Regarding his Linsanity run in 2012, Jeremy Lin has stated that there were a lot of things (over thirty or so coincidences) out of his control that fell into place to make it all happen. That if one of those things didn’t occur, then Linsanity likely wouldn’t have happened. Lin, as we all know, talks a lot about God and he feels that God has had a hand in everything that has happened to him. I don’t know much about Lin’s God, but to me, it feels like Lin is destined to join the Nets next season.
Whether or not you believe in Lin’s God, Lin’s journey in the NBA has been epic. He became a world-wide overnight sensation after probably his lowest period in his NBA career, thinking that his career in the NBA was over when the Knicks were ready to cut him. Not many people have had such a dramatic shift in fortunes. Then after making the cover of Sports Illustrated two times in a row during his Linsanity run, Lin joined the Rockets, which initially looked like it could be a very good fit for him. And, again, overnight, Lin’s fortunes changed as the Rockets made a trade for James Harden out of no where. After the highs of Linsanity, Lin experienced some of his lowest periods with the Rockets and then again with the Lakers. Lin has had the misfortune to play against perhaps the most ball dominant and selfish players in the NBA in Carmelo Anthony, James Harden and Kobe Bryant. He also had the misfortune to be coached by some of the worst coaches in the NBA in McHale and Byron Scott (Scott is probably the worst coach in NBA history).
Lin’s life in the NBA feels more like a movie than someone’s actual life. It feels like a fable or if you like a biblical story, even. But I don’t want to go there. Let’s just call it a fable or a hero’s journey or a movie. He tasted the spoils of life for a brief period during Linsanity then it was taken away from him just as suddenly. After which, he toiled for years in near obscurity again, where his character, resolve, determination, etc. all got tested and strengthened. It was as if the universe wanted to give Lin a taste of fame and fortune, only to take it away, because he wasn’t ready for it, yet. If you recall, Lin has mentioned many times that he actually didn’t enjoy Linsanity. It was a very stressful time for him.
If we go along with the fable or hero’s journey idea, then this season with the Hornets to me is a time of renewal. It’s as if Lin toiled in the desert and came upon a pool of water where he could rest and restore himself for a time. The situation with the Hornets wasn’t ideal, which is why Hornets is only meant to be a resting stop for Lin. But during the playoffs, Lin did get a taste of what he got during Linsanity. This time, though, Lin was equipped to really enjoy the spotlight. He was so comfortable in his own skin, in fact, that he didn’t care how much attention he would draw with all his outrageous hairstyles. It’s as if the Universe wanted to test Lin again to see if he’s ready for the next phase in his life: Linsanity 2.0, for lack of a better term.
To me, Lin’s story is all leading up to him joining the Nets. If there is a perfect plan for Lin, then I can’t think of a more perfect plan then for Lin to bring about Linsanity 2.0 back to the city where it all started, playing for a coach who was his assistant coach during Linsanity (Kenny Atkinson). As someone who keeps talking about how God has a perfect plan for him, I’d be shocked if Lin doesn’t at least see how joining the Nets next season is part of the perfect plan. Like Linsanity, there are just too many coincidences outside of his control that all point to him joining the Nets.
- Out of nowhere, Nets hire the assistant coach who respected Lin and worked very closely with Lin even before Linsanity happened. Prior to this, the Nets were coach by Lionel Hollins who would have been a terrible fit for Lin.
- Nets is in dire need of a point guard and Atkinson is considered a PG guru, who stresses the importance of having a great floor general. Via @R0BaTO (a New York sports reporter, I believe), here’s what Atkinson had to say today about the Nets need for a PG: “It’s like the NFL quarterback. It’s the Drew Brees, it’s the Aaron Rogers. It’s super important.”
- Lin just happens to be a free agent at the same time the Nets are in dire need of a point guard and at a time in which the free agent market for point guards isn’t that great. The only free agent point guard in the NBA that I can possibly see the Nets pursuing over Lin is Mike Conley, but I doubt that Conley would be interested in joining the Nets. I think Conley is looking to join a contender or looking for a max contract, which I don’t think the Nets would be willing to offer Conley, because I see Marks as a smart GM who wouldn’t overpay for Conley. Of course, there’s always a possibility that the Nets could get a PG via trade or overseas, but it feels fortuitous that Lin is a free agent in a weak FA market for PGs in a time in which the Nets are in dire need of a PG.
- Nets hire Sean Marks who is looking to completely change the culture of the Nets to one that more resembles the Spurs, valuing high-character and unselfishness, which are things that Lin values highly. Prior to this, the Nets seem to value big names and didn’t seem to care much about character or unselfishness. Again, prior to this upcoming season, the Nets wouldn’t have been a good fit for Lin.
- Lin’s first Linsanity game was against the Nets back when they were still in New Jersey. It’s only fitting that he join the Nets to bring about Linsanity 2.0.
- Since Linsanity, the Nets move from New Jersey to New York, where Linsanity happened.
- The city where the Nets are is “Brooklyn”, which sounds like “Brook-Lin”. I mean, c’mon, how perfect is that?!
- Also, the center of the Nets is Brook Lopez, so if you combine Lin’s last name with the Nets’s current center’s (and Lin’s potential pick and roll partner) first name, you get “Brook Lin”. Again, how perfect is that?!
There are probably a bunch of other “signs” I’ve neglected to mention, but I think this is more than enough. No other team out there has this many signs guiding Lin to join them. And this is why I feel that Lin is destined to join the Nets. I just hope Lin and those close to Lin feel this way, as well.
Based on Atkinson’s press conference today, I feel even more ecstatic about the prospect of Lin joining the Nets and I feel even more confident that Atkinson/Nets will pursue Lin in free agency. Here’s what Atkinson had to say about finding a point guard in free agency, again via @R0BaTO: “It’s going to be a big decision… there are some exciting names out there, Hopefully we get lucky.” This is just a hunch, but it appears that Atkinson was thinking of Lin when he made this statement. Of course, he could just be making a politically correct statement, because there actually aren’t that many exciting free agent PGs this off-season. Of course, I think Lin is the top free agent PG available, but others in the NBA rank Rondo and Conley over Lin, since they’re not very familiar with Lin. Of these two, I can see the Nets pursuing Conley, Atkinson could also be thinking of Conley. But I just don’t see Marks overpaying for Conley and I don’t see Conley wanting to join a rebuilding situation like the Nets, unless they offer him tons of money and even if they did I think he’d still hesitate to join the Nets. Conley, at this point in his career, is looking to join a contender and have a shot at winning a ring. Of course, Rondo is totally out of the question, since he’s definitely not the high-character type of player that Atkinson/Marks want. So that pretty much just leaves Lin as really the only viable free agent PG I can see the Nets seriously pursuing and have a shot at getting.
When I think of how perfect the Nets are for Lin and vice-versa, I’m not too focused on the Nets’s current roster. I know that sounds odd, since that’s really important. But the reason why I don’t focus too much on the players currently on the Nets is because I think there could be a lot of shakeup to the roster during the off-season. It does appear that Brook Lopez and Thaddeus Young will remain on the team, though. I think Brook will be a good enough PnR partner for Lin and probably the best PnR player Lin has ever been able to play with. Lin hasn’t had much luck with PnR partners in his career. So Brook Lopez is pretty much good enough for me. All Lin needs is a pretty good PnR partner and unselfish players with high character, high basketball IQ and some athleticism and good shooters. Lin doesn’t need much and it’s actually better if Lin doesn’t have a dominant superstar playing with him.
I’m not too worried about the Nets roster. And from Atkinson’s press conference I’m worried even less about it, because I have confidence that Atkinson and Marks will bring only high-character and unselfish players to the team. I don’t know if you’ve had a chance to listen to Atkinson’s press conference today, but I was really heartened by it. When I watch these types of press conferences, I’m not as interested in what is said specifically as how it is said. In other words, the content is not as important to me as how he conveys what he says and how he interacts with the GM, etc. What I saw was great chemistry between Atkinson and Marks. They seem like two guys who really “get” each other, who can work well together and who really like and respect one another. I think Atkinson and Marks will have a very smooth working relationship and, as a result, will have a well-run team with very little politics.
There were a few instances at the press conference where I saw Marks reach over and give Atkinson a pat on his forearm in moments when Marks felt Atkinson needed reassurance or something. They also both seem like genuine human beings who are all about doing the right thing and value substance over flare. It doesn’t surprise me why Atkinson is so beloved by the players that he has worked with. He seems like he truly cares about his players and, again, just seems so genuine.
A lot of GMs and coaches tout about high character at these press conferences, but when Marks and Atkinson talk about it I can tell that they actually mean it. That it’s not just a sound bite, because they themselves appear to be high-character guys. I know some Lin fans worry about Lin joining the Nets because everyone expects the Nets to be nothing but a lottery team. Although this may be true next season (although I’m confident that Lin can turn the Nets into a playoff team next season), I’m confident that the Nets won’t be looking to tank next season so it won’t be a repeat of the Lakers situation for Lin. Also, I have the utmost confidence in Marks’s and Atkinson’s ability to remake the Nets into a younger Spurs team in the future. So I see the Nets as a place Lin can call home, because he’ll be in on the ground floor and be able to take part in building this Spurs-like culture. I’ve always said that Lin embodies the Spurs culture, so this is, yet, another sign to me for why Lin is destined to join the Nets next season.