This is going to be unpopular but what the heck.
With all due respect to Jeremy Lin, the idea that “the NBA has given up on me” that he emotionally put forward at some point – I saw it yesterday on the tweeter machine and then in this piece – is a tad disingenuous.
Not to mention dead wrong.
I understand totally that free agency for fringe NBA players can be difficult. I would hate to be in the position where I’m offering my services around and no one seems to be answering calls because rejection – if that’s what it is – is hard to accept.
And I wish that everyone who is good enough to play in the NBA could make untold money and play until they didn’t want to play anymore but that’s not the way life, or professional sports, works.
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Maybe that sucks but it’s absolute reality, as hard as that is for some to comprehend.
But this “I feel like, in some ways, the NBA has given up on me” stuff?
In this case? Nonsense.
Lin has played for nine seasons in the NBA, 480 games at the moment, and for eight different franchises. He’s started 221 games, been handsomely rewarded with long-term contracts and had to scuffle through shorter deals but, believe me, he’s been given every opportunity to prove himself as an NBA player.
He’s done that.
Did it in New York when he had that great run of Linsanity with the Knicks, did it in Houston when he started every single game of an 82-game season and was a starter the next season, too. The Knicks time was magical, might have been the high water moment for that wretched franchise from then until now. The game in Toronto – when he made the buzzer-beating three to win – would probably be on the Top 10 list of all-time memorable Raptors regular season home games.
He’s been in Charlotte, Brooklyn, Atlanta and then Toronto since, each team more than willing to give him a shot.
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Yeah, he got hurt when he was with the Nets and that was a terrible break, but it’s a fact that every single NBA player lives with and it’s a career risk, they all know it.
Look, I harbour no ill will to Jeremy Lin. I understand he was and is a touchstone for Asian players worldwide, he is a constant reminder of what’s possible and he unquestionably takes his responsibility as a role model seriously and for that he deserves tremendous respect.
And he’s gotten it and has been an inspiration and that’s going to be his legacy, which isn’t too bad.
I understand it might have been difficult for him to rationalize being on a championship team but not feeling really a part of it because he didn’t play, although that has to be tempered by the fact his teammates and bosses did not at all think that.
But the NBA hasn’t “given up” on a 30-year-old who has played in as many games and for as many teams in as many roles as he has.
I hope he finds an NBA job for next season, I really do, and this being July 29 and all, I don’t imagine that’s totally out of the realm of possibility.
Have your say:
If not, the guy’s had an incredible run, far more than many, and he’s taken advantage of it. I think his time in Toronto was disappointing to him, the team and the fans. I was all for his acquisition, I thought a proven pick-and-roll point guard who could shoot a bit was a solid acquisition after the departure of Delon Wright; he should have been a good pick up. He wasn’t. He got his chance, it didn’t work out and sometimes that happens.
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If this is the end of the NBA career, and it might not be, it’s been a pretty good NBA career. He worked hard to make it, made it and sometimes, things end. And they seldom end the way we want them to.
Okay, only going to be here three days this week so fewer reminders to get into next weekend’s mailbag.
Drop a line at firstname.lastname@example.org when you can and we’ll start stockpiling for next Sunday.
The best story of the weekend was Erica Wheeler winning the most valuable player award in Saturday’s WNBA all-star game. I know the game, and the Friday night shenanigans, probably got more coverage than it has in sometime and that’s a good thing.
A player who was undrafted in 2015 and winning the MVP in an all-star game with that kind of cast the WNBA’s had? That’s a helluva story if it had been the NBA or the pucks or the football or whatever, it would have been Sunday’s main story and probably today’s, too.
This was a pretty solid media session as well.
So, Marcus Stroman is gone and because of the weirdness of major league baseball trades we may not know for half a decade or more who got the better value in the deal with the Mets for a couple of kids I bet the majority of casual fans had never heard of until about dinner time last night.
It was obvious – Gregor lays it out here, Rosie chimed in with this – that this was a divorce done out of necessity, the relationship between the front office and the starting pitcher was toxic. And had been for some time.
I don’t know who is right or wrong. I suspect that Stroman will be seen as the sympathetic party in this whole mess and I cannot see why anyone would have any faith that Ross Atkins or Mark Shapiro will suddenly get anything right all of a sudden.
I do know the biggest losers in this will probably end up being the team’s diehard fans and the coaches and players who watched yesterday as two of the teams most tradeable assets were dealt for no immediate return.
Gonna be a long August and September around that ballyard.