2016 Brooklyn Nets Media Day:

Finally, the 2016-17 NBA Season is about ready to kick off for Brooklyn Nets with the 2016 Media Day starting on Sept 26 followed by the Training Camp on Sept 27. That would give them about one week before the Nets will start their first preseason game at home against the Detroit Pistons on Oct 6. A string of 6 preseason games in 2 weeks will hopefully get the team ready for the 1st game of the season facing Boston Celtics on the road on Oct 26.

The much awaited moment has finally arrived for Jeremy Lin and his faithful fans who have been with him through the ups and downs in the arduous journey of Lin’s NBA career since the heights of Linsanity in 2012.

Check out this list to relish a moment of appreciation and gratitude:

  • the difficult experience playing without the ball on his hands after James Harden arrival in Houston Rockets; the persistent distrust that Kevin McHale demonstrated in Lin’s true potential
  • the demotion as a backup Point Guard due to Harden’s preference to play with Patrick Beverley in a futile attempt to cover his lack of desire to play defense;
  • the humiliating and disrespectful JerseyGate experience when GM Daryl Morey tried to persuade Carmelo Anthony to come by slapping Lin’s #7 Rockets jersey on the giant poster of Melo in front of the Toyota Center while Lin was still on the team;
  • the tanking-season experience with LA Lakers which Lin at one moment said to have his worst experience in playing basketball; being out of favor with Kobe who initially wanted to mentor him but and don’t forget the archaic Byron Scott system;
  • the short but somewhat pleasant (and handicapped) experience with the Charlotte Hornets which gave Lin a chance to unleash a few Linsanity-like games even as a backup Point Guard. Most importantly, the strong season and Clifford’s praises of Lin defensive skills gave Lin a chance to claim the starting PG position with the Brooklyn Nets. It served as an appetizer to showcase the rest of the NBA what the main course would feel like to have Lin as the starting PG to lead his own team.

These are finally all in the rear-view mirror. Lin and his most faithful fans can leave them behind and, God willing, reap the reward in the days to come. All of these ups-and-downs would be enough to make lesser players quit the NBA and gave up altogether. But I believe Lin not only survived the baptism of fire through these tough seasons but came out better, more skilled, mentally tough to lead his own team. It is a testament to his immense basketball talent and IQ and his mental toughness to adjust, produce and improve despite not having a stable environment that many high NBA draft picks enjoyed. The sky is the limit of what he could achieve in the next three years under Coach Kenny Atkinson who helped him to create Linsanity in 2012. Lin will continue to inspire his fans of what’s possible in their own lives when one perseveres, prays and works hard regardless or the insurmountable challenges.

GM Sean Marks and Coach Kenny Atkinson will continue to reiterate the 5 takeaways during a recent interview to inspire this young Brooklyn Nets team. Noone gives them much chance but an unselfish team who plays together and prioritizes defense will surprise many in this coming season.

1. Success Will Be Measured In Progress

“The fans, media and everyone around the team will see a team that’s building, improving, competing at a high level every night,” Atkinson said. “Individual improvement and our young players are getting better. We are interested in advanced stats, so we’ll see improvements in statistics in areas we think are important and the style we want to play.”

2. How They’ll Play

Marks and Atkinson have brought in players that they think would be good system fits for their ideal vision of Nets basketball, but that the system will reflect the players. Some points of emphasis:

  • Team defense
  • Sharing the ball/be a high-assist team
  • Don’t take contested shots

“Emphasize team defense,” Atkinson said. “It’s not easy to overachieve in the NBA, but if there is a way to do it, we can do it with good team defense. On the offensive side it’s the same thing, we’re going to have to share the ball, we’re going to have to hopefully be a high-assist team that plays together.”

3. The Nets will monitor LeVert and bring him along slowly

4. The Nets think Brook Lopez can get even better

5. The Nets think Jeremy Lin is ready to lead

Atkinson is placing a lot of responsibility in Jeremy Lin’s hands this season, but thinks the time is right for Lin.

“He came off the bench in Charlotte last year and did a heck of a job, but this is a different deal here,” Atkinson said. “You’re kind of the quarterback, the Eli Manning, those guys have a different level of responsibility and that’s new to him.

“He can be a darn good defender with his athleticism and his competitiveness and I think he feels a little slighted that he’s not considered a better defender, so we need to hold him accountable there. There’s a lot of things, but the last thing is make this team work, make it work on the offensive end and make sure everyone’s touching it and get that right feel of where we have balanced scoring and a balanced team. It’s a heck of a challenge, but he’s prepared for it, I think it’s the right time of his career and I think he’s smart enough and will grow into being a better leader as this thing goes on.”