Jeremy Lin Ready To Move Past 'Linsanity'
Jeremy Lin doesn't say too much.
Ask him a question about the "Linsanity" craze from last season and it typically results in a one-word answer, at least it has in my experience with him. That's necessarily not a bad thing. It sucks when you're writing a feature about him, but it speaks to Lin being about more than self-promotion and past success.
That way of thinking will benefit the 24-year-old guard. He will face many more challenges as one of the Houston Rockets' featured players. Lin also won't be sneaking up on anyone this season. Guys either think he can play and will raise their play against him or they think he's overrated and will aim to embarrass the popular guard.
It's all the same to Lin. He's focused only on the things he can control. Right now, that's learning his role and preparing for the upcoming season.
"I’m comfortable with either the role of scorer or distributer," Lin said. "I just want to be a playmaker for my team. My role will depend on the night and whatever the defense is giving us. Some nights I’ll take a lot of shots and other nights there will be more shots for my teammates. It’s going to vary on this team; we have a lot of capable scorers."
The Rockets have faith that Lin will be a large part of any success they have. Lin's health, however, was an issue when training camp started. Lin was coming off of offseason knee surgery, and Rockets head coach Kevin McHale wanted to use the camp to make sure his point guard was ready to go for the season without suffering any setbacks. Both coach and player seemed confident after the final preseason game, arguably Lin's best outing.
"We knew going into camp that Jeremy was not healthy," McHale said. "He had the surgery and we knew it was going to take some time. Our plan was to take the 28 days of October and try to have him ready by the start of the season. At the end of that time, he’s about to go a little more, feel a little better and bring a little more to the game. "
Lin looks to be feeling good and the injury is believed to be something that will not limit him this season. He also won't be distracted by the enormous amount of attention he's sure to get. Nobody knows how good Lin really is, but there is a feeling that his popularity, not his game, is the biggest reason the Rockets gave him a three-year, $25.1 million dollar contract, including $14.9 million in the final year.
That type of money brings a lot of attention, pressure and jealousy. Lin is still popular, but many people are looking for him to fail, proving that "Linsanity" wasn't the emergence of an undiscovered talent, but rather the hot streak of a C-level player.
Lin isn't too concerned with either point of view.
"I try not to really pay too much attention to any of that," Lin said. "I feel like anytime a person has a lot of success or gets a lot of attention, there will be one side that may want to see him fail. I don’t think it’s anything personal. That's just the way it has always been."