It Feels like Jeremy Lin is Destined to Join the Brook-Lin Nets Next Season

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.

About JLintel

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  • Ace Pagoda

    It is almost too perfect a fit, JLin and the new coach and GM of the Brooklin nets. It is almost too perfect too that this situation is in the same area as the NYK. We won’t know until it happens, but if Brooklin wants JLin as their new PG then I hope they make the announcement with absolute positivity that JLin is the man they want to lead their team. No ifs, ands or buts. The coach may be dead certain that Brooklin can win with JLin as the leader but he must impress upon Lopez, Young and others that Brooklin wishes to attract to the team that JLin is not a 6th man, back-up PG or any of the other things the press labels JLin.

  • David

    There is also the Lopez-Fields-Lin-Palo Alto-Stanford connection that binds BrookLin. I recall they played summer pick up games in HS(?) or college.

    • Ace Pagoda

      Linsanity made Landry Fields look good enough for Fields to get $6 M/year from Toronto where he didn’t do much. But he, Jared Jeffries, Steve Novak and Tyson Chandler all looked better than they were due to Linsanity and all except I think Jeffries got good contracts after that.

    • David

      I meant to say there already is chemistry in BrookLin.

    • I remember that Lin and Fields play pickup games in the off-season in the Stanford area, but I don’t recall Lopez joining them. That would be awesome if Brook and Lin are already friends.

  • ashley

    Glad to learn that Mr. Philosopher remains hopeful about Lin joining the Nets. But with Atkinson saying “Hopefully we get lucky,” I feel they’re after someone who’s harder to pursue than Lin. Since Lin believes in Atkinson, he’ll jump at the starting opportunity; therefore, getting Lin shouldn’t be too hard and requires lots of luck. Did any reporters ask about their interest in the European guy?The unfortunate development after Linsanity seems like a reality drama for our guy. Could it finally lead to a happy ending? I hope so.

    • Atkinson’s statement about “hopefully we get lucky” is somewhat of a statement a person makes who is modest. So I think it’s just part of his personality to say something like that. Also, if you’re the Brooklyn Nets, you know that not a lot of Free Agents are eager to play for your team. I think even Jeremy Lin is going to be reluctant, which is why I keep tweeting Lin telling him that he needs to believe in himself enough to know that he can make the Nets into a playoff team. Even I am not confident that Lin will want to join the Brooklyn Nets, as much as I think it’s a perfect fit for him. So I wouldn’t say that the statement “hopefully we get lucky” does not apply to Lin. I think it does.

      But like I wrote in my post, the ONLY other free agent PG that’s a candidate for the Nets is Mike Conley. So Atkinson/Nets could also be thinking of Conley. I’m sure that Conley is on the Nets wishlist and he is likely ahead of Lin in terms of preference if all things are equal. But like I pointed out in my article, I don’t think Marks is going to agree to pay Conley what Conley is looking to make and on top of that I don’t even think Conley would want to join the Nets.

      So realistically, Lin is likely the Nets top free agent PG. Of course, Nets could also get a PG via trade or in the Euro league, as I mentioned in the article. No reporter asked specifics about which PGs the Nets are going after. I think at this stage, everything is kept in secrecy until probably right up to free agency. So we’ll just have to keep speculating in the meantime.

      • ashley

        Here’s some report I read about Atkinson’s response:

        “Atkinson declined to discuss any potential free agents at the position, such as Lin or Memphis Grizzlies star Mike Conley, but he did suggest the answer for the Nets might rest with a few players instead of one big name. When asked if he would hesitate to welcome a point guard from abroad, Atkinson responded “Absolutely not.”

        So Atikinson revealed nearly nothing about whom they’re interested in. And we should wait with patience.

        • Yeah, just like it doesn’t benefit Lin to reveal anything during his exit interview, it doesn’t benefit the Nets to reveal anything about free agency until it actually happens. Every now and then, you get a leak, but that doesn’t happen until closer to free agency.

          • ashley

            Indeed, it’s not smart to reveal their interests, but it turns out it’s actually some mandate from the NBA not to talk about free agents before free agency officially starts–on July 1?

            Fans probably have all listened to this recording of a radio interview with Atkinson:.

            At around 6:37, the radio host began asking Atkinson about Lin. And he sort of ended up as if he was talking to himself ’cause Atkinson was being all so evasive that he didn’t even mention Lin’s name for once. (They talked about some other guy later, and Atkinson responded well, though.) I understand he couldn’t talk about free agents, but I think he was overdoing it. Why not show a bit agreement to the radio host since the latter was so passionate and positive about Lin? I can’t help but think of the Rockets’ coaches being evasive when asked by reporters about Lin.

            I believe Atkinson to be a great coach, so it would be great for Lin to work with him again–and complete this amazing journey by returning to NY, as Mr. Philosopher has so eagerly envisioned.

            As complicated as this whole free agency stuff can be, I feel it’s reasonable to assume such a simple scenario: With their past good relationship, Atkinson has or should have contacted Lin by now to pursue him if Lin were their top choice. I would if I were Atkinson unless even a behind-the-scene contact between the two parties is forbidden by the NBA.

      • Jeremiah

        I think people are reading too much into the “get lucky” comment. Lin will have multiple suitors: Nets, Sixers, Spurs, Grizzlies, etc. There is no guarantee that the Nets offer will be Lin’s first choice. Therefore, if they do get Lin, the Nets will consider themselves lucky and their fans should feel the same.

  • MrPingPong

    I’ve been on the road lately and missing out on playoffs actions and FA speculation fun.

    About the playoffs… The Spurs’ old big three, Ducan/Parker/Ginobli, were showing their real NBA ages for sure. One can never cheat Father Time. So it is OKC vs GSW in the WCF. As someone who used to live in the Bay Area and root for the Dubs, I’d say GSW in six. As to the ECF, I just don’t see the Rapteors capable of stopping the Lebron freight train: Cavs in five.

    Back to Lin speculation, since Hoops Hype ranks Lin #3 behind Conley and Rondo, I will discuss the future of these top three FAs with inputs from my Ouija board.

    The Spurs will go all out to sign Conley. He has the personality and the skill set that fit the Spurs well. Conley said a while back that he would want to stay with the Grizz, but that was before they fired their coach (who, btw, had no problem landing another HC job). Many teams would love to have Conley, but how can Conley pass up a chance for a ring playing under Pop?

    Rondo’s best job is to play for the Rockets. Rondo does not like to shoot the ball and will be more than happy to pass the ball to Harden! A match made in heaven! These two guys are veterans. They don’t need no coaching. Let them coach themselves. Better yet, Morey should hire Byron Scott to compete for the lottery next season.

    As to Lin, yes, starting for the Nets would be a dream scenario. But, as we all know, the Gods of Basketball work in mysterious ways. Didn’t my Ouija board speculate a while back that MDA would be coaching the Rox next season? MDA will want Lin and not Rondo as part of the behind-the-scene negotiation! 😉

    • Ace Pagoda

      Rondo and Har_en would be like gasoline and a match. Rondo may not need to score but he does need the ball in order to pass it and Har_en won’t give it to him! I don’t recall your ouija predicting MDA to Houston but I hope not. I absolutely cannot see a good situation for JLin in that town, with Har_en and Morey. Har_en is toxic just like JLin is manna because of the nature of their basketball styles. It would be a waste of time for both of them but mainly JLin because he would be buried under Har_en’s selfishness. Brooklin is almost too perfect so my under the radar picks are Minny gets rid of Rubio and takes JLin (but I don’t want him there because it is too cold) or Chicago gets rid of Rose, Gasol and Noah and retools for shooting and speed. Even though it is also cold in Chicago at least it is a good basketball stage. Utah is an excellent spot if the coach appreciates JLin. It all really depends on if the coach can appreciate JLin’s skills enough to let him loose. Let the speculation continue! BTW I don’t recall what your ouija board is saying.

    • Looks like you had time to wash and wax your Ouija Board, because it’s firing on all cylinders. My best bet for Conley is that he goes to Spurs and I also think Rondo fits Rox well, since he’s also a basket case and he’s just the type of “superstar” that Morey would salivate all over. So I think Rox will make a big push for Rondo and Rox will continue to be the most dysfunctional team in the NBA. Perfect.

      Until MDA signs on the dotted line, I’m still highly skeptical about the prospect of MDA being the HC for the Rox, even though reports indicate he’ll likely be the new Rox head coach. I just can’t imagine how MDA would think it’s a good idea. MDA is also exactly the wrong coach for the Rox job, but we all know that Rox owners/GM/management all make awful choices, so I can’t count on them to know that MDA is the absolute wrong coach for Harden/Rox. So I still won’t believe that MDA would actually go to Rox unless he signs on the dotted line. I still think MDA is planning on using the offer as leverage or as a way to gauge how serious Colangelo is about promoting him to HC of Sixers.

      If MDA takes the HC job for Rox, his career is over. MDA must really not be very self-aware if he takes that job. He’s gotta know that it’s going to be a complete nightmare. I mean, that’s the whole reason why he resigned from the Knicks and got fired from the Lakers. Harden/Rox is even more toxic of an environment. It’s funny, MDA has had the same horrible fortune as Lin ever since MDA left the Suns. I don’t know how people close to MDA (i.e., his wife) could stand by and not stop him from making the biggest mistake of his life. So I still don’t believe that MDA would actually sign on the dotted line to essentially commit suicide.

  • Here’s a pretty good interview with Atkinson:

    I love a lot of things that Atkinson had to say about his views about coaching. I think even though this will be Atkinson’s first HC job, I have a very good feeling that he’ll be a good coach. When asked about what style he wants the Nets to play in, Atkinson responded by saying that “the good coaches figure out the best system for their players.” I love this response, because it tells me he’s not the type of coach to force-fit his schemes on players, which is something that a lot of coaches do, which is why there are so many bad coaches. He did outline that he wants the identity of the nets to be the following:

    1. Have solid defensive principles
    2. Compete every night
    3. Share the ball

    These three things embody the principles that Lin plays by, so Atkinson needs to hurry up and get on the phone with Lin already. Haha!

    Atkinson also appears to be big on PnRs and allowing the PG to handle the ball a lot, unlike coaches like Cliff and McHale who only want the PG to get rid of the ball as quickly as possible, rather than dribble/probe and feel out the defense.

    • Ace Pagoda

      It sounds from the way Atkinson talks that JLin is a very good fit for his basketball philosophy. JLin having improved so much on defense hits all the high points of his interview. I think JLin is a better potential fit than Conley when you look at the offensive system Conley came from. I don’t know about Conley’s defensive prowess. For sure JLin is a better fit than Rondo, in any coach’s system. Rondo was with a good coach in Dallas and look what happened there. I get nervous thinking how perfectly the fit looks from here for JLin in Brooklin. But it all depends on the coach. If a coach lets JLin play PG and lead his team then that team is dangerous. This is why it doesn’t matter that much if Brooklin doesn’t have draft picks or not. They have some talent and with a share the ball team approach, good scouting on existing players and some cap space they can get competent high character professionals and be in the playoffs, especially in the Eastern Conference. For a Brooklin backup PG I would look at Kendall Marshall, currently on the bench roster for Philly. Remember when MDA unleashed him while with the Lakers? He was an almost automatic double digit assist guy. Not great D though, a little slow and a funny looking shot but a guy who could get the ball to scorers in position to score. I loved to watch him see the floor and pass. he was starting to play a lot for Milwaukee and Kidd before he tore his ACL. Saw some spec on JLin as a fit in Denver if they don’t think the rook is ready yet. Jared Jeffries, ex-Knick during the Linsanity days is an exec with Denver now. Love to see JLin the west though Utah is a better place.

  • Here’s a good article recapping some of Atkinson’s interviews with the media:

    Here’s Atkinson’s perspective on the PG position: “They’re the high usage guys, handling the ball all the time and I know this is a cliche but it’s a pick-and-roll league now and those guys are making all the decisions. They’re dropping back to pass, they’re reading defenses. They’re reading who’s open, if the role guy is open, if the guys who are spaced out is open.”

    Atkinson really understands and appreciates the PG position and wants the PG to handle the ball, rather than just move the ball like Lin’s previous coaches (McHale, Scott, Cliff). This is why I have a lot of confidence that Lin would be a perfect coach for Lin.

    Also, Alan Hahn, a NYC sports radio host, prefers Lin over Teague. Alan is also a very good friend of Atkinson from childhood. So I’m hoping that Hahn can convince Atkinson that Lin is the right choice for the Nets’s starting PG.

    More excerpts: So who would the starter be? That’s the big question. During the same show, without Atkinson present, Hahn said that if the choice came down to signing Jeremy Lin or trading for Jeff Teague, both huge fans of Atkinson, he’d go with the Lin, noting that his time in New York and last season in Charlotte proved he could handle the starting job.

    “He has starting quality talent,” said Hahn. “He was also a huge hit in New York and he has a connection to the head coach.” It was Atkinson who recognized Lin’s potential when both were with the Knicks.

    • Ace Pagoda

      Atkinson’s definition of the PG in today’s NBA does not seem to all that many PG’s. But the one who fits perfectly within his definition is JLin. Westbrook and Curry while hot players are not PnR’s and look for their shot first which keeps defenses on their toes. JLin also looks to drive constantly but takes the shot if it is there but seems equally content to pass to the open man. Teague has a decent balance of shoot vs pass but not as good as JLin. Conley I don’t know well enough. Rondo looks to gather assists and his lack of offense does not set his teammates up as well as JLin’s style. Rose, well, Chicago did not make the playoffs. KW, we know his history. Rubio can make flashy passes but is not enough of an offensive threat. You can go down the list of PG’s in the NBA and I don’t think there is a better fit for Atkinson than what JLin has shown in his small sample over the past 4 years. The risk for Atkinson is if he wants JLin, JLin’s track record is rather thin. But that is what would make him a bargain. I don’t think multiple teams are going to bid over $10 M for JLin though many on JLin blogs sites seem to unrealistically think so. That is not the NBA culture. If Atkinson and the Nets make an offer to JLin to be their starting PG then they could be stealing the deal of next year if only because he will make his teammates better than they would be without him.

  • It looks like the unthinkable happened and MDA will join the Toxic Rockets. It’s the absolutely worst decision for all parties involved. The whole time, I thought MDA was just testing the waters and maybe it started that way, but for whatever reason MDA decided to actually go through with it. MDA is absolutely the worst coach for the Rox and this Rox team with Harden is the absolutely wrong team for MDA. Oh well. Too bad MDA didn’t have people in his life to stop him from stepping in front of an out of control train.

    Anyway, I think I’ll add item (MDA to Rox) as yet another sign out of many that indicate Lin’s destiny is with the Nets, because now there’s not MDA vs. Atkinson talk. There is only Atkinson.

  • JC

    I think we’re forgetting the another possibility, that the Nets go for Conley AND Lin, or any other combination of starting/backup point. They certainly will have the cap space to make such a move.

    • Good thought, but I doubt Lin would accept the offer to be a backup PG with Nets if he can find a starting PG offer elsewhere. So I don’t think that’s an option for Lin. I think if Lin was to remain a backup PG, he would just stay in Charlotte or he would find a better team to be a backup PG. I think Lin would only consider a non-contender like Nets if he can be the starting PG. This off-season, Lin should have options, so i think he can be picky and he will.