Just heard an Eric Musselman interview on 95.7 The Game. Towards the end of the interview, the host asked about Jeremy Lin. Here's a paraphrase of Musselman's response: Musselman: "Jeremy Lin has a reputation of being a nice guy from the Ivy League. But he's a junkyard dog on the court, extremely aggressive. In my years of coaching, I haven't seen a player since Gilbert Arenas attack the rim more than Jeremy Lin. In the D-League, when an NBA guy gets sent down for assignment, everyone wants to go at them to prove that they belong at the next level. He is underrated as a defensive player."Radio host jokes, "So what you're saying is that you were responsible for the global phenomenon that is Jeremy Lin." Musselman chuckles, "No, no, no. I am not responsible for any of that. What Jeremy Lin has is pure instinct, you cannot teach that."I really hope that Musselman gets more visiblity as a basketball coach, maybe as a college coach or NBA again. He's very humble, not taking any of the credit for Jeremy Lin, even though Musselman was a big part of Lin's development. Musselman may not have taught Lin his skills, but Musselman was one of the few who recognized his skills and helped develop them by giving him valuable game/crunch time experience. (Unlike Keith Smart, who essentially claimed credit that he taught Lin the skills but he didn't figure it out until this year, while in actuality Smart was the person most responsible for stunting Lin's development).
Yeah, Musselman also had Lin's Knick teammate Steve Novak on Lin's D league team. I sometimes wonder if Lin gave his 1st class airplane seat to the much taller Novak.
Musselman has my ultimate respect, for us the diehard Jeremy followers since day 1, he's been just as important if not more than D'Antoni for Jeremy's career in the league. However, I do believe he is a bit too nice to override the egocentric superstars in the league.
Musselman had Lin, Steve Novak, Danny Green, Marcus Landry, and Patrick O'Bryant, one of the few 7-footers in D-League.That team was kicking every D-League team's ass. But they fell apart after Jeremy was called back up to the Warriors. Which shows the importance of Lin's contributions to every team he was on.
ABC Baller, do you remember if Lin turned Patrick O Bryant into a contributor?
Yes, Jeremy gave PO some wide open dunks off the pick n' roll, and getting him the ball in the post. Remember, in the D-League, any 7-foot center can dominate the low-post ... anybody. I remember this one possession where Lin drove into a crowd of defenders in the paint, then kicked it out to O'Bryant at the top of the key, there was no defender within 25 feet of him .... and he hit a 3-pointer (O'Bryant is a big man shooter like Josh Harrelson). THE CROWD WENT NUTS !!!Not only did Lin's playmaking make his teammates better, it boosted their confidence so they can contribute more.
Thanks, ABC Baller. Point guards like Lin who can bring out the best in their teammates are much more valuable than people realize. Most NBA point guards aren't capable of elevating their teammates. But Lin is, and that's why he's so celebrated.
That is the beauty of JLin...he's such a team player. Everyone seems to just love playing with him. It was smiles all around during that crazy Linsanity phase. :) If Lin stays in NY, I hope Melo recognizes Lin's critical role in making the Knicks a championship caliber team. If they can all gel together (I am in the belief that they can), they are going to be a fun, fun team to watch next year.Get your League Passes ready folks. :)
Here's an interesting comparison between Dragic and JLin from ESPN. Not surprisingly, the World Wide Leader asserts that most teams favor Dragic to Lin.What I found interesting is the bit at the end about the Bird Rights case with Lin. It suggests that if Lin is given early Bird Rights, the Knicks could still resign Lin and also use their MLE to spend on someone like .... Dragic who would then become starter!In other words, JLin could potentially be relegated as a backup if he wins his early Bird Rights and resigns with the Knicks. That would suck.Jeremy Lin vs. Goran Dragichttp://espn.go.com/blog/new-york/knicks/post/_/id/19842/jeremy-lin-vs-goran-dragic
I completely disagree that Dragic is a more worthy starter than Lin. Most of the NBA guys who prefer Dragic likely have not followed Lin as closely as we have here. They don't understand how impactful it is for a player like Lin to come out of nowhere and do historically relevant things right away. If the Knicks get Dragic and Lin, I expect Lin to SHRED Dragic in practices. And if Lin comes off the bench, he'll produce at a Linsanity rate but in small minutes.