Good In-Depth Interview with Jeremy Lin

If you haven’t read Alex Kennedy’s “Lin Ready for Fresh Start with Lakers”, it’s worth checking out, because it’s a pretty in-depth interview with Lin conducted after Byron Scott’s hiring. The interview with Lin was done over the phone, I believe. The interview touches on a lot of aspects of Lin’s NBA life and it provides a good glimpse into where Lin’s head is at.

I wanted to talk about one part of the article that I found interesting in this regard. Alex asks Lin about whether or not Lin feels he has proven that he’s a starting-caliber point guard in the NBA and here’s how Lin responded:

“You know what, that’s a good question; I don’t know and I don’t think I actually care anymore, and I think that’s just where I’m at in my life. I don’t care to figure out what the answer to that question is anymore. Before I [had] kind of like a chip on my shoulder, things to prove, people to prove wrong. Now, I’m just like when I get out there I’m going to play and everyone’s going to formulate their own opinion and it’s going to change every single day. I don’t think my own opinion of myself has ever changed. I still believe I am capable of that. But that’s just me, that’s if you ask me. I’m not really worried about what everyone else is thinking anymore.”

Lin’s response is very interesting, indeed, and also very insightful. It’s not often you get such a refreshingly raw, honest answer from a person in the public eye to a very sensitive question. I’m glad Lin answered the provocative question in the way he did, because it really gives me a good idea of where his head is at and reinforces my belief that Lin is in a very good place, psychologically. I was very concerned about Lin’s psyche before the Free Agency period and that’s why I wrote him an open letter. It appears Lin is in a very good head space now.

Some fans might be alarmed to hear Lin say that he doesn’t care to find out the answer to the question of whether or not he has proven that he’s a starting-caliber point guard. Of course, his fans all think that he is, so in that sense, his answer may seem a little deflating. However, as a Lin fan, I’m bolstered by Lin’s response. I think this answer would be somewhat alarming if he didn’t add that he, himself, thinks that he is capable of being a starting point guard and that hasn’t changed. To me, this is the key, because sometimes it is good to play with a chip on your shoulder if you’re someone who’s externally motivated. But if you’re more internally motivated, which I think Lin is (as am I), then it’s critical that he believes in himself. And I think this approach of not caring what others think is a good one for Lin to take, since he does appear to be internally motivated. Or at least being externally motivated doesn’t seem to have done him much good, based on what he’s revealed through his testimonies, etc.

I really like the part when Lin says, “When I get out there, I’m going to play and everyone’s going to formulate their own opinion and it’s going to change every day,” This is an expression of someone who has found peace within himself and with his situation. It’s also a very wise way to approach a job that’s constantly being scrutinized by the public. I hope Lin continues to have that approach through the season’s inevitable upswings and downswings. Lin’s game is going to be constantly criticized and praised throughout his career, night after night, so it is good to be at peace with all of the criticisms and praises and just let them pass on by like a nice warm breeze. This is a different approach than “blocking out” the critics. I think “blocking out” praises and criticisms is giving these praises and criticisms power. Because if they truly don’t matter to you, then there’s no need for an antagonistic approach. There’s no need to shield yourself from them. If they truly don’t matter and you’re truly at peace with all the criticisms and praises, then you just let them go by you like a gentle breeze. That’s what it means to be truly at peace about something. And I’m hoping that this is sort of what Lin means when he said what he said. In the past, he talked a lot about blocking out the media, etc. I think he does still do that, but I’m hoping that his approach is one of being at peace with all the outside noise, rather than having to shield himself from the outside world. From this interview, it appears that he’s getting to the place where he’s completely at peace with all the attention he gets.

I think Lin’s current state of being allows him to just play his game without thinking too much, which was the issue in Houston. He was constantly thinking on the court, not just because of the media attention, but also because he was in constant fear of making a mistake and being benched by McHale. I’m hoping that he takes the approach about playing his game no matter what–even when it comes to coach Scott and Kobe. Because the truth is, if Lin plays his game, it’s good for the team, since Linsanity is all about team ball. To me, Linsanity is the raw embodiment of the Spurs spirit. So Lin should just go out there and do his thing night in and night out no matter what. If he helps the team win games, that’s all that’s going to matter.

The other part of the interview I want to touch on is when Lin says that he “rarely” watches footage of his games during Linsanity. I’m not exactly sure how to interpret this. In my open letter to Lin, I expressed that I think Lin feels self-conscious about Linsanity and is even somewhat embarrassed by it. And I think that’s unhealthy. I feel like Lin hasn’t fully come to terms with what he did during Linsanity. And I think it’ll be good for his psyche to fully embrace Linsanity, rather than remove himself from it.

I don’t know if these are the reasons why Lin confesses to “rarely” watching footage of his games during Linsanity. If they are, then it makes me a little concerned. But if it’s more about not wanting to live in the past and wanting to create a new bigger and better future for himself, then that is healthy. I think it’s actually both. Lin definitely does not want to keep re-living the glory days of Linsanity, like that’s the best thing that’s ever going to happen to his career. So I think that’s part of why he tends to remove himself from the whole “Linsanity” thing. And I totally get that. But I also think he’s self-conscious about “Linsanity” and hasn’t fully embraced what he did during Linsanity and he may never do so. It’s not too big of a deal now that I have the sense that he feels he’s capable of something even bigger and better than what he did during Linsanity and has his eyes on having sustained, long-term success as an NBA star.

I am glad to hear that he does, at least, look at footage from his games during Linsanity to see if there are things he did during that magical few weeks that he’s gotten away from, because I definitely notice him going away from some things that worked well for him during Linsanity, although Lin is a much better, more complete player now than he was during Linsanity. I ‘m sure his trainers/coaches forced Lin to watch footage of games during Linsanity, because I don’t see Lin doing that on his own, due to him still be self-conscious of it.

Overall, I’m glad the interview further reinforces my feelings that Lin is in a very good place psychologically, spiritually and physically to compete and win this upcoming season with the Lakers.




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  • cosmotaichi

    I am so glad to hear Jeremy said he’s far away from reaching his full potential. I totally agree. For someone who could make so many fantastic plays and drawn all the attention and excitement across the world, he must have some special talent. I think Jeremy’s mental game and awareness of the full court is second to none (far beyond McHale’s capacity of imagination). He has the mind power to cover the full court all the time. His awareness of the game dynamics across the whole court allows him to make plays anyplace anytime. I think those 2 years in Huston give him time to understand more players and more plays. He just need a stage to perform his talent. I just hope the new coach will not develop a rigid playing style for the team.

    • I was also glad to hear Lin saying he’s far away from reaching his full potential, because it’s very true. I think it’s unfortunate how a lot of “analysts” talk about Lin as if they’ve already concluded he’s an average or slightly above average PG after two full seasons in which he was horrendously misused and mistreated. At least I think Lin will have a chance to play the right way this year. If so, then the NBA world will finally see what type of player Jeremy Lin really is.

    • MrPingPong

      I am with you, Cosmotaichi. The two years in Houston really have done Lin a lot of good, in my opinion. Lin had to adapt and expand his game in order to play with “corner stone” players under the management of a clueless coach. He has survived all that marginalization, misusage and humiliation by a classless organization and fan base, and has emerged a much better player, stronger mentally and more versatile skill wise. As bonus, he has under his belt some invaluable playoff experience and lessons, things he would not have learned had he played for a mediocre team.

      Many NBA pundits drank the Rockets kool-aid and tried to marginalize Lin on every aspect of his game. But I believe the coaches who went up against Lin, like Byron Scott, could not help but notice how good Lin really was. They just didn’t want to advertise it too loudly though. I have the suspicion that they wanted to let McHale and Co keep drinking their own kool-aid and getting dumb and dumber!

      Anyway, I believe Scott really meant it when he said he was a Lin fan. I believe Scott will know how to play Lin and Kobe right and win. The Lakers will surprise everybody this coming season, but not me. The stage is set for the new BIG 3: Kobe, Lin and Scott! Yeah, two on the court and one on the side line! 🙂

      Letzzz Goooo Lakers!

  • Purple Blood

    This is an expression of someone who has found peace within himself and with his situation. It’s also a very wise way to approach a job that’s constantly being scrutinized by the public.
    Good point. It´ll be his playing that´ll do the talking, pundits be damned.

    I think the one other important factor for JL7, after what all of you here seem to agree on, which is that the Rockets (Dwight who?) experience was in fact a positive one for him. is precisely that Mamba is at a point in his career where he´s practically a player/coach who is definitely looking for ways to make his teammates better (of course so is Nash). Helping them reach for BEYOND whatever they believe their potential might be; (BTW, Mamba´s been doing this for a while now, despite what the KB haters out there say. He´s never been an idiot, he knows what´s what.)
    And, as he alluded to in the interview, this spells HUGE dividends for JL and his continued growth into what I hope (& have said previously) is a long, winning career as a Los Angeles Laker.

    P.S. This is great too: `The thing I like about Jeremy is that he’s feisty,” Scott said. “He’s tough. He competes.´
    That´s how Byron was during his playing days!!

    Can´t wait for training camp to begin! GO LAKERS!!!

    • MrPingPong

      Well, I finally tracked down this video of Mamba complimenting Lin. Mamba gets what he wished:

      Letzzz Gooo Mamba, Lin and Scott!

      • This video is more about Bryant talking about Yi Jianlian. I think this is an interview in China, so Bryant was saying how Jianlian just needs the right opportunity, like Jeremy Lin. Bryant is mainly just playing up to the Chinese media, since he understands his popularity there so he’s trying to defend Jianlian, who’s a big time player in China. So Bryant is saying how if Jianlian gets to play with him, then they’ll be able to show the world how good Jianlian is.

        I think the interview that really show’s Kobe’s confidence in Lin is the one where he said that if he was the owner of teams that passed on Jeremy Lin, heads would roll: “The biggest thing to me is how everybody missed it. They all would be fired if I was owning a team. I hear this stuff, ‘It came out of nowhere.’ I think it’s a load of [garbage]. You can’t play that well and just come out of nowhere. There has to be something there and everybody missed it. So heads would roll [if I was owner].’’

        Here’s the link to the New York Post article from that interview:

        So lets hope Kobe still believes in what he said during Linsanity and makes the most of this opportunity to play with the guy that he said he’d fire everyone for missing out on.

        But then, of course, there’s also the death stare ( that Kobe gave Lin in 2012 during Lin’s first season with the Rockets. I’m not sure if that stare is a sign of respect, like he’s pissed at Lin for Lin going off after he pretended to not know who Lin is and got made fun of for that. Or if the death stare is about his disappointment in Lin not panning out and continuing to play at a high level and prove his comment about firing everyone who missed out on Lin right. I think it’s more about the former than the latter. So if it’s the former, then Kobe should be ecstatic that Lin is his new teammate. But that was back in 2012, so I have no idea where Kobe’s head is at with Lin. I think he still does respect Lin, but probably not as much as he did after Lin’s 38 point game against him.

        I’m hoping that once Kobe gets to know Lin’s work ethic and Lin’s competitiveness, he’ll have just as much respect for Lin than he did when he made the “heads would roll” comment.

        • MrPingPong

          OK, thanks Philosopher. I misinterpreted the whole interview.

          On a separate note, it seems like the folks at SS&R not only don’t like the hiring of Scott but also do not think too much of Lin:

          It’s quite entertaining reading the comments from the posters. As to me, there is no question that Lin will deliver. As we all know by now, Lin has been busy practicing dunks! 🙂

          Have a great morning/afternoon/evening/night wherever you are on this WEB!

  • Forthelin
  • MrPingPong

    Hello Lin fans/non-fans, just making conversation here…

    In case you are bored to death and have time to burn, here are links to full videos of the Linsanity games with the Knicks in 2012.
    This one is in Chinese, but the Chrome browser can translate it to English.
    This page has links to the Nets break out game. From this page one can sequentially get to subsequent Linsanity games.
    This one requires that you register before viewing the videos.

    And in case you don’t know it already, I videotaped a bunch of Rockets home games last seasons and posted them on Youtube. Here is a link to Q4 of playoff game 5 between Rockets and Blazers:

    Enjoy, wherever you are on this WEB!