Heading into last summer, life was just a bowl of cherries for Free Agent guard Jeremy Lin after signing a three-year deal with the Houston Rockets, however by last December the young man who took the Association by storm the season before, was looking at nothing but pits. Lin became the feel-good story of the 2011-2012 campaign as the 12th man on the New York Knicks roster was inserted into a contest against the New Jersey Nets as a desperation move and scored a career high 25 points and helped New York win the game 99-92.head coach Mike D’Antoni inserted him as the starting point guard in the next game as the hosted the Utah Jazz and the former Harvard player responded by scoring a new career high 28 points as the Knicks topped their visitors 99-88.
New York would go onto win seven straight games and the legend of “Linsanity” was born, a true underdog who suddenly was playing like a seasoned All-Star. The first American born player of Chinese descent to play in the NBA was not selected in the NBA Draft, instead he entered as a walk-on player and had been previously waived by two other teams earlier in the season. The second-year player found his image on the cover of Time Magazine and being discussed by President Barack Obama.
Lin’s season ended early as he underwent surgery to repair a torn left meniscus in April. Although the Knicks appeared as if they would keep the restricted Free Agent early on, they instead turned their sights on former New York starter Raymond Felton. Lin caught the Houston Rockets’ attention, a team that had cut him previously and inked a three-year pact reportedly worth $25.1 million over the life of the deal. Having the guard who showed he could take over a contest at anytime with the Knicks, leading their roster heading into last October pumped up fans throughout the city.
The player who appeared to be ready to challenge players such as Chris Paul and Russell Westbrook to become one of the elite points in the NBA, never was on the court during the past campaign. Although Lin ended with respectable number for a starting point guard; averaging 13.4 points and 6.1 assists per contest, he fell way short of the standards he had set for the Knicks. His season started out tough as he and James Harden who was traded to Houston from the Oklahoma City Thunder, learned to play as a duo. His saw time on the hardwood diminished, being subbed for in games most critical moments. He felt he had lost his coaches confidence and he could soon be relegated to the pine once again.
Lin revealed his inner-thoughts recently according to “Sports Illustrated” at a Taiwan Youth Conference about what he considered a very disappointing campaign and the emotional toll it took on him. The guard heading into his fourth NBA season and second with Houston, told the attendees that comparing his numbers and his presence on the court to his time with New York effected his eating and sleeping habits, even bringing him to tears at one point.
He told the crowd “I felt like I had to carry the weight of the world on my shoulders. That’s why I couldn’t eat or sleep. That’s why I was no fun to be around. I never smiled. In fact, I even cried before a game against the New Orleans Hornets because I was so anxious about losing my starting spot.”
He said that the way he got out of his funk, was his decision to no longer base his self-worth on what he does on the floor or how fans perceive him. He inferred that he was pressing last season and that is .why his numbers had gone down, by playing more loosey-goosey he will enjoy himself far more on the court and hopefully improve his game