Phil Jackson is the Biggest Factor for Me in Jeremy Lin’s Potential Return to the Knicks

With the hiring of Jeff Hornacek, some Lin fans, including myself, are taking a second look at the Knicks. Knicks suddenly look like an intriguing choice as a potential destination for Jeremy Lin. I think some of the biggest factors that eliminated them from contention for me have decrease in their potency over time.

It’s clear now that Dolan is no longer in charge. Phil Jackson is running the show now, so I think IF Dolan agrees to sign Lin, Dolan will be a non-factor once Jeremy Lin is on the team. Of course, the other issue is Melo, but I think out of desperation, Melo won’t be as big of an obstacle, because he’s so tired of losing all the time and he knows that Knicks fans blame him for pushing their beloved Lin out, so he’ll MAYBE try to redeem himself if Lin returns. I’m not saying that Melo won’t be an issue, but I think he’ll be much less of an issue than he was during Linsanity.

One thing I’m most excited about, regarding Lin’s potential return to the Knicks is that the Lin/Porzingis combo would be lethal, dynamic and so much fun to watch. Those are two of the most beloved players for Knicks fans in a while. So having two Knicks fan favorites on the same team…I don’t think Knicks fans would be able to contain themselves!

The BIG question mark for me is Phil Jackson. His hiring of Hornacek caught everyone by surprise, since Hornacek is not in the triangle (pun intended). I guess you can say that Hornacek has had experience defending against the triangle as a player, but that was ages ago so I don’t think that counts for much.

I think a lot of Lin fans get excited about Hornacek potentially being LIn’s coach, because Hornacek had one of the fastest PnR heavy offenses when he coached the Suns. I have to admit, I’m also excited about it, but I temper my enthusiasm, because I think Hornacek will still do whatever Phil wants him to do. Also, we’ll never really know if Hornacek coached that way, because he had a PG-heavy roster and maybe even a front office that like the fast-tempo D’Antoni originated there. So to me, Hornacek is a bit of an unknown entity. I don’t really know what type of coach he’ll be under Phil Jackson.

There have been conflicting reports about whether or not the triangle is dead now that Hornacek has been hired. Some, like Jeff Van Gundy think the triangle is dead, but other reports say that there’s no way Phil will completely abandon the triangle. My take on it is that without a point guard like Jeremy Lin, Hornacek will have to accept more of the triangle and Phil will have more of a hand in how the offense looks. But the big question is, what happens if Jeremy Lin is the Knicks’s point guard under Jeff Hornacek? Will Hornacek then have the freedom to run an offense like he did with the Suns? My take is that it’ll be tough for Phil to relinquish control. Phil is not as much of a Zen Master as he makes himself out to be.

My gut instinct on Phil Jackson is that he’s not very high on Jeremy Lin. Phil has never had the pleasure of coaching a dynamic, free-flowing point guard like Jeremy Lin. Phil’s PGs have been systems players, who are essentially there just to move the ball to the star player (Jordan/Kobe). I just don’t see Phil really appreciating Lin’s game, so to me that’s the biggest factor, because it’s clear that Phil is in charge. I don’t think Phil would hire Hornacek if he didn’t feel like he couldn’t work with Hornacek and get Hornecek to do what he wants. I think Phil does respect Hornacek, so I do think it will be more of a partnership. But I think at the end of the day, Phil will get what he wants, since he’s the guy in charge.

Given the lack of talented free agent point guards, the Knicks may have no choice but to make Lin an offer. I do think the Knicks will go heavy after Conley, though, and that’s probably their first choice. And I can see Conley joining Melo and the Knicks if he gets a great offer from the Knicks, maybe even Rondo. Just all hunches by me, though. I haven’t done any research or thought very deeply about what the Knicks are looking for. Of course, Nets remain my first choice for Lin by far, but Knicks suddenly become an intriguing choice for Jeremy Lin. Lin does seem to love playing in MSG.

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  • LinFan123

    Whats up fellow LinFans haven’t posted in a while but I have been reading all you guys posts of course.
    1. Dont love NY for JLIN inspite of Hornacek. Melo= drama and losses, Porzingis= Equals great young player but more of a pick and pop guy. Not dynamic on the roll which JLIN thrives with. Also, NY media will create nonsense problems for JLIN if things dont go well.

    2. Rockets- I know try not to throw up at the thought of our boy heading back to that toxic team. Just thought I would mention that STEPHEN SILAS asst coach for the Hornets who loves JLIN is a finalist there with Dantoni. So either way it will be a very pro Jeremy coach!! But….then theres Harden…so I say run Jeremy Run! Would never want him to play with Harden again no matter who the coach is.

    3. That leaves BROOKLYN! This would be my top choice! Our leader has pointed out all the reasons why previously so I won’t cover that ground again.

    4. Stay in Charlotte? Really hoping against this (even thought since I live in NC I get to watch every game!!) Lets face it he only played so much last year due to injuries. Clifford let him down too many times. Leave Jeremy!

    5. Who saw Charlotte coming last year???? Nobody. It wouldn’t surprise me at all if he ends up somewhere none of us are even considering!!!

    Cant wait to find out.

    Meantime GO WARRIORS AND GO RAPTORS right??
    Personally can’t stand Lebron… and just really appreciate the way the Warriors play.

    JLIN TO THE NETS! Makes NY feel what they are missing!!

    Peace out.

    • Thanks for the input, LinFan. Great stuff! Yep, I’m with you. Knicks is still a gamble, although I think with Lin Porzingis will be happy to do PnRs and not just pick and pop. Porzingis has the skills to be a PnR guy, I think.

      The other thing I hesitate about Knicks is that Lin going to Knicks feels a little like Lin is taking a step back. This is another reason why the Nets are so perfect, because he can bring Linsanity back to where it all happened but on a different team.

      Yeah, every time I think about it, Nets is the perfect situation for Lin. If he doesn’t pick the Nets, I’d be very very disappointed. I hope Lin doesn’t surprise me during this free agency.

      • Ace Pagoda

        You can’t go home again and NYK are the home of JLin’s NBA basketball career. You cannot recreate Linsanity and JLin does not even like those memories so why put undue pressure on oneself in arguably one of the most toxic media places on the planet, not to mention NY “fans”. Plus, Hornacek is still an unknown. He had one good season and one bad after which he was let go. Just because he played 3 guards doesn’t mean much because they were his three best players and one got into a snit and left for Miami. Plus Phil Jackson needs to retire. Lastly, in NY you still have Dolan.I wouldn’t give the guy the opportunity to screw me up again. Oh, and one more thing- Melo- forget him. Let him win a championship on is own. I don’t see why NYK hired Hornacek while Vogel was still out there as well as David Blatt. Something is not right about that coaching hire. Atkinson may be a first time coach but at least he knows JLin. If Brooklin makes JLin an offer then it is just as telling about the competency of the coach as well as JLin because Atkinson will be taking a big risk in obtaining someone who is not highly regarded by the media especially because he could probably get a more known quantity in Teague if he wanted. If it does not work out they will roast him. But that is not worth mentioning because I think it will work out fine.

        • Yeah, I’m a little suspicious of the Hornacek hiring myself and Hornacek is also an unknown to me, too. I think Phil may have hired Hornacek, because he feels that Hornacek will listen to him and do what he wants, which will be an issue for Lin.

  • MrPingPong

    Does anyone know how PJ got anointed the Zen Master title? He sure did surprise everyone with the Hornacek hiring. In case you don’t know it, here’s a fun read on the subject:

    And yes, Linfan123, nobody saw Lin signing with Charlotte last summer. Nobody, except me and my Ouija board. I’m not kidding! 🙂

    • Really?! Your Ouija Board said that Lin would go to the Hornets? I gotta start taking your Ouija Board more seriously.

    • I’m not exactly sure how PJ got the Zen Master title. I know he’s into meditation and zen philosophy and he did recommend zen philosophy to his players and such, but not sure exactly the moment when someone decided to call him Zen Master.

    • LinFan123

      I should have known! Sorry for doubting you and the board!

  • ashley

    You probably have heard this podcast interview with Atkinson.–nets-coach-kenny-atkinson-135110162.html

    Having a tough rebuilding job at hand with no draft picks, Atkinson stressed the importance of being creative–that they could look for talents from the international market, the D-league, and the players under contract. A few days ago, in another interview I read about, he even mentioned a guy on the team who had good potential (as a point guard?) . My point is he didn’t mention pursuing NBA’s free agents at all; hence I believe he hasn’t made that call to Lin yet.

    As for Phil Jackson, I don’t think he’ll go after our guy. Hiring a coach who likes PNR merely indicates that after failing for two seasons, he’s finally come around and is willing to let the coach take control, instead of forcing his triangle system on the coach and the team. That’s pretty much about it. It may mean they’ll need a guard who’s great at PNR, but it could be anyone but Lin, and it has always been like that with our guy. Lin said his team/agent contacted the Knicks last off season, but they weren’t interested, so it’s the Knicks FO who didn’t want Lin. It’d be great if Lin could join the Knicks again, but my hopes are low–sorry for being so pessimistic.

    • As with exit interviews, nothing of much interest is revealed in the interviews that Atkinson has done with respect to which players he wants to bring on board–especially when it comes to free agent. There’s an NBA rule that prevents Coaches/GMs, etc. from contacting or even publicly discussing interest a player who is under contract with another team. I don’t know the specifics of the rule, but it’s the reason why Atkinson avoids even mentioning LIn’s name in interviews. And Atkinson DEFINITELY can’t call Lin or Lin’s agents during this period.

      Atkinson is free to talk about guys currently on the Nets, though. And that’s why Atkinson talked about their current backup PG. That’s mainly just him being politically correct. So you have to take most of what’s said about personnel, etc. with a grain of salt at this stage. At lot of it is Atkinson trying to be politically correct and talk up the guys currently on the team and a lot of it is just Atkinson talking in generalities, because he violates a lot of rules if he talks specifically about any one free agent, etc.

    • Yes, I’m aware that Lin’s camp contacted the Knicks last off season. A lot of things change in a season. Last season, Lin’s situation was pretty awful and I was extremely pessimistic. This season, I anticipate that Lin will have a lot of options. But, yeah, I think the Knicks’s top target is Conley. I think they’ll also talk about LIn behind-the-scenes, but not sure if they’ll actually make Lin an offer. The reason why I think they might is because of the hiring of Hornacek and Lin is one of the few Free Agent PGs who fit what Hornacek may be looking to do. Lin is lucky that the level of talent for free agent PGs is lacking this off season. It’s kind of a perfect storm for Lin.

      Don’t be sorry about being pessimistic, I don’t really like the idea of Lin going back to the Knicks all that much. Just figured it’s worth writing a post about. For me, all I want is NETS NETS NETS!

  • Forthelin

    I think the fact that Jackson hired Hornecek instead of Rambis shows that Dolan is in charge, not Jackson. And, given Dolan’s personal grudge-making and his favorite player, Marshmello, it is almost a given that the Knicks will not want Lin back in any situation. For Dolan, everything is personal, not professtional.

  • Knicks_Fan

    I am a big Knicks fan and Lin to the Knicks will be like a dream come true. It would be really wise for the Knicks to sign Lin, but for some reason, I don’t feel too good about it, just because of that dickhead Phil Jackson. It would feel like he is going bckwards as someone here stated.

    It would be really smart on Melo’s part to actually try to recruit Lin, but don’t think he will…

    Knicks is prob the ONLY team in the entire professional sports world that would do something like this: Have a player electrify the City, the basketball world the way he had done, electric a fanbase, made everyone feel really good, bring in all the MOney … Let him leave…. has ACTUALLY gotten a lot better… and refuse to sign him….

    Nets is a team I really don’t like.. I hate them, but will follow them because of Lin… I’ve learned that I could care less about a team once he is not on it.. very weird.

    Can you imagine if he goes to the Nets, have a great season, is beloved by the fans, takes them to the playoffs, etc.. This is something I see easily happening. Knicks “Fans” will eat management alive…


    • Thanks for your comment! Yeah, I share your feelings on the idea of Lin returning to the Knicks. Glad to know that you would be willing to set aside your hatred for the Nets and follow Lin there if he does go there. I do think that there’s a good chance Lin can take the Nets to the playoffs. I hope Lin, Atkinson and Marks feel the same way.

    • MrPingPong

      Thanks for stopping by (every once in a while) and sharing your thoughts, Knicks Fan. I believe Knicks fans truly embrace Lin because they saw Linsanity unfold in front of their own eyes. One thing I don’t know is what Knicks fans think of MDA. What do you think of MDA?

      I think MDA is sorta like the Jeremy Lin of coaches. “He can’t coach defense, blah blah blah…” is what MDA haters keep harping on. Well, MDA is now the Rockets new coach. Rockets fans at TheDreamShake are cursing the hiring of MDA. IMOBO (In My Ouija Board Opinion) Les wants MDA because Les wants Lin back. Can’t wait to see Rox fans’ reactions when Lin comes back to the Rockets and runs the floor! Ha ha! 😉

      The Lin/Harden backcourt can be really exciting if they are coached to play freely off each other. Remember the first few games of the Rockets’ 2012-2013 season? Check out these two games:

      McHale really f*cked things up, didn’t he?

      • You’re right, MrPingPong! Lin and Harden actually played well together BEFORE McHale got his hands all over everything. But I think that was back when Harden didn’t have as much of an ego. Harden’s ego has steadily grown ever since he became the “face of the franchise”. I was actually pretty optimistic of the LinHarden back-court and wrote a lot about it in the beginning. They actually naturally played off each other well UNTIL MfFale started coaching them.

      • Ace Pagoda

        I watched both of the videos Mr. PP and they featured JLin handling the ball as the primary. As long as JLin is THE PG and Har_en is the SG they can be quite dynamic. The difference is if Har_en hogs the ball he dribbles around looking for his shot first and after a while the defenders get lax and if a Houston teammate is open he gets the ball and Har_en gets the assist. Whereas when JLin has the ball he is looking for anybody to score and the defense must play everybody and not just the ball which means JLin can get open shots. In this system yes both can thrive and the team can thrive. But Har_en has to buy in to letting JLin being the primary ball handler. Under MDA’s system these two guards are as good as or better than any two in the league, better than Curry/Thompson if Har_en bothered to play defense. It is Har_en’s unwillingness to contribute defense that alone would make it not desirable for JLin in Houston, along with the other reasons I don’t think JLin should go to Houston. Memphis hired a new coach but don’t know much about him and his offensive system so hard to say whether Memphis will try to get JLin. I don’t care for Memphis anyway. Still don’t like NYK because of the owner, Melo and even PJ. Fans want a return of Linsanity but can they take the losses too? Better that they have that magical time for a memory rather than the reality of an absurdly long 82 game regular season plus playoffs.

        • Good point about Lin not returning to Knicks, because it’s better that the knicks just have the memory of those magical weeks of Linsanity.

  • Ace Pagoda

    So MDA is going to sign on to be coach of Houston. A new point of intrigue for us JLin fans. I don’t like Houston, Don’t like James Har_en. Don’t like or trust Morey. I really hope JLin is not tempted to go to Houston also because I think they have lousy fans. Plus the weather is horrible. But if Houston and especially MDA try to lure JLin and if JLin does go there then I have enough faith that JLin is smart enough to know what he is doing. It won’t be for love of MDA or any sense of loyalty because he does not owe MDA anything. But it will be because MDA will present him a situation that will work to create a winning team. Part of this situation will be to take the ball out of Har_en’s hand and put it into JLin’s hands and I expect JLin will fully expect Har_en to to aware of this fact and accepting of it. If not JLin will not buy in. Or they trade Har_en. But MDA’s signing on to Houston means it was probably not a contract ploy for Philly to fire Brown and hire MDA, which takes Philly out of the picture probably it is unknown what Brown thinks of JLin. Brooklin still remains the best situation for JLin if Atkinson wants to build the team around him.

    • Thanks, Ace. You gave the well-thought response about MDA going to Rox. To me, it’s a complete disaster for all involved, because MDA is the absolutely wrong coach for Rox and Rox with Harden is the absolute wrong team for MDA.

      I comment to my previous article on this MDA news. I think MDA took the interview initially just to test the waters. But something must have happened to make MDA actually take the position. The ENTIRE time I was skeptical that MDA would actually want the job. He’s either extremely not self-aware or I must be missing something here.

      In my view, there’s absolutely no way Lin will go back to the Toxic Rockets. Lin has closed that chapter in his life. I don’t see ANY realistic scenario in which Lin returns to the Rox, so I am not even worried about it. I think even IF the BBall scenario was great, Lin wouldn’t return, just because the place itself left such a bad taste in his mouth. Horrible fan base and media, etc. I think Lin would have PTSD if he returned. So that’s why I am not even worried about Lin returning.

  • Ace Pagoda

    Hmmmmm: This writer has been favorable to JLin before and is making a pitch to JLin to come play back in Houston. The only good thing in Houston is MDA and, it possibly appears, the owner. The rest is pretty toxic. including Morey. He makes a good case that if MDA can get Har_en to heel (and play some defense) then it could be quite the dynamic duo. And it could be. I looked at the videos posted by Mr. PP from the Houston days and they were quite impressive until McFail’s interference. But Har_en’s propensity for ball hogging would relegate JLin to secondary ball handler and I don’t think that would do from JLin’s perspective even though he has become a more multi-talented player. He could do it. But after 4 years of wandering in the wilderness playing out of position like his clueless coaches wanted him to I think he has earned the right to play the position that lit the sports world on fire for a few weeks. It would be up to MDA to get Har_en to buy in and if he won’t buy in to send him elsewhere. Hopefully Houston can get a couple of valuable pieces for him. The current roster has some interesting pieces but with Dwight Howard leaving nothing earth shaking. Like a pretty girl Houston, because of MDA ,might be attractive but I would resist the temptation unless there is no other place that will allow him to be the starting PG.

    • I didn’t read that piece by Chris Baldwin, because I know Lin will never go back to Houston. So don’t want to waste my time. Chris is a sports writer in Houston, so it’s in his interest to hope that Lin comes back to Houston.

      Unless MDA has change dramatically somehow, I think he’s the absolute wrong coach for Har_en. So I’ll have to disagree strongly with Baldwin for thinking that MDA is the right coach for Houston. I really don’t think many coaches wanted to coach the Toxic Rockets, which is why they were able to only interview Assistant Coaches for their HC job. So I guess out of all the coaches they saw, MDA MAY have been the best choice, but I think that’s more because of his name than anything else. MDA was competing against a bunch of assistant coaches, so he had easy competition. And even then, it took Houston a while to make the decision to give MDA the job. So I’m sure MDA wasn’t the coach the Rockets really wanted, but they really didn’t have too many good options. Beggars can’t be choosers.

      No matter what, Lin will never return to Rockets. Too many bad memories there. Even if the BBall fit is right, Lin won’t come back as long as Morey/Har_en are still there.

      • Ace Pagoda

        I think MDA took the Houston job because at 65 years old it was his last chance. He may try to get JLin to join him there as JLin is the prototype PG for his offense. But like you, the only way JLin considers Houston is (a) he does not get a starting PG offer and (b) Morey and Har_en are gone. However I did not know Mr. PP was from Houston so maybe the ouija board will lure him there! MDA would have been a good fit in Indiana, where he interviewed. Larry Bird said he wanted uptempo basketball then he hired Nate McMillan? What?

        • Yeah, I thought Bird would hire MDA after he made that statement about uptempo offense. I have no idea what Bird was thinking hiring Nate McMillan. If Bird is looking for uptempo, that’s the wrong hire. Most of the time, I feel like owners/GMs have no idea what they are doing. But I must be missing something. The decisions a lot of owners/GMs make are insane to me. They make no sense. It’s like they have no access to information or something.

    • MrPingPong

      That 2012-2013 season with Lin on the Rockets was pretty fun. Lin had perfect attendance, starting in all 82 games! Unfortunately, he got injured big time in the playoffs against OKC and was rather ineffective trying to play hurt.

      I went to just about all the Rockets home games to watch Lin play. I was at this game:

      and record this block by Lin on Josh Smith:

      You can hear my son wowing in the background! 🙂

      Just some fun memory! Can’t wait for FA!

  • LIbertad (the old ItDoesn’tGetEddieVedderThanThis)

    Ladies and gentlemen, just this link tells us why JLin should not return to Houston until James Harden was traded and Morey was fired. The fanbase is too toxic there and anti-JLin!

    Houston is not going to be a good place for J-Lin. I don’t like Charlotte anymore too, because of how the coach treated Lin like he’s afraid of him committing turnovers and fouls and you can look at his reactions to J-Lin’s mistakes. He’s so restrictively controlled since the Miami game of 2012 and Lin is no Draymond Green that can challenge the coaching staff over his shot selection or Ginobili arguing with Pop over minutes and playmaking. Lin is a bit more submissive up to a fault that he can’t even protest over his treatment by the referees.

    J-Lin needs to look at his chances in Brooklyn. Hopefully, Brooklyn has plans for J-Lin that involves the management truly believing in investing or even experimenting with him as primary ballhandler, even for a little bit! Lin just needs a string of 5 great games as starting point guard in Brooklyn. Then he’ll be back! And the whole leagues will have to adjust to him!

    Lin needs to be more assertive and be more of an activist…. Brooklyn is going to help him, more than Charlotte, because the NY media is going to be there. Lin just needs to have the ball!

    • I agree! Brooklyn Nets remain the top choice by far. Rockets are too toxic, even with MDA. I would be shocked if Lin chooses to return. I’m sure D’Antoni will reach out to Lin, though. Lin just has to stay strong and say “no!”

      I actually think it could work out basket-ball wise in Houston, but the overall environment (fanbase, media, etc.) is to toxic and I think that’s why Lin won’t consider a return. Keep in mind, Lin has actually already been to Houston twice. He was cut by McHale and the Rockets pretty much right before LInsanity happened. It’s one of the reasons why McHale is a Jeremy Lin Doubter/Hater. He wanted to prove that he was right for cutting Lin the first time.

    • MrPingPong

      ‘Good to see you back here, Eddie Vedder! Eddie Vedder is such a perfect name for a Lin fan. Why did you change it? 🙂

      No, there is no time for Lin to go to a team where they can “experiment with him as a primary ball handler.” Lin has to be the floor general, period. No if, no but, no nothing. The team has to trust Lin with the ball from day one and throughout the whole season (and postseason). Right now there is only one NBA coach that has proven to understand Lin’s game. That’s MDA. Atkinson, we don’t know for sure, but we sure do hope so. And don’t forget Hornacek! 😉

  • pistolpete

    Houston would have to get rid of Morey, Harden, their sportscasters and 90% of their disgusting clutchfans fanbase for Lin to consider going there.

    • That’s right, pistolpete! Such a toxic environment overall.

      • Ace Pagoda

        Better yet move to Seattle and become the Houston Supersonics. Seattle is a nice place and would be a great environment for him. This would make up for taking the team to OKC and depriving them of Durant, Westbrook and company.

        • MrPingPong

          Do you mean, the Seattle Rockets, Ace? 😉

          • Ace Pagoda

            Oops. Right, Seattle Rockets. Seattle really got screwed on that deal.

    • MrPingPong

      I agree that 90% of the Clutchfans are a bunch of sad people.

      As to the Rockets TV announcers, I like Matt Bullard. I think Matt respects Lin’s game. Bill Worell is just a play-by-play announcer. I don’t have a problem with him. Clyde Drexler, he sure was a good player, but has no skill in doing live game analysis.

      Harden, his ego has been battered and bruised this past season for sure. The NBA community as a whole constantly make fun of his (lack of) defense. He doesn’t even make NBA 3rd team in spite of his scoring prowess. He is not going anywhere. So for his own good, I hope he learns that to be the face of the franchise, he has to show up and give 110% at both ends of the floor in every game and share the ball! I believe with proper coaching, Harden and Lin can be a formidable back court.

      Morey, now, he’s something else! He was the one who cut Lin on Christmas eve of 2011. But he was forced by Les to bring Lin back. Here is something Chris Baldwin (a Lin fan for sure) wrote a while back:

      I’m pretty sure, deep inside, Morey does not like Lin. But now he has to hire MDA so that MDA can recruit Lin back! Do you think Morey is happy? Ha ha, this is so much fun! 🙂

      • Yes, for me the ONLY sliver of hope that Harden MAY change his ways is that he didn’t even make All NBA 3rd team. That’s gotta bruise his ego big time. So that’s really the only way to get Harden to change is to damage his ego. Not making All NBA 3rd team with his stats is a total disgrace. Although a very deserving one and this is one of the FEW times in which NBA analysts, etc. get it right. I think I saw somewhere that Harden is the ONLY player with the points/assists/rebound combo stats that he had this season to not make All NBA 1st team, I think in history or something crazy like that. Meaning that Harden had great stats, but didn’t impact the game positively whatsoever. Something like that has got to sink in somehow. So that’s why I think Harden may FINALLY change. Not even making all NBA 3rd team has got to be a big wake up call, even for Harden. We’ll see.

        Here’s Baldwin’s latest article on D’Antoni hiring and Lin. I didn’t read Baldwin’s first article on MDA hiring, but this article mentioned that MDA brought up Linsanity/Lin unprompted to the media right after the press conference.

        That was actually quite surprising to me and tells me that MDA will go after Lin HARD because he knows that Lin is the only free agent PG who can run his system and give him success in Houston. This does make me feel more okay about Lin joining MDA in Houston, but I just hope that Atkinson wants Lin just as badly and makes an even better case. We’ll see.

        It’s still be highly surprised if Lin decides to return to the Rox. I actually think the BBall fit will be fine. The issue is, of course, the overall toxic environment (fanbase/media) and also the emotions are still too raw.

  • Ace Pagoda

    Let the speculation continue! The Houston situation will be great drama, comedy and/or tragedy for the next month or so as we wait to see where JLin will end up. I truly hope it is not Houston because of the environment- the “fans”, GM, Har_en and the bad weather (humidity, rain). Ditto for Charlotte. As long as Clifford is the coach then Charlotte is automatically NO. JLin is very lucky that MKG was injured, that KW got injured for the Cleveland game and that Batum was injured. Otherwise, can you imagine, JLin would have had no opportunities? Clifford could very well have ended JLin’s NBA career. As it turned out JLin made the very most of those scant opportunities to show the league what he can do. I am glad I have no teal colored clothes because if I did I would burn them.

    • You are so right about this, Ace. If it weren’t for injuries–especially Batum in the playoffs, Lin wouldn’t have been able to repair his image the way he has.

      Linsanity was borne out of desperation and since then it only surfaces in spurts out of desperation (i..e., injury to Lin’s teammates), unfortunately.

    • MrPingPong

      Yeah, Ace! Let the speculation fun on Lin’s FA continue.

      Lin came to the Hornets thinking Cliff understood his game, but if it weren’t for the unexpected injuries to Batum and Kemba, Lin wouldn’t have had a chance to showcase his true game! So, NO, Lin’s not going back to the Hornets.

      In less than a month we will find out where Lin will end up playing. IMOBO, the Rockets are the frontrunner in the race for Lin because of MDA. Most of us here probably have watched the MDA’s press conference and heard Les say, “Mike always says players love to play for him. Not only because they get better, but they get paid. He’ll be a lucrative source for us in free agency.” Who do ya think Les is talking about? Lin is gonna get paid, folks! 🙂

      I know, most Lin fans are opposed to Lin going back to that “toxic” Houston environment. And at the same time, most Clutchfans are violently opposed to Lin coming back to their team as well! There are no other players in the NBA who are in Lin’s situation. Amazing! 😉

      Let’s continue to speculate and debate! 🙂

      Have a great weekend everyone, wherever you are on this WEB!

  • Ace Pagoda

    A little weekend speculatin’. Perusing other blogs and sports websites reading a lot of speculating about the MDA-Houston situation and bringing JLin into it. Houston still a bad spot with Har_en and Morey. Plus JLin’s history with Houston not good so it would take a unique reason for him to reunite with JLin- though I do think JLin looks good in Houston red. Read about some rumors, not substantiated that Chicago might be shopping D. Rose. Obviously if this is true and it happens then Chicago becomes a strong possibility for JLin as they will need a PG. I have read that J. Butler needs the ball in his hands a lot and if so this could clash with JLin. However, JLin proved effective as a SG so this might be a dynamic combo if Butler is an intelligent player who wants to win as opposed to a point-seeker only like Har_en. Plus Butler plays terrific D which wth JLin would be perfect should they meet GSW in the NBA Finals (whoa! did I just say that?). But Chicago still needs some pieces, which they might get from trading D. Rose. After all, with JLin they are not getting a superstar, they are getting a player who makes others better as a team. Any pursuit of JLin by Chicago and his potential success there is dependent on whether or not Holberg truly wants an uptempo and his as-yet unknown abilities as a coach. But I like the Chicago stage. Don’t trust the FO though. Brooklin is still the preferred choice because of the coach. If the FO rounds into shape then JLin as a player who makes others better will really make the team. Plus on the business side, JLin in NY makes a whole lot of sense and I think business will strongly factor in any pursuit of JLin. I still don’t like JLin NYK because of Melo, Dolan and Jackson and that is too many obstacles, plus having to live up to Linsanity. My under the radar pick that I like more and more is Minny with Thibs and all his young talent that just needs a guiding hand on the floor. Rubio has been in Minny too long and needs a change of scenery. JLin with KATS, Wiggins, LaVine would be absolutely dynamic! They have the huge Pecovic as a back up big. If those 4 also play defense (and you know Thibs will insist on that) then NBA finals in two seasons. Mine has what Brooklin does not, young, very good talent, a proven coach who has made PG’s, who loves defense and who is well rested after a season off. Only drawback is that it is too cold in Minny. I like Minny but does Minny like JLin?

    • MrPingPong

      Interesting thought about the Wolves, Ace. I don’t think Lin would mind playing in cold weather country, since he just spent his summer vacation in Iceland, playing pickup bb with Icelanders. 😉

      Thib has a good reputation as a coach, but how and what he will do as President of bb op is a big question mark. Thib is known as a great defense coach, so I think he will like Lin. However Rubio is a good defender also. While rumors abound, let’s relive Lin vs Rubio back in the Linsanity days:

      Switching topic to the NBA finals, as a long distance Dubs supporter, I’d say the Cavs will lose in five. Lebron will be so pissed and will go to Dan Gilbert and tell him, “I don’t care how you do it, just get me Lin.” 🙂

      • pistolpete

        I was just thinking the same thing Mr. PP – the Cavs would be better with JLin as PG. Put Kyrie at shooting guard which is what he is. 🙂

    • I think if Rubio goes, then the Wolves is definitely a good option. Lots of good athletes there. I think Lin has a lot he can work with there. I wonder how Thibs feels about Lin. I wonder if Thibs is familiar enough with Lin’s game to see that Lin is one of the best PG defenders in the league. There’s still the prevailing myth that Lin is not a good defender. We’ll see.

      In one of Lin’s interviews toward the end of this season, he did say that he misses having access to Asian food, so I know it might sound crazy, but I think that could factor into Lin going to the Nets. I think Lin is sick of the limited food options in Charlotte. I’ve never been to Minnesota, but I’m assuming there isn’t too much Asian food in Minny either. Could Lin’s love for Asian food be the deciding factor in him going to the Nets? Ha ha!

      • Ace Pagoda

        Today from a sports website is this quote regarding whether or not JLin would return to NYK: “However, the New York Post’s Marc Berman reported on Saturday that the Knicks aren’t interested in Lin because his “defense [is] too gaping.”
        Too what? It is amazing in this day and age of television, video and scouting reports that such a myth that JLin’s defense is “gaping” (?) It is evident that JLin is an excellent defender of PG’s, SG’s and even SF’s. NYK should not be under consideration.

        • Someone tweeted about this article, but I actually haven’t bothered to read it. I assume that Knicks source is just ignorant of Lin’s game or they want use this as an excuse not to pursue Lin due to political reasons.

      • MrPingPong

        I’m glad that you resurrect the FFF (Food Fits First) principle that I brought up last year when we were speculating about Lin’s FA. To refresh your memory, here it is again:

        There is no In-and-Out burger in the Twin-Cities. That’s one strike against Minny. Googling for “best Chinese restaurants in Minneapolis” results in a long list of highly rated Chinese restaurants. However, we all know that it’s hard to measure up against those in the Bay Area and New York. As to sushi, another one of Lin’s favorite food, Vikings and their descendants are known to have great affinity for seafood and perhaps appreciate sushi. And so there are quite a few highly rated sushi restaurants in MSP too.

        So there you have it. Last year, the FFF principle did not apply to Lin. One can reasonably assume that it does not apply to Lin this year either.


        • Wow! I missed this comment from last year. You really broke the FFF down!

          I think last year, FFF didn’t apply, because he didn’t miss good food, living in LA. But I think a year in Charlotte made him realize how much he misses great food. So I think this season, it’s a factor and probably a bigger factor than Lin is willing to admit. And it’s what I’m counting no for Lin to sign with the Nets. Ha ha!

  • Ace pagoda

    Thanks for the video. Have not watched much of Rubio but his highlights looked as good as JLin and you make a good point. Rubio has been in Minny for along time without winning anything so maybe a change of scenery would do him good too.

  • Ace Pagoda

    There are not many teams in the NBA that play team ball. One team that does is GSW and they are taking apart so far, Cleveland. Lebron James would like to think that he is orchestrating team ball but he is not. He wants to be the conductor and with that type of mentality the team ball concept is destroyed. It is still ego-centric. I hope that the strange concept of team ball catches on in the celebrity oriented NBA. I may continue to watch if it does, at least beyond the JLin era. I hope for a GSW sweep. Lebron will then create drama by pondering whether he still wants to remain in Cleveland because they failed to win the championship even though he is a key figure in why they lost because he got David Blatt, a team player, fired. Nothing against Lue because i have not studied him all that much so don’t really know. But Lebron is a prima donna of the first order and if he wants to go it maybe wise to let him leave because he is getting older and no wiser. However it would be a bitter pill to swallow after giving up Andrew Wiggins.

  • Ace Pagoda

    Wa-la! One day after posting on this site that Minny might be a desirable situation for JLin Ricky Rubio comes out with this: Maybe he is part of the problem and not the solution? JLin can always finance his own Asian food restaurant (s) in Minny.

    • From the article, it sounds like he plans on staying on another year, but that doesn’t stop the Wolves from trading him. We’ll see if Thibs and the Wolves think Rubio’s days are numbered. If I were them, I’d definitely try and trade Rubio and get Lin. We’ll see what happens.

    • MrPingPong

      And there’s this article about Rubio too:

      Restaurant business is highly risky. Lin can play basketball and run the floor, but to run a restaurant at the same time? 😉

      • Ace Pagoda

        Nice research Mr. PP. I am new to this forum, and actually to commenting one blogs so I visited your referral to last year and found it interesting to read the comments and how things actually played out in 2016. I have not really bought into the idea of lusting after draft picks as being saviors for a franchise because, first of all they have absolutely no experience at the pro level and secondly because they are all still so young and need personal maturation as well as basketball growth to see what their actual talent is at this level. Minny is loaded with young talent that at this stage looks very promising with Wiggins, KAT and Lavine but at least they have 1 or two years under their belt. Why bring in an untested rookie and give him the keys to orchestrating the offense with zero experience? Especially when you have someone like JLin who is a known commodity once you get past the bias about him like his alleged weak defense, turnovers, can’t go left etc. An analytical coach like Thibs should be able to make a good evaluation. Now you bring in a PG who has experience, is at the peak of his game without a lot of baggage that youth might bring (i.e. D’Angelo Russell). Yes there is a little risk for Thibs by going against the NBA establishment bias against JLin but this potential rookie Dunn has no bias because he has no history! If Thibs wants a scoring PG JLin can score. If he needs a vet to run his young talent JLin can do that. Since Thibs is defensive minded JLin fits here too. And now, after a year in Charlotte if they need help on the wings JLin can fill in their too. This would be a stealth pick if Minny were to try for JLin and get him and it will be interesting to read these columns a year from now for perspective.

        • MrPingPong

          Agreed with you totally on your analysis of Minny’s current state, Ace. I just don’t know what Thibs is thinking in terms of building Minny’s future. So Minny is a dark horse in the chase for Lin, should they want to go after Lin.

          On a separate note, I’m an old timer posters here on this blog. I try to play the role of comic relief, but am not very good at it. 🙂

          • Ace Pagoda

            You’re not Bob Hope Mr. PP but you do a good job! (I assume you are of the generation who knows who Bob Hope was). It seems there are two camps out there in regards to the JLin free agency- those who think there will be a bidding war from multiple teams for JLin’s services and a minority who don’t think JLin will get much interest. The ones who don’t think JLin will get much interest seem to think race plays a big part on the preferences of NBA execs, coaches and even players. I am sure race does play a part. How much a part it plays I don’t know. It is a part of life in our mixed culture and in fact part of the role JLin can play in furthering the improvement of race relations can be as a positive role model. I prefer to look at things that way, that he can be a positive representative of Asians in America. I hope this minority viewpoint is proven wrong, but I can see where they might be be right. That is one reason why this free agent season will bear close watching. My viewpoint is opposite that of citing racial animosity by the NBA business structure, but maybe that viewpoint is pollyanna-ish. We shall see. But all it takes are a few people who are not racially biased, who are not stupid enough to deny themselves a true basketball talent (IMO) because of their bias, and can see that they may be able to get a high talent for less money than they would pay for the over-hyped NBA celebrity basketball player. GSW are proving the value of team basketball and I think a few advanced thinking coaches and GM’s are seeing this too and hopefully basketball is moving in that direction. JLin is a player who can maximize the team game and change the direction of what Mr. Old and In the Way calls the “toxic NBA”.

          • Well said, Ace! I’m of the camp that Lin will get a good amount of offers in free agency. But the ONLY offer I care about is the Nets. 🙂 I hope it happens!

          • On the contrary, MrPingPong! You’re a great comic relief here, as well as a great intelligence gatherer.

            That’s an interesting article on Rubio and Minny. I just don’t have a read on Thibs to know what he’s thinking.

            I agree with Ace that it’s risky to draft a starting PG in the NBA. The PG position is the most difficult position in the NBA. Only a few can figure it out in year one. I’m not at all familiar with this Dunn kid to know if he can start, but he seems very confident in himself that he can start. So who knows? Maybe he’s the rare exception. I like the way the writer of this article pieces things together, though. I think he’s onto something, regarding Dunn wanting to start and regarding Thibs not being that high on Rubio. Interesting stuff. If Minny drafts Dunn, then it looks like Minny is out for Lin.

  • skyfall
  • ashley

    Lin is currently in Taiwan. When asked about the next team, he stressed the importance of being happy at work, saying the first five years hasn’t been very happy for him. He said there’s a lot to consider, such as the coach, the team’s playing style, teammates’ personalities, chances of winning many games, starting or not. All these need to be taken into consideration as none is more important than another. He also said that he has talked to his agent and that it’s too early to address the issue, since the results of the draft on June 23, when there’ll be lots of trades, will be a big factor. Therefore they’ll know better then.

  • MrP1ngP0ng

    Well, the old comments are all gone, especially those by Ace advocating the Bulls to go after Lin. May be Ace is onto something here, now that Rose is traded to the Knicks. 😉

    • Well, I can still see the old comments in my dashboard, but still unable to export them to the Disqus platform.

      Yep, Ace was the one that talked about Bulls way back. Bulls could be a very good option for Lin. We’ll see.

      Today Nets traded Thad Young for picks, which likely indicates they are in full rebuild mode, which is very disappointing. I’m still hoping that this is not the case. But it certainly looks to be so. If so, Lin won’t be interested in a tank season. I’m hoping against all indications that Atkinson/Marks are just not that high on Young and that’s why they made the trade. But the fact that they traded Young for picks indicates full rebuild. I’m also hoping for the very unlikely scenario that somehow Atkinson believes he can get Al Horford to join the Nets and that’s why they decided to get rid of Young. As you can see, I’m grasping at straws, because I really wanted Lin to play for Atkinson/Marks.

      The other option that I think Ace or you mentioned is Minny. I saw a rumor on Twitter that Sixers are interested in Rubio. If so, then Minny is a great option for Lin.

      Lots of things in flux right now, but at least activity is picking up.

      • MrP1ngP0ng

        Yep, it looks like the Nets are in full rebuild mode. We don’t know much about Marks beside his Spurs pedigree as an assistant GM, do we? From the Nets draft moves, it seems like he is a high risk taker. Besides high praises of Lin during the Linsanity days by Atkinson, there is no indication that Marks would want to go after Lin. We’ll see.

        In the mean time, Ace’s disussion of Lin playing “Hoi-ball” for the Bulls is a viable possibility. 😉