Jeremy Lin knows there’s a lot of work ahead for Lakers and himself
Kobe Bryant hasn’t said much publicly since the Lakers failed to get Carmelo Anthony. Or keep Pau Gasol.
Before any of it became official, he commended them for “going for it,” though his Twitter feed since then has featured a lot of non-Lakers tweets — a promotional softball game in Seattle, tributes to Trayvon Martin and Nelson Mandela, baseball shout-outs to Mike Trout and Derek Jeter.
Behind the scenes, he’s been to the point with teammates.
Jeremy Lin, the newest Lakers point guard, revealed as much in his introductory news conference Thursday.
“The one thing he’s kind of just told me is we have a lot of work to do,” Lin said. “And I think that’s 100 percent accurate.”
On a team that finished 27-55 and lost Gasol, there will be plenty of work, and probably luck, to even come within screaming distance of a playoff spot.
The Lakers, though, felt they finally got a point guard that intrigued them over the years.
They initially tried to sign Lin as an undrafted rookie in 2010 but he chose Golden State for the same amount of money. (It was closer to home.)
In a less-publicized action, the Lakers put in a waiver claim for Lin when Golden State dropped him in 2011. Houston had a worse record than the Lakers and was awarded him.
But the Lakers acquired him in a trade with the Rockets earlier this month.
“This time, we got Jeremy Lin,” Lakers General Manager Mitch Kupchak said Thursday.
One thing is certain.
Lin, 25, isn’t looking to repeat the intense attention that accompanied him while playing for New York in 2011-12.
“I’m not trying to relive that banner season and I think that’s been a big weight off my shoulder. I’m not trying to recreate a ‘Linsanity,’ ” he said. “I’m not trying to be that phenomenon that happened in New York. I just want to be myself more than ever.”
It took a salary dump from Houston to make Lin a member of the Lakers. The Rockets eagerly sent him to try to make room for free agent Chris Bosh. They even included a lottery-protected first-round pick next year.
But Bosh declined Houston’s offer and re-signed with Miami.
The Lakers might have found a starting point guard, seeing how Steve Nash played only 15 games last season because of recurring injuries.
“I obviously believe that I can start for an NBA team and help that team win,” Lin said. “As a competitor I would obviously love to, but that’s not me coming in saying, ‘I need this or I need that.’ “
Lin lost his starting job to Patrick Beverley last season while averaging 12.5 points and 4.1 assists. He has one more year and $14.9 million remaining on his contract.
Houston slighted Lin by posting electronic images outside its arena of Anthony wearing Lin’s No. 7 Rockets jersey while trying to recruit Anthony earlier this month. Lin was still under contract with the Rockets.
“I just felt like maybe they could have kept it internal,” he said. “But it wasn’t a big thing to me.”
Lin has texted with Bryant and spoken with him briefly since the trade, which took place 10 days after the Rockets’ jersey insult. But unlike some younger NBA players, he never emulated Bryant while growing up.
“His skill set is just clearly different than mine,” Lin said, smiling. “I don’t think I’ve ever shot a fadeaway jumper from the mid-post ever.”
Lin will wear No. 17, which most recently belonged to Andrew Bynum. Lin considered asking for No. 7, his number with Houston, but Xavier Henry already had it.
Lin wore No. 17 while with New York but wasn’t expecting any flashbacks from that season, which included a 38-point outburst against the Lakers at Madison Square Garden.
“I’m not trying to be a player from the past,” he said. “I’m trying to make history again.”
©2014 Los Angeles Times
Visit the Los Angeles Times at www.latimes.com
Distributed by MCT Information Services
Rules for posting comments
Comments posted below are from readers. In no way do they represent the view of Oahu Publishing Inc. or this newspaper. This is a public forum.
Comments may be monitored for inappropriate content but the newspaper is under no obligation to do so. Comment posters are solely responsible under the Communications Decency Act for comments posted on this Web site. Oahu Publishing Inc. is not liable for messages from third parties.
IP and email addresses of persons who post are not treated as confidential records and will be disclosed in response to valid legal process.
Do not post:
- Potentially libelous statements or damaging innuendo.
- Obscene, explicit, or racist language.
- Copyrighted materials of any sort without the express permission of the copyright holder.
- Personal attacks, insults or threats.
- The use of another person's real name to disguise your identity.
- Comments unrelated to the story.
If you believe that a commenter has not followed these guidelines, please click the FLAG icon below the comment.