A candid interview with Jeremy Lin
Chinese company QQ conducted an in-depth, candid interview with Jeremy on July 27, 2015. Impressively, Jeremy answered the questions in Chinese. More impressively, he was very candid and revealing with his answers.
Original source: http://sports.qq.com/a/20150727/006209.htm
New video with English subtitles:
English translation (provided by @kittyhead, minor edits by @realdsb):
QQ Sports: Now the question the fans in China want to know is why you chose the Hornets among those teams?
Lin: I think the most important reason is Coach Clifford likes me a lot. He has been thinking for a long time how he will use me, and their system in the new season is one reason included. They will play faster and more PNRs. The most important reason is the coach wants me and likes me. Second, I really don’t have too many options. I know many fans, including myself, thought I would go to the Mavs, but they did not have much interest in me at the end. Actually I had been very familiar with Coach Silas since the 1st year of the Warriors stint, and now he is the assistant coach on the Hornets. Before I made the decision, I asked him a lot of different questions.
QQ Sports: The Mavs decided to re-sign JJ Barea at that time. Did that have a lot to do with your giving up on the Mavs?
Lin: Yes, the Mavs also had the chance to sign me. That was not to say they had no interest in me. They were interested too, but then my matter and DeAndre Jordan’s clashed. They put all their energy in which team DeAndre would choose for the next season. Thus they didn’t show as much interest as the Hornets in me and re-signed JJ Barea later.
QQ Sports: Did Coach Clifford ever say anything to let you feel the Hornets is your team or how you could help them?
Lin: First, the coach knows basketball very well, and he also likes the way I play. After the end of the last season, Clifford had already told everyone he wanted two players, one is me and I can’t tell you who the other one is because they didn’t get him. He likes me a lot and watched many clips of me. He knows clearly how I like to play. He and I talked for 2 or 3 times on the phone, about 2 or 3 hours total. When I joined the Hornets, he and I had dinner together. We talked for another 2 hours, so altogether we’ve talked for about 5 hours. He will come to CA to watch my training in August, and then we will eat and talk again. He really likes me a lot, so I appreciate it so much and I feel this is a great choice.
QQ Sports: You also mentioned you had a long talk with Clifford. Did he talk with you about whether you will start or come off the bench because Kemba plays at the starting 1, and things like you will be at 1 or 2? Are there definitive answers to those questions already?
Lin: He said if I was asking him now, then I would come off the bench, But he emphasized if I play well and the team needs me to start, then he wouldn’t limit me to a bench player. The coach also said he will let me play with Kemba for a long time and even if I don’t play well in Charlotte, he will give me a lot of room to play with mistakes.
QQ Sports: Actually you could play at 1 and 2. You could play at 2 off the ball with Kemba and play at 1 while Kemba sits. Fans all know you are good at playing PNRs with the inside men. Now the Hornets have many big guys who could play PNRs. Does this help you make the decision?
Lin: When the coach said we will play more PNRs next season, I asked him why they didn’t play much last season. He told me to look at the players they got this year. Most of them are good at shooting 3s. When the shooting is great, that will create a lot of space, leading to more PNRs. The Hornets said they need 2 players who are great at PNRs, one is Kemba and I can play PNRs with him when we are on court together.
QQ Sports: We know the Hornets’ owner MJ is possibly the best basketball player in the world. Did he have any effect in the process of signing? Or did he give Clifford all the power?
Lin: Most of the time it’s Clifford, the GM and assistant GM included, they talked with me on the phone. I asked many questions but most of the time I didn’t talk to MJ.
QQ Sports: Do you have any special feeling about playing for the best player in the world? We know he often goes to the Hornets and offers players advices in the practices. Could you learn some techniques from him?
Lin: I feel my way of playing is different from his, but he surely could teach me a lot. I look forward to it, but I’m not sure if he will watch lots of our training. I heard he will be there in the beginning of the season, and he will talk a lot with players. But from the mid-season to the end, he won’t watch every team’s practice but will watch our every game.
QQ Sports: If the team enters the playoffs, he definitely will watch them. Do you think the chance is high that the Hornets enter the playoffs?
Lin: I think it’s high. They entered the playoffs 2 years ago. Last year, Kemba, Stephenson and Big Al were injured so they didn’t play well. But we added more important players this year. I think Batum is good at shooting 3s, a great passer, and is able to defend from 2 to 4, so I feel the chance is higher than last year.
QQ Sports: You are used to playing in big cities such as NY, Houston and LA. Now you are going to a small one like Charlotte. Do you expect any change of life style?
Lin: I don’t think there will be many changes. I usually stay at home, don’t go out often, and I enjoy staying with my family and friends. So I am not afraid of going to a small city. I think Charlotte is a very pretty and quiet city. I’ve heard there will be many activities off the court, like fishing, teaching students how to cook. I’m fond of cooking now so I hope I can take cooking lessons.
QQ Sports: Which style do you cook, Chinese or western?
Lin: Most are of western style and healthier food like fish, steak, roasted chicken. But I can’t eat fried food, not too much sweet, oily food, mostly healthier food.
QQ Sports: In a recent interview, you said you are changing your shooting form and working on lots of floaters. Do you feel this will help you a lot for the new season?
Lin: I hope so because we are going to play a lot of PNRs next season; thus floaters matter a lot. I need to shoot it very well because I will have to use it when challenging a tall and high-leaping center. When my floaters are great, the opponent has to choose which to defend, me or the players on the weak side. So I think this is important and I also change my shooting form in my hands gradually too, hoping it could be more stable.
QQ Sports: Recently there’s news saying you thought Lakers and Rockets aren’t suitable for you. Then why do you think you will fit better on the Hornets than the two?
Lin: I think the Rockets system is suitable for me but they have Harden. Although he plays at 2, he handles the ball for most time and I just go find the corner, hoping he would pass me the ball to shoot 3s. I had improvement here but that’s not the way I want to play. The Lakers system isn’t fast. But I feel it’s more important that coaches have to like me and know how to use me. Then by talking on the phone, I think Coach Clifford really understands me, and he will play faster and many PNRs.
QQ Sports: After one season on the Lakers, fans want to know which Lakers players you will keep in touch with after you go to the Hornets?
Lin: I have contacted them. In fact, while you were signing with a team, many people would text you. Because I am a free agent, ED and I have talked for 3 or 4 times, Kelly, Nick Young, Sacre, JC did too.
QQ Sports: Will you keep in touch with them after you go to the Hornets for the next season?
Lin: Definitely, we are still friends.
QQ Sports: Fans in China must ask, how about Kobe?
Lin: I don’t know. After the end of the season, I have never talked with him. If I meet him in the future, I will talk with him surely.
QQ Sports: The Hornets are going to play pre-season games in China this year. Will you go to China on behalf of yourself?
Lin: We will go to Beijing in August and then play games with the team in October.
QQ Sports: The schedule of the China games was decided before you join the Hornets. After you joined the Hornets, now the focus of the fans in China will be “Lin vs Chris Paul.” Will this give you extra pressure?
Lin: I have played against him for many times, so it won’t give me too much pressure. I know this is just pre-season games. The primary goal is neither the opponent nor winning. Our teamwork every day is what counts most. We will observe what plays are good and what plays will cause problems and what defensive changes needed to be done. Therefore, keeping healthy matters most and preparing for the new season is the second, and then to spend time developing chemistry with teammates.
QQ Sports: Putting the basketball factor aside, you must be the most popular player in China on both teams. Everyone will give the loudest cheering. Will this treatment bring you more confidence since you just go to a new team?
Lin: I will be very happy and I feel the games in China are very important. We have the opportunity to play in front of the fans. They won’t have to watch TV in the morning but can watch us play on court directly. For me, this is important too. I know I have many different fans who watch my games every day. But it really matters I could go to the cities in China to play.
QQ Sports: QQ have reached an exclusive cooperative agreement with the NBA. Next season, we will have live broadcast of all the game online exclusively. I heard you have already opened your QQ WeChat account. Could you introduce how to interact with you on WeChat in details?
Lin: My account on WeChat is “linshuhao717” and I hope you all could go search and follow me. I hope to do a lot of funny and creative stuff.
QQ Sports: Why did you return to wear No.7 next season?
Lin: Last season I wanted to wear No.7 too, but Xavier Henry wore it. I asked him if I could wear No.7, but he declined. So I will wear No.7 when I have a choice.
QQ Sports: Does the number have any special meaning? Share it with fans.
Lin: 7 is God’s number in the Bible. It’s God’s favorite number. For example, there are 7 days in a week and it also represents perfection. When I played in the summer league for the Mavs, I didn’t ask for any number but they gave me #7. I told myself at the time that if I made it in the NBA, I would wear #7.
QQ Sports: Finally, could you say something to your fans through QQ?
Lin: I appreciate everyone watching the interview very much. Thank you for watching our games. I hope everyone could watch our games in the new season. Our goal is to enter the playoffs. In October we will have pre-season games in China and I hope you will also come to watch. I’m thankful for you to read my news on the internet every day.