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Jeremy Lin on sleep and three-pointers, recovery and “cheat meals”

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Brooklyn Nets v Detroit Pistons Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

In an extensive interview with GQ Magazine, Jeremy Lin talks a lot about the value of training regimens and diet in staying healthy ... and improving your game, but perhaps the most interesting part of it is how he believes working with a sleep coach helped his shooting. He tells writer Christopher Cason...

“I worked with Cheri Mah [Sleep Research Fellow at the UCSF Human Performance Center], and she has taught me a ton about sleep and we’ve done a great job with that. It has pushed me to be a better sleeper. Her studies showed that [better sleep] improves shooting percentages and performance. I had a career-high from three this season (37.2 percent). Sleep and obviously recovery are two major things I focused on this year.”

How so?

“You know it’s important, but you don’t realize how important it really is. [Mah] was teaching me everything from deep sleep and REM Sleep. When I get the right amount of sleep, I definitely feel better during the game and throughout the day. I’m more aware and it helps solidifies my memory in remembering things and patterns during the course of the game. I feel sharper and I feel better with my shot because it’s more in tune and in rhythm.”

Lin doesn’t offer specifics but says Mah taught him “like 1,000 things,” one of the most important being consistency in the number and quality of hours. Mah did lay out some of the 1,000 things last year.

One thing Lin didn’t disclose to GQ is that he provided the benefits of Mah’s teachings —and another sleep aid— to other Nets players. In a Players Tribune piece in February, Sean Kilpatrick wrote, “Jeremy hired us a sleep coach, and he told me I have a standing offer to crash at his place in Brooklyn when the commute back to White Plains isn’t convenient.”)

Lin, of course, became famous for sleeping on his brother’s sofa, then teammate Landry Fields’ couch during Linsanity. It’s long way from an ordinary brown couch to a professional sleep coach.

The Nets point guard also spoke about post-season rest and how while he knows he has to take some time off, it’s still difficult to keep his hands off a basketball.

“Obviously, I need the physical rest but when my mind gets locked in to getting ready, I’m ready. That usually takes only two to three weeks. Within two weeks, I’m already really missing the game a lot. Within three weeks, it gets really bad and no matter what’s going on, I just really want to touch a basketball and do anything to be around the game.”

Lin also talks about wanting an In-and-Out Burger and how he keeps that temptation at bay unless it comes after a game or on an off-day; how he now understands the connection between injury recovery and diet; his game day meal pattern and his favorite Brooklyn restaurant, Carnem (but Google says the Fifth Avenue establishment is closed.