Jeremy Lin arrived in Taiwan early Sunday morning (late Saturday, New York time) and was promptly surrounded by a crowd of young fans, some dressed in Nets gear, many of carrying signs in English and Chinese. It’s part of his annual Asia tour that will take him to China as well.
Such crowds are typical for Lin in Asia, even when his plane lands at 5:30 a.m. local. His fans are loyal.
In an interview conducted as he was heading from the airport to the hotel, Lin made it clear that the Nets’ losing is a thing of the past.
“We’re making the playoffs. I don’t care what anybody else tells me,” he said, as recorded on YouTube by @infinity88 and other Lin fans.
Lin also spoke about his budding relationship with D’Angelo Russell.
“He's good. Got a chance to meet him out in Vegas for Summer League ... I can't wait to play with him. We're going to do some serious damage next year. “
As for who plays which backcourt position, Lin admitted he wasn’t sure, but compared the Nets upcoming situation with the one he and Kemba Walker shared in Charlotte two years ago.
"I’m going to be at the 1 and he'll be at the 2,” he said, then pausing. “I'm really not sure to be honest. I'm pretty sure he will start at the 2, but it will be pretty interchangeable. Then, when one of us is out of the game, the other will most likely have the ball in their hands, So it'll be a little bit Kemba-ballesque. kinda a little me-and-Kembaish.”
Asked about the addition of DeMarre Carroll, Lin was enthusiastic.
“Carroll is going to help us out A LOT. Versatility, veteran leadership ... we need leadership a lot.“
Later at a press conference in the Taiwanese capital, Lin reiterated that if the team is healthy, the playoffs are an “opportunity” to win enough games —”37, 38” needed to make the post-season in the East. Individually, he said he’s still hoping to become an All-Star and said he hopes to shoot better than 40 percent from deep and get to the rim more. Lin admitted after his hamstring injury he feared contact and didn't finish as much or as well as he should.
Here’s a more detailed paraphrase of his remarks by C.L.I.C.K. on Reddit.
Lin said he hopes to take a lot more shots and 3s next season and also to have better accuracy / 3P percentage. He wants to be an all-star and get into the playoffs. Said that if he didn't get injured last year, Nets could've made the playoffs. Next year, with 37-38 wins, they could get in with a weaker eastern conference.
Lin said that he was asked (by Sean Marks) whether or not he thinks players in free agency, such as Porter, would fit on the Nets and could pair with him well. He had a lot of fun being a franchise player and being asked for his thoughts on these matters, instead of being the 15th man on the bench with prior teams.
Lin said that there will definitely be differences next year without Brook. He said he paired well with Brook, but with him gone, he'll miss his back to the basket playing style. However, the team will now play faster. He'll be able to play even faster as the 1 or 2 and also play more PnR. He wants to play off the ball more because he doesn't want defenses to all be looking at him when he brings the ball up the court. If he can play more off-guard, he can score more.
Like most players, Lin's ultimate goal is to be a champion. However, for now, the most important thing is to just get into the playoffs. If a team can get lucky or catch a break, they can advance further. Lin used Bulls and Rondo as an example last year. If Rondo didn't get injured, they could've made it further.
He feels old on the Nets because 28, 29 years is considered old on the team right now. He wants to perform well in his prime years... the next 3 to 4 years.
Lin doesn't want to chase rings though. He wants to walk his own path to become a champion. He doesn't want to go to an already great team like the Warriors to become a champion. Maybe if he gets older, he might change his stance on this, but for now, while he's still young, he wants to walk his own path. He hopes he can turn Brooklyn into a great team.
Lin's ultimate goal off the court is to have a family and have 3 kids. But he'll remain patient and follow what God wants him to do.
Lin said him and DLo trained together in Vegas, along with other Nets players who went down there to support the SL team. DLo is a nice person and treated him really well. They've already spoken about how they're going to play together next year. They're excited to play together and help each other. Lin feels there shouldn't be any problems between him and DLo. Like Lin pairing with Kemba, they should play very well together.
Lin and his teammates have been on the same page about next season throughout the summer, particularly since the trade that brought Russell to Brooklyn. At his press conference on June 26, Russell didn’t commit to the playoffs, but he did project optimism.
“I think the sky’s the limit – we’ve got a lot of great guys out here,” he told reporters “The front office, those guys do their thing, the coaches, they’re just as hungry as the players. Everybody really wants to win, that’s the main focus.”
Lin is likely to be asked on his trip how the Nets are going from 20 wins to 40 or whatever a playoff spot will require, starting with a press conference at 3 a.m., New York time, that will be streamed live.
Caris LeVert will join Lin for a stretch of the Asia trip now that the Summer League has ended.