Jeremy Lin spoke Sunday with Jared Greenberg of NBATV about the recent acquisition of D’Angelo Russell at Brooklyn’s Summer League game on Sunday.
Lin gave the addition a big thumbs up and made it clear that he and D-Lo will be working together in the backcourt, similar to the way he and Kemba Walker had two years back in Charlotte.
“He’s so talented. He can shoot, he can create off the dribble, he’s versatile,” Lin said of Russell. “He can play point guard, he can play shooting guard, he has length. Being able to put him in different positions and put myself in different positions him playing the one, me playing the two. We’ll be able to play off each other so I’m not really worried about that.”
He went further and talked about how playing off the ball will help his own game.
“Something that I’ve kind of thought about is sometimes I could be playing off the ball and the run the secondary action and get the ball later in the possession. I don’t have to dribble up and see five guys staring at me and that’s hard at times. Being able to mix myself off the ball and be more creative will be really interesting and really fun.”
People wondered how the two point guards’ games would coincide and what the acquisition of Russell meant for Lin going forward. The Nets and Lin, however, have made it more than clear that they will mix and match in the backcourt. It shouldn’t be an issue, Lin says.
“I don’t think we feel like there is anything against each other. We know we’re going to be playing alongside each other for the majority of this time. We’re going to share the backcourt together.
“You know, we’ve worked out. We’ve talked. We’ve texted. We’ve hungout. He’s a great guy and I know people try to say certain things about him but I haven’t seen any of the negative stuff. He’s been great – awesome so far. We’ve already talked about what we want to do, how we want to play and different things like that.”
For his part, Russell told NBA TV Friday he’s excited about playing in New York.
Russell talked about getting a “new start” in Brooklyn and how no matter what the situation is, he is "going to make the best of it.”
"Honestly, a new start. It's all new being able to start over,” he said when he was asked about what he’s looking forward to. “You don't get that opportunity in this league a lot. Either you're in or you're out. Being in New York is not bad.
"Honestly it's more of the situation you're in in, you've got to adapt too. Me being in the situation right now, I've got to make the best of it whatever it is."
Can he be a leader?
“Of course! I don't think you want to step on the court and not and not try to be a dominant force or player in the league or on your team. To get an opportunity to lead right away is great,” he said.
He declined to talk about criticisms of his character, respectfully saying he won’t answer those questions any more.
"Honestly I'm done talking about those type of things. It's something I can't really control. This year is a control what you can control type of year for me - my hard work, coming to play and lead these guys every night, trying to play my best every night and just leading by example and vocally."
Finally when asked about whether he has something to prove, he agreed that he does.
"Of course, (there is) always something to prove. Once you get traded, you take it how you want to take it. I took it as a sign of something to prove, disrespect, how ever you wanna put it, I've still got something to prove at the end of the day for myself, not for anybody else."
Apparently off-court chemistry doesn’t appear to be an issue either. It's all praise from Jeremy Lin. We’ll see how that translates onto the court.