For about a two month span last season, Jeremy Lin became the story in the NBA. The former D-Leaguer bounced around with a few different organizations before he finally got his shot with the New York Knicks last year. Lin made the most of it and things in the Big Apple turned into Linsanity. Then an injury to his left knee in March ended his season and led to a lot of uncertainty with him in free agency this past offseason. The Knicks decided to go a different direction and Lin has wound up back in Houston as things have come full circle for him. This time, instead of just trying to fight for a spot on the roster with the Rockets, Lin arrives in Houston with his face plastered all over billboards and with high expectations to help lead a Rockets resurgence.
Jeremy Lin joined KBME in Houston with Matt Thomas to talk about how his recovery is coming along, what he makes of the billboards of him around town, if Linsanity became a bit too much for him at times and what he thinks of the Rockets this year.
How his recovery from his knee injury is coming along:
“I think it depends how I feel but I think for the most part we’re just going to be in communication. Feeling pretty good right now.”
What he makes of the billboards of him around town:
“I saw one of them while driving and it was kind of awkward. (Host: Why is it awkward?) It’s weird to see it out there. (Host: You’re the savior of the franchise. Are you ready for that?) No.”
If Linsanity became a bit too much for him at times:
“Yeah I think ever since the game against the Nets we’d walk in for breakfast every single morning into the practice facility and they always had ESPN on and I would remember I would just eat breakfast in my locker instead of in there because I didn’t want to hear or see about it. (Host: So it became too much at times?) Just because during the season if you watch yourself too much I think for me it builds a little bit of complacency and a little bit of satisfaction that takes my edge down a little bit which I can’t have.”
On going to New York after a few teams gave up on him:
“I think I needed to go to New York. I think that was part of God’s plan and I think if you think about it the opportunity that was there was awesome. I think the style and everything, going over there and playing, then being able to have a better season than I did my rookie year so I think it was necessary.”
What he makes of the Rockets this season:
“I think we’re still young, we’re still new and we have a lot of inexperience and a lot of uncertainty, but I think this week is going to be awesome. You go into hibernation, you get into the gym, no glitz, no glamour and you just work it out, play it through and see what people can do. I think that’s what we need as a team to start building our foundation and start building our culture.”
How he balances basketball with all the marketing opportunities that have been coming his way:
“My passion is basketball. That’s what I love doing and I think if anything ever jeopardizes my performance on the court then I’m going to have to re-evaluate things, so from a marketing standpoint it’s doing things that I’m interested in and I know won’t jeopardize my performance because at the end of the day it’s what I care about. I’ve hired a couple of people to protect me, help me, give me advice, so they’re always checking out my schedule and making sure I have enough time to do the things that I need to do to prepare myself and give myself the best opportunity to play well.”