Can't believe it's been close to 9 years since Jeremy was first introduced as a Warrior. Here is his press conference when he signed as an undrafted free agent with his hometown Warriors:
Part 1 (sorry for the shaking):
"I'm naturally a point guard"
Part 4: (After Racial slurs question there's an uncomfortable pause)
Part 5 (Kevin Durant mention by yours truly and Jeremy giving props to his Mom):
Coach Diepenbrock with some prophetic words:
Here is one of my all time favorite pics of Jeremy training with Steph and David Lee before his second season.
Jeremy guarding Steph
It's amazing that Steph Curry is the only player left from that 2010-2011 Warriors team.
After struggling his rookie season JLin was sent to the D-league where he was teammates with Danny Green, Hassan Whiteside, and Steve Novak.
Things would get worse the following strike shortened year. He would get cut by Mark Jackson in favor of rookie Charles Jenkins. Then, after getting waived again on Christmas Day in 2011 by the Houston Rockets, Jeremy was picked up by the Knicks. Of course we all know what happened next. A desperate Coach D'Antoni giving Jeremy a shot. And a miracle in the form of Linsanity being the result. The most points in a players first 4 starts in NBA history. Game winning shots. Humiliating Kobe. Rocking the Garden...
From Houston, to the Lakers, to the Hornets, to the Nets, then to the Hawks, and now to the Raptors, it feels like we've been on a never ending roller coaster ride. Opportunities have come and gone, injuries and age have seemed to zap some of Jeremy's energy and aggressive play.
He has come full circle now being in the finals versus his hometown Warriors, and it is bittersweet. It's a dream come true to be playing for a championship ring and against one of the greatest teams of all time. I know he is enjoying the moment and soaking it all in but he is yet to play a meaningful minute in these playoffs for the Raptors. After starting off with an incredible month of November with the Atlanta Hawks where he shot 56% from the field and 48% from 3, his full year recovery from a ruptured patellar tendon injury seems to have caught up with him. You see him bothered by his back and other nagging injuries and he just hasn't looked right. He was given an opportunity with the Raptors when they bought out his contract in February. Fred VanVleet was out for few weeks with an injured thumb. Jeremy even started a few games but he was never able to find a rhythm with the starters or the bench. As we watch the finals this great quote from the late Bart Starr really hit home for me:
"Anyone can support a team that is winning - it takes no courage. But to stand behind a team to defend a team when it is down and really needs you, that takes a lot of courage."
So substitute "player" for "team" and I see that Jeremy still needs our support. He may not be playing, but he is still the only Asian American in the NBA and I have faith that this is not the end of his story. There is still another chapter to be written in the Jeremy Lin Journey.