is essentially saying that he’s not looking to re-create Linsanity and be just a passing phenomenon. He’s looking for sustained, long-term success and be an NBA star in this league, making history as an Asian American. At least that’s my interpretation and I was ecstatic to hear that. The whole reason I wrote Lin that open letter is to try and help him get to this state of being and it appears as if he’s already there. So I think Lin is in a good state of mind to compete and I think coming to the Lakers is one of the things that has allowed him to get to this state. I’m not sure if he would be in the same state if he was being introduced as the newest member of the 76ers. So this is yet another reason for the Lakers being the ideal destination for Lin.

At Lin’s press conference, he also expresses that he’s going to play the way he knows how to play (i.e., his brand of basketball), regardless of who’s injured or whatever the situation is. And that is so good to hear, because it shows me that Lin has learned a lot from his time in Houston and is going to be more vocal about being played the right way with the Lakers. This is, again, a state I was hoping he’d get to (with the help of Tony Robbins) by the start of this season and it looks as if he’s already there. But, of course, it’s one thing to say it, but another altogether to really live it. I’ve heard Lin say this about playing his game even during his time in Houston, but it was very difficult for him to consistently follow through on that with a coach that undermined him at every turn. So I think Lin will have a real chance to play his brand of basketball consistently in Lakerland.

The other thing I was glad to hear from Lin’s press conference is that he seems to be on top of the main things he needs to work on. Lin revealed that he’s working on being under control and aggressive at the same time, like Chris Paul or Tony Parker. He’s also working on playing with a change of pace so he doesn’t go 100% all the way to the basket, forcing the issue and committing turnovers that could be prevented. To that end, he’s working on his floaters and I’m also hoping that he works on stopping short of the basket to throw up a short jumper or gather himself to pass out to open teammates. All of these tools would make Lin that much more difficult to stop and it will make him a force in helping his team win games, which is what Lin is really about.

Before free agency, things looked very bleak for Lin in my eyes. I couldn’t envision any really ideal scenarios for Lin and could only see a handful of “I can live with that” options. There’s no way I could have imagined myself sitting here now with so much optimism as a Jeremy Lin fan. I couldn’t have imagined Lin being in such a good state of being (so at peace with himself and his NBA career) and I couldn’t have imagined the media turning so favorably towards Lin so quickly. When Lin was in Houston, it was a constant battle against the media to report accurate things about Lin and now, there’s been a volume of articles saying a lot of accurate things about Lin, making it clear that Lin was misused by McHale. Of course, many still buy into the myth that Lin is an average or below average defender. Hopefully the truth there will be revealed soon after the season gets underway.

Lin’s move to the Lakers has been a remarkable surprise. I went from dreading the upcoming season to really looking forward to it. And I know Lin is beyond thrilled about playing for the Lakers. His joy at his press conference was palpable. There’s a lot to love about this Lakers team that Lin is joining. And I think they have real potential to make some noise, because of the makeup of the team. There’s a very nice mix of studs, veterans, lottery picks, and young guys with a lot of depth. And every player on the team has something to prove, something to fight for. So I think this will only draw them closer to one another and allow them to build the type of chemistry that is so important to the success of any team. This Lakers team is the antithesis of the Lakers team with Kobe, Nash and Howard in every way. And I think this Lakers team will over achieve to the same degree that THAT Lakers team underachieved. While all “analysts” was praising that Lakers team, I kept saying that they are a team with a bunch of superstars that have no chemistry. I rooted for them to fail in order to change the conventional mindsets of the NBA that superstars are everything.

While nearly every “analyst”, using their very dull conventional minds, is calling this Lakers team a lottery team, I’m very confident that this Lakers team will make the playoffs and they’ll shock all of the shortsighted “analysts” who are counting them out. Before free agency, I was mainly just hoping for any random place for Lin to go to where he can start. I was thinking mainly of teams that would be the bottom of the barrel. But Lin suddenly lands in a storied franchise, playing alongside a couple future Hall-of-Famers who have a real shot at making the playoffs and making some noise. So this is beyond anything I thought was within the realm of possibility for Lin. I think Lin has a real shot at being the Point Guard of the future for the Lakers, which would be huge for Lin’s career. If Lin performs the way I expect him to this season (18+ pts 7+ asts), Lin could get an equally lucrative contract next season. People may think his $8 million per year contract is “ridiculous” now, but Lin is actually worth a lot more than that, if played the right way. The Lakers will get more than their money’s worth, as long as Lin remains healthy this season.

About JLintel

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  • Dr. Gary Teng

    More than excellent analyses! (A+++)

    Kudos to you!

    Now Scott is officially onboard and the roster is nearly completed. I just can’t wait for the new season to start. πŸ™‚

    • Thanks, Dr. Gary Teng! Really appreciate it.

      Yeah, I hope things get finalized with Scott soon. Doc Rivers is too much of a wildcard for me, when it comes to the stability of Lin’s future with the Lakers. Once Scott signs on, which is expected that he will, then we’re all set for Lin in Lakerland.

    • Jetty

      Very well said. Agreed 110%.
      People are dissing this upcoming Lakers team like they’re a bunch of role players and bench warmers. But all it takes to start a wildfire is just a little spark (that Linspark in NY). N. Young is getting better, so is X. Henry, so is Hill and so on. Jeremy will have his breakout year.

      • Thanks, Jetty! Appreciate it.

        The West is very tough, but I do think this Lakers team will surprise a lot of people. Should be an interesting season, nonetheless, and I think it’ll be an exciting one, as well. I do expect Lin to have his breakout year this year. Everything seems to be set for him to do so.

  • MrPingPong

    Health is the key, especially for Kobe and Nash.
    Lin is “deceptively” tough! πŸ™‚
    It looks like Byron Scott will get the HC job.
    Lakers fans seem divided on that.
    In Mitch we trust!
    Letzzzz Goooo, Lakers!

    • Lakers fans divided on Scott being HC? Really? I thought Lakers fans love Byron Scott. I haven’t checked out the forums, though. As a Lin fan, I’m fine with Scott, but I don’t see Scott as a great coach. Above average is more like it. But after McHale, every coach will look like a genius.

      • MrPingPong

        Check this one out, Philosopher:

        http://www.silverscreenandroll.com/2014/7/15/5902047/no-retread-required-the-case-against-hiring-byron-scott

        And on Lakersground forum (LG), you can read all sorts of disagreement on Scott’s ability as a coach.

        I know nothing about Scott as a coach, except for the fact that he publicly claimed to be a Lin fan.

        Letzz Gooo, JL7!

        • I’m also not that familiar with Scott as a coach. Just looked at his record and such and determined that he’s not that great of a coach. I’m very concerned about his inflexibility and his poor in-game decisions from that article. So, I guess we’ll have to see. I hope he’s not going to be a coach that only cares about Kobe and ignores everyone else. It looks as if he is going to be that type of coach, because he had good relationships with superstars on teams that he coached in the past (e.g., Chris Paul, Kyrie Irving). So that gives me pause. Well, I guess all we can do is hope for the best. As usual, I’ll give the coach the benefit of the doubt, just like I did with McHale. But if he turns out to be a poor coach, I won’t hesitate to call him out on it. It doesn’t look great, though. I just hope somehow he’s changed his ways. But I don’t think that’s likely. We’ll see.

          I would have been very happy with George Karl, but he has health issues. So that may have been the main thing preventing his hiring. It’s crazy to me how there really aren’t that many good coaches out there–especially since it’s such a coveted job. I think NBA execs just think too conventionally and keep recycling the same old coaches.

          • Jetty

            “…it’s crazy to me how there really aren’t that many good coaches out there….” LOL… It’s so true!
            Well, it’s Official! This is a year for EVERYONE on the Lakers to prove people wrong. Guess Coach Scott has a chip on his shoulders as well. Coach Scott will be a fool if he thinks Kobe can do this alone at this stage in his career. And I really don’t think that he’s a fool in any way or form. Coach Scott’s system does impose heavy PG usage. I think Jeremy is happy with Coach Scott as well.

          • MrPingPong

            Good point about Scott coaching with a chip on his shoulders there, Jetty! It’s ironic that he himself said Lin would be playing with a chip on his shoulders in one public phone interview.

            Now it’s time for the assistant coach hiring rumors! It would be really nice if Gary Payton comes to the Lakers. Payton said a lot of good things about Lin way back before Linsanity and during Linsanity as well.

          • That’s the good thing about Scott for Lin is that his system does impose heavy PG usage.

  • Forthelin

    A bit off-topic, but I had a somewhat compulsive curiosity to check into Rocket boards(mostly red94) just to see the reaction to the ping pong matching of the wits between Howard, Harden, and Parsons, as well as any lingering comments on Lin, and found curiously little. It is as if this strange ilk of fans just sweep anything unpleasant under a rug, whisper about Lin(some are even cautious about mentioning his name), and talk about how Morey will produce yet another rabbit out of the hat. It reminds me so much of the South that is so outwardly hospitable and friendly while relishing the lynching and terrorizing of Blacks at night. I really cannot understand how Jeremy Lin can be that polarizing for their fan base. In contrast, the reception in LA has been refreshingly positive and optimistic even if the fans are somewhat realistic about the mediocrity of the team. Never thought I’d be a Laker fan, but here I am now.

    • I haven’t checked the Rockets sites, so I’ll have to take your word for it. What you describe does sound eerie. I’m just so glad to be away from the Toxic Rockets and their KluKlutchFans fan base. I’m loving the Lakers fan sites so far. I also never thought I’d be a Lakers fan, but I’m definitely rooting for them now. It’s a very interesting team with potential for great chemistry. We’ll see. There’s an issue brewing now of who’s going to get the Power Forward starting position. One report has Boozer penciled in as starting Small Forward, which is something Boozer is not going to be happy about. The problem is, Lakers never expected to get Boozer when they signed Davis and Hill. So now Lakers have three starting-caliber PFs.

  • Ed

    Last time I commented I lived in Houston. I moved from Houston to Hollywoooh. So my favorite player is following me. Just in terms of the city and the crowds there, there may be some negatives that Lin has to be careful about, otherwise it is much better than Houston.
    LA is so huge they have whole average size cities of hispanics, blacks, Koreatown, gays (West Hollywood), movie star town, etc. They are not exactly segregated but you can feel it for sure. And they definitely have some kind of hostilities for each other, although it may be very much under the surface. During the Rodney King riots, the blacks destroyed the Korean businesses. The Asians have a big taboo on living in West Hollywood, I’ve heard. So it is a kind of a RAW place. It has no identity, unlike Houston where I know it is fundamentalist. What I was most surprised by was that there is a second kind of downtown, Koreatown. Usually most cities have one business district, but if you go a bit further there is another skyscraper area that’s for asians, where they have their mega-banks and corporate offices. Did not expect that.
    I hope Lin does not make a faux-pas with those media crazy people. That’s a town that loves exaggeration. It lives on exaggeration. But if you are not in the media, you are nothing. (it feels sometimes, probably untrue) And they love bringing you down. They will use his religiosity to ask him awkward questions like, “do you believe in gay marriage?” (big issue in the US). I just hope he plays well, does not speak too much to the media, does not kick a paparazzi (because they own the city), and live quietly but professionally high class.

    • That’s awesome that Lin ended up moving to where you currently are! LA’s “segregation” reminds me a little of NYC. But with NYC, it exists not only borough by borough, but also neighborhood by neighborhood, and block by block.

      Good point about how the media can use Lin’s religiosity against him. I’m sure Lin will play well with the media.

  • Steve Yen

    Great Article!!

    I am wondering what they put in water in Houston to make the Rockets so delusional. I don’t think they will get any “the 3rd superstar” to play aloneside two childish, selfish and arrogant cornerstones. And without Lin to save the games in clutch time, I don’t see any reason they making to the playoffs.

    Apparently Lin has a great start for the coming season. And I think Lakers’ front office is building the team surrounded the PG position, they’ve hired Byrant Scott as the head coach, who has coach Jason Kidd, Chris Paul and Kyle Irving in their prime, they’ve collected lots of power fowards capable of playing pick-n-roll and setting screen. Swaggy P is great at off-ball cut-in to attack the rim.

    I think they should also get an open shot up three pointer to do catch-and-shoot as Lin and Kobe drive to the rim. This kind of players are not rare in this league.

    When Lin’d played without Melo or Harden on the court, his average is 22pts/8 ast/3 rb/ 2stl. If Kobe is willing to change his way to play, I guess he has to, it is not too opmistic to see Lin’s number as 19pts/9 ast/ 2stl.

    To me, this season will be the most interesting NBA season. To see Lin shining in Angel city, to see LeBron Jamesa as a cavalier save Cleveland and to see the Rockets crush in Houston with their supernovas.

    • Thanks very much, Steve! Really appreciate it.

      It does appear that the Lakers are building the team around Lin, but I think that’s more coincidental. Who knows, though. If Lin succeeds, then I think they will continue to build the team around him on purpose. It’s true that Byron Scott has coached big name PGs, but his hiring has more to do with his long history with the Lakers and his close relationship with Kobe. Also, their heavy PF lineup is due to them getting Boozer unexpectedly. Right now, there’s a brewing issue with how they’re going to keep all those starting-caliber PFs happy. There’s talk of starting Boozer at the SF, which looks like an awful idea. But I think they may have promised Hill or Davis the starting PF position before they got Boozer. So we’ll see how that all shakes out.

      Yeah, it would be nice to get a catch-and-shoot dime-a-dozen player. They may be working on that.

      One correction, if you’re going to round to whole number, than Lin’s stats without Harden/Melo is actually 23 pts, not 22 pts. If you go to the hundredths decimal place, his stats is 22.72 pts and 7.72 ast. I think 9 assists for Lin is a little optimistic, although I suppose if you round up 8.5, then I can definitely see that being doable. 19 points for Lin is definitely more than doable, if he’s allowed to play his game. Lin, to me is easily a 20+ pts 7.5+ assists guy, if played the right way. And if he achieves this, then he’ll get a lucrative contract and the Lakers will likely build the team around Lin next season.

      I wholeheartedly agree that this season will be the most interesting NBA season in recent memory. So many interesting story lines! If I was a die-hard NBA fan, I wouldn’t know what to do with myself. I’d be so busy watching all of the games this upcoming season, because there are so many teams to stay on top of. Thank goodness for my sanity, though, that I’m only a Lin fan. So will only follow those other story lines at the periphery.

      If the Rockets don’t make anymore changes this off-season, I don’t see them making the playoffs. In fact, at this point, I’d be surprised if they make the playoffs, that’s how much I’m counting the Rockets out right now. And I don’t think this is out of my hatred for them. I just don’t see the combination of Harden/Howard/McHale winning many games.

      I think the Lakers have lots of potential with their good mix of players and depth. They are missing a good center and are a little weak at the SF position (a tough position to fill), but hopefully Davis can fill the Center position. I’m not worried about Kobe. I think Kobe will do just as well as he has done and will still be a force. You can’t keep a competitor like Kobe down. So I like the players that the Lakers have. They will have a tough time against big lineups, though.

      Overall, we’ll have to see how all the players gel. That’s the key. A lot of the key players for the Lakers haven’t played with each other, but they all do have a lot to prove, so I’m hoping that will be the glue that binds them. We won’t have any clue about their chemistry until at least training camp and the preseason. My big concern is whether or not Scott is the coach to pull this team together. I’d have much more confidence in George Karl, but Scott is kind of a wildcard for me. Will have to see. Nevertheless, there’s a lot to look forward to.

    • Jetty

      I’m really looking forward to this coming season with much more excitement than ever before because the dark clouds above all the Lin-fans has been blew far away. No matter what, Lin will come out as a winner – far away from haters and doubters (McHale/Morey/Harden). It was just great to watch the Spurs played beautiful basketball and became the Champions. They will still be a force to be reckon with. Nice to see Lebron followed his heart back to Cleveland and try to help them win a title. Like to see D-Wade & Co. continues to compete. The Mavs weren’t bad last season and they will come back stronger. Would like to see Dirk get his beast mode back for his remaining career. Steph Curry and Co. will give opposing teams more headaches. The Blazers are on the rise. D. Lillard is a beast and he’s not slowing down any time soon. CP3 and Clipps have plenty chips on their shoulders as well. OKC will make a serious run as usual. And we’ll see about the Rockets… I’m not rooting for them to win when they face the Lakers, Spurs, Cavs, GS, Mavs, Clipps, Blazers, OKC, Phoenix Suns, the Heat.