What is Bigger and Better than Linsanity?
Most Jeremy Lin fans have watched his 7/24 Lakers Press Interview and his biggest fans probably watched several times.
Most will come away with the impression that he was very poised, classy and thoughtful as he always carried himself. In summary, he talked about:
- being excited to join the Lakers organization,
- can’t wait to learn from Kobe and Nash and
- promised to work his hardest to help his team.
- emphasized that he’s not planning to repeat the historic ‘Linsanity’ in NY
- but finally said he’ll to try to make history again
The last line doesn’t sound very Lin-like who’s known to be a humble Christian. And isn’t it a study in contradiction with the previous point he asserted that he tried not to repeat Linsanity again? How do we reconcile these two seemingly conflicted statements? Does it mean Jeremy wants to create historic events with a different type of Linsanity? Or maybe he was simply confused?
In order to understand the mindset of Jeremy Lin, we’d need to understand the context in which he provided the two statements so let’s take a look at the reporter’s questions and how he answered them
Reporter: “Talk about not trying to recreate the Linsanity thing? When do you start to get a handle on getting past that and how did you do that?”
Lin: “My 1st season in Houston really taught me that. I put a lot of pressure to be that player and now .. my goal is like
“I’m not trying to be a player in the past, I’m trying to make history again. And it’s not so much about me trying to be something that happened beforehand…now I’m looking to the future and trying to be a much bigger and better player than I was ever before.”
Subsequently, another reporter mentioned about the Lakers’ struggle last season and being in a transition stage then asked if Lin felt the pressure to do anything.
Lin: “Again .. to be honest, I have the least pressure on my shoulder now (or I feel the least amount of pressure on my shoulder now) than ever have. I think what I tried to do is not to let my circumstances dictate the pressure that I feel as a player and I don’t think I play well when I put a lot of pressure from the outside point. I know what I want to accomplish as a player and the right way to play is, if I do that I can hold my head high and be proud of myself”
If we watch carefully how Lin answered the question about not trying to recreate Linsanity, Lin seemed to focus on the mental pressure (not the finished product on-court) that he exerted himself or from external source as a player. He decided to stop attempting to recreate the same player making a historic Linsanity run in the past but instead will focus on being a bigger and better player, thus making history in the future. In short, he said Linsanity is in the past and he truly believes he can be a bigger and better version in the future than his old self in 2012. This is truly a bold statement demonstrating the quiet confidence that Lin has in himself. He wanted to be free of the paralyzing pressure to recreate Linsanity but he still wanted to try to create a bigger and better version of it. It’s definitely easier said than done since pressure would definitely come to test his will but give Jeremy credit for setting an even higher goal by simply working his best. When was the last time that we remember Lin said he can be better and bigger than Linsanity?
This is quite a departure of Lin’s statements in Houston when Coach McHale has been trying to mold and brainwash him to be a role player (using the famous analogy a safe pinch hitter in baseball analogy than a home-run hitter). But thankfully Lin knows his true identity as an aggressive player and strives to practice controlled-aggression on the court. He is still in the process to be comfortable with his identity as an aggressive player, 0-100 where he likes to be at 100 without making unnecessary turnovers as he elaborated in the interview.
Jeremy Lin on being traded to the Lakers: "When I got the call I was stunned. I was like, what, the Lakers?" PHOTO: pic.twitter.com/Dtu69wV5K3
— Michael Scotto (@MikeAScotto) July 25, 2014
Now the bigger question is: Does Jeremy know how he plans to be a bigger and better than Linsanity player?
I think he has a big picture what he needs to develop individually as a player (i.e. practicing floater in the off-season), a constant aggressive-but-controlled mindset). He confidently shared he’s a much better player than 2 years ago with better defense, left-hand handle and 3PT%.
How about the intangibles to join the new team? There are still so many unknowns since Lin probably hasn’t met Kobe or the rest of the team members. He only knew Steve Nash personally well since they trained briefly last off-season, played in Steve’s soccer charity and made Youtube video together.
— Jai Taylor (@Breezy_Ballin) July 27, 2014
I thought Lin also demonstrated his high social intelligence during the interview by acknowledging Kobe’s stature as the alpha dog as the #1 most popular player in Asia with Lakers yellow jersey dominating the Asian scene during his tour. He reiterated Kobe’s text to be 100% accurate that they have lots of work to do to build their team and he’s expressing his desire to simply work hard as a Laker. Also, his renewed self-confidence in trying to make a history will appeal to Kobe’s competitive and workaholic nature which propels him to only respect players with skills and self-confidence to be a great player.
— Jewel Dela Peña (@itsmejoule) July 16, 2014
With Nash, Lin adeptly navigated the who-will-start question by throwing ideas of even playing together with Nash on court since he’s capable being a Shooting Guard (based on his recent Houston stint) playing next to Nash as the Point Guard. Lin expressed his desire to emulate Nash game and will simply do whatever’s needed to help the team, starter or non-starter.
If you are a newcomer in a new workplace, these are music to the ears of current employees and alpha dogs in the Lakers. They won’t feel threatened by you and will openly receive you. (at least until they see how popular Jeremy compared to some players. That’s another matter that Lin can’t control)
Lin has definitely thought this through to position himself as an ideal new employee, willing to work hard to help the aging star in Kobe Bryant to build a real NBA team after the disappointing season when they didn’t make the playoff.
How well will Lin’s plan work? I guess all Lin fans will have to stay tuned and watch the off-season training news and the developing chemistry between Lin, Kobe, Nash, Boozer, Nick Young and the rest of the Lakers.
Finally, I’ll give an A+ for Lin’s preparation for his press-interview, his classy and gracious demeanor, and his renewed self-confidence that he can help the Lakers with bigger and better Linsanity.
I can’t wait for the season to begin!
Please share your thoughts below, if you agree or disagree with me.
I will greatly appreciate your feedback.
— SoCal-Elite Sports (@SCE_Sports) July 26, 2014