Just a season ago, Jeremy Lin was sleeping on a couch because he couldn’t afford to rent a place of his own due to the uncertainty of his status as an NBA player. Although he still doesn’t mind crashing on couches from time to time, the cloud that surrounded his status as a fringe player is long gone. Lin stopped short of calling himself a franchise player on Tuesday, but it’s clear that he considers himself one of the leaders of the Houston Rockets. See what he had to say, along with Grant Hill’s thoughts on Steve Nash’s switch to the Lakers and more below:
- Jeremy Lin isn’t quite ready to call himself a franchise player yet, but he is ready to lead by example, from The Associated Press: “I don’t know if I’m the face of the franchise just yet,” Lin said. “I think we’re a young team and we’re all going to buy in. The thing about us is it’s not going to be any one person that’s going to carry us to where we want to go, it’s going to be everybody. I think it’s so early on, I’m just trying to get to know the guys.”… ”Every once a while, I’ll take a look back and just be like, `I can’t believe this is happening,” Lin said. “I had one of those moments this morning, in the training room, with the big Houston Rockets logo. It was just like, I was just appreciating the fact that I get to wake up and play basketball for a living. And even the whole NBA thing, yes Houston, (but) just (to) be able to play basketball for your job, like those are things I remind myself of every day.”… ”I feel good, I feel healthy,” he said. “I feel lighter. I’m excited.”… ”Last year, I actually had a real season under my belt, where I got to play and see what works and doesn’t work,” he said. “Definitely, you want to lead by example, more so this year than last year, or the year before, coming in as a non-guaranteed guy. Now, there’s more stability, so I need to be more of a vocal leader and hopefully lead through work ethic and example.”
- Lin actually dropped 10 pounds from last season, according to Jonathan Feigen of Houston Chronicle:
Grant Hill discussed the departure of himself and Steve Nash from the Suns, from Paul Coro of Arizona Republic: “Hill on he and Nash winding up in Los Angeles: “I don’t think anybody thought that either one of us would be out here in L.A.” Hill on how this summer differed from two re-signings with Phoenix:“The previous times that I went through the whole free agent period, there was still a feeling that we could be good or there was that sort of sentiment that we’d try to keep that core together, if you will, and go for it. Now, I guess that team and sort of era has run its course.” Hill on how the Clippers came from off his radar: “It’s interesting. I had dinner with Chauncey when I was in town in Vegas covering the Olympic team and we didn’t even talk about the Clippers. It didn’t even come up. We hung out and talked about other things. And then I met with Vinny really almost as a favor, just because I had known him, played against him and he had worked for the Suns my first year. I just really liked what he was saying. They really weren’t the team that I was looking at.”… Hill on new teammates Chris Paul and Blake Griffin: “It kind of reminds you of a younger, maybe more athletic version of Steve and Amare (in) styles of play.” Hill on Nash going to the Lakers: “That’s like transferring from Duke and going to Carolina.”
- Jalen Rose discussed the number one unwritten-rule of basketball: do not put your foot underneath a player who is landing from a jumpshot. That’s exactly what he did against Kobe Bryant back in the day. Here is the video of Rose explaining what happened:
- Dwight Howard and Stan Van Gundy may have been unfriendly on a professional level, but never had issues on a personal level and still keep in touch with each other, according to Mike Bianchi of Orlando Sentinel: “”Dwight has pledged his support,” Van Gundy said Monday during an interview on our Open Mike radio show on 740 The Game. “He’s a resident of Seminole County, and he’s keeping his house here. I think his history will show that he’s had great concern for kids in the Central Florida community. With him still living here, we asked him to help and he didn’t hesitate.” Surprisingly to some, both Stan and Dwight say they are on good terms and have been communicating regularly over the last several weeks. Van Gundy even texted Howard and wished him good luck after he was traded to L.A. ”We are on good terms and always were,” Van Gundy says. “Whatever our disagreements happened to be, they were on the professional level — they were about basketball and our jobs. Personally, we never had a problem. We liked each other. I have great admiration for the things Dwight did in the community and for the way he involved himself with kids. I really do want the best for him, and I think that’s mutual.”
- Marquis Daniels, Rasual Butler and Rodney Carney hope to join the Milwaukee Bucks, according to Charles F. Gardner of the Journal Sentinel: “Marquis Daniels, who played a reserve role with the Boston Celtics last season, was among a group of players working out at the Bucks training facility in St. Francis on Monday. The 31-year-old Daniels played in 138 regular-season games for the Celtics over the past three seasons. The 6-foot-6 guard-forward has averaged 8.2 points in a nine-year NBA career with Dallas, Indiana and Boston. Other unsigned players working out Monday at the Cousins Center included forward Rasual Butler and swingman Rodney Carney. The 33-year-old Butler played last season with the Toronto Raptors, appearing in 34 games and starting 14 while averaging 3.2 points and 1.9 rebounds.”
- Mickael Pietrus is healthy for the first time in two years and is wanted – both in the NBA and overseas, according to Chris Haynes of CSNNW: “Mickael Pietrus – one of the top NBA free agents remaining on the board – has been receiving an increased level of interest from teams as of late who are looking to add an experienced wing player to their roster. According to a source close to the situation, suddenly, three NBA teams have shown major interest in the nine-year veteran and two of the teams seem very motivated to get a deal done. According to the same source, Pietrus also has a strong overseas option on the table that contains an escape clause.The source says, “He’s considering all of his options, but he prefers to play in the NBA and he’s feeling 10 times better than last season. He’s healthy for the first time in two years.”
- The Knicks are still interested in attaining a big man. Kenyon Martin is one of them, but he may be too expensive, according to Alan Hahn of MSG Network: “Kenyon Martin is the player so many continue to link to the Knicks, but K-Mart has remained steadfast in not wanting to accept a veteran’s minimum. A few teams have Martin on their radar, including the Celtics. While K-Mart provides more toughness and size to the team, the Knicks might not want to get locked in with a volatile player. Not with other younger candidates still out there, such as Lou Amundson, who is contemplating offers overseas against opportunities in the NBA. Amundson could take a one-year in New York and, if he does well behind Amar’e Stoudemire, turn it into a better deal next summer. Another name to keep an eye on his Shawne Williams, who had success with the Knicks in 2010-11 under Mike D’Antoni but then went to the Nets for more money last summer, only to suffer an injury-depleted season.”
- Goran Dragic may be the big breakout player candidate for the upcoming season, according to Sekou Smith of NBA.com: “One player with all of the pieces in place for that breakout season is Suns point guard Goran Dragic, who has a window between the end of the Steve Nash era and rookie Kendall Marshall‘s formative years, to make the case that the flashes of greatness we’ve seen from him in the past are more than just momentary bursts of greatness. Dragic has clearly done the hard work (check the video, above … and yes, we’ll talk with him about the shorts later) necessary to become the sort of player he, and so many other who have championed his cause over the years, believe he can be. Opportunity is banging on his door something fierce. We’ll find out soon if he’s as ready as he appears to be, because if not …. there are plenty of other guys willing and waiting for their chance to pounce.”
- The Jazz are interested in bringing back Josh Howard, from The Salt Lake Tribune via Kurt Helin of NBC Sports: “There’s mutual interest between Howard and Utah. He exceeded expectations during the 2011-12 campaign, is highly respected by management and coach Tyrone Corbin, and Howard spent part of his offseason working out with former Jazz teammates in Santa Barbara, Calif.”
- How did the Portland Trailblazers do in the offseason? They did well enough to receive a grade of C from Ben Golliver of CBS Sports: “Overall grade and accomplishments: C - Where did this flurry of moves leave Portland? Pretty much where you would have expected. The problem children were all been shipped out, and the veterans who would have been wasting their time during a rebuilding season fled or were traded. The team’s new core trio — Aldridge, Batum and Matthews — is in place together through at least 2014-15 with Lillard and Leonard on track to fill out the starting lineup of the future. The bench is young and lacking in talent but also cheap and liquid. Considering all of those components, the Blazers are well positioned for a tossaway season that results in plenty of development time for everyone who needs it plus another solid lottery pick to add to the core.”
- The Ball Don’t Lie staff put together a nice list of people that should be followed on twitter.
- Iman Shumpert displayed his abilities as a poet at Village Underground. It’s an emotional piece and definitely worth a watch, via Sekou Smith.