The Nets Media Day, as it has in past years, permitted reporters and camera crews to interview as many of the 20 players as they want, with no restrictions on the questions. Players line up at specified tables at specified times and attempt to satisfy media curiosity.
There were few lining up to talk with Beau Beech or Chase Budinger or Joe Harris. Jeremy Lin on the other hand was easily the most popular player and he rewarded the media by talking not just about basketball, but social issues as well.
On the basketball side of things, Lin spoke about his shot and the need for him to assert himself as a leader.
On his shot...
"I just continue to change my shot so it’s lower and more fluid. I’m a lot more confident. I think last season, I tried to change it, but it takes a little more, at least for me, it takes more than one summer. So I continue on that path and I feel way more confident the second year around."
"I definitely feel a much stronger responsibility for this leadership role that I didn’t in my last two or three teams. I feel like for me here a lot of it is going to fall on me and Brook setting the tone, everyday in workouts, everyday we work, even how we live off the court, how we take care of our bodies, how we eat, sleep, everything. So we’re really going to have to set the tone for this leadership role I’ve been thrust into.
"That’s what I’ve known my whole life, as a basketball, so I’m comfortable with it."
Lin spoke as well as how the Nets new culture is so different from the other teams he played for.
"I’ve never had —so far, I could be wrong, maybe it’s just a big front— so far, I’ve never seen an organization care for their players holistically, from a 24/7 standpoint, versus when we’re on the court or when we’re practicing. Or at the arena. It’s all encompassing ... like the way you sleep or little stuff like how you set up your bedroom and how it impacts your sleep. All of that impacts your performance as an athlete.
"They’re really trying to do things right, to establish culture not just from when you step on the floor. "
But the big news, at least for the tabloids, was Lin talking about two social issues, whether he would consider kneeling during the National Anthem to protest police violence against African-Americans, and bias towards Asians and Asian-Americans.
Lin said he would want to talk to teammates about any national anthem protest...
"I will say the one thing that I will make sure is I don't want to do anything alone. I want something to be united, I want there to be solidarity, because I don't want it to be X versus Y, or Group A versus Group B versus Group C or whatever. It has to be, if I do anything, I would want to be behind a stand of unity, because I think that's what we need. That's what I think our nation needs right now."
But on the subject of bias against Asians and Asian-Americans, he made it clear that he has seen it play out subtly as well as directly...
"You can just take the racial element alone. You can add on so many other factors, but really anything I do is hyper-magnified in a good way or a bad way. People are quick to discount me or say certain things because of my race. And when I do well, people are quick to say he's so amazing, he's the truth, whatever, because of my race, because of the way I look."
Indeed, Lin admitted that so much of his game is mental and noted the role Kenny Atkinson played in New York, BEFORE Linsanity, when then assistant coach Atkinson did his best to keep him in the game.
"For me, a big part of my game is mental. So I have to be in the right frame of mind. And not playing and not having that chance and having that daily pressure thinking I might get cut, it really weighed at me. For me, him just being there and being in the gym, and pushing me and wanting to work out and bringing that energy was therapy in a lot of ways."
And now he’s back in New York ... and is happy to be here
"I always prayed and asked God, ‘I want a chance to come back to New York,’ but I wanted it to be right. I didn’t want to come back to New York just to come back to New York."
And the fit was right.
- Lin: If I wasn’t Asian, Linsanity wouldn’t have been a big deal - Greg Logan - New York Daily News
- Jeremy Lin: Protests may lead to long-term social solutions - Peter Botte - New York Daily News
- Jeremy Lin considering whether to protest social issues - Greg Logan - Newsday
- Lin gets another chance to start, this time in Brooklyn - Mike Scotto - AP
- Nets won’t measure season in wins and (lots and lots of) losses - Brian Lewis - New York Post
- When thoughtful Jeremy Lin would make anthem statement - Brian Lewis - New York Post
- Rebuilding Nets Have No Choice But To Be All-Lin - Steve Lichtenstein - CBS New York
- Lin eager to play for coach Atkinson in Brooklyn (Video) - ESPN
- Nine Thoughts To Keep Your Spirits Up Heading Into The 2016-17 Nets Season - Jamyz Clements -- The Brooklyn Game
- Lin The Leader - Cory Wright - Brooklyn Nets