Jeremy Lin lands in Houston
Lin jerseys became the league’s top sellers, he made the cover of Sports Illustrated in consecutive weeks and had drinks named for him in New York. He was initially overwhelmed by the media glare. Now, he takes it in stride.
He went to dinner with new teammate Chandler Parsons in Houston on Wednesday night and Parsons estimated they were interrupted 15-20 times by fans asking for autographs and photos.
“This past year, it took me by surprise and it was just this huge storm,” Lin said. “It was kind of baptism by fire. You get thrown into it and you’ve just got to make adjustments and learn. That’s a lot of what I had to do.”
While Alexander said the decision to pursue Lin was “all basketball,” he acknowledged that he could potentially impact on the Rockets‘ brand in the way that Yao Ming did, expanding its reach in Asia. But hat, Alexander, depends on how good Lin becomes and if the team improves along with him.
Lin is American-born, but of Chinese and Taiwanese descent, and the number of Chinese media at the press conference was about equal to the American contingent.
“If you don’t win, what difference does it make?” Alexander said. “If you get him, and he’s not a very good player, you look like a fool. How does that help you in any way?”
There’s an added caveat for Lin and the Rockets this season _ the All-Star game will be played in Houston on Feb. 17. Yao was named to eight All-Star teams, largely on the strength of Chinese fans who voted online.
On the court, though, all Houston really needed was a point guard. The Rockets lost the unrestricted free agent Dragic to Phoenix, then dealt Lowry to Toronto for a first-round pick, made more valuable because it has lottery protection.
Lin averaged 14.6 points and 6.2 assists in 35 games (25 starts) for the Knicks last season. His aim is to improve his statistics every year _ and how good they get, not even he would venture to guess.
“I don’t know what my ceiling is, I don’t know what my potential is,” he said. “We don’t know what the ending is going to be. But I’m excited to find out.”