Jeremy Lin, speaking in Shanghai, again predicted the Nets will make the playoffs in a media dialogue with Chinese fans, and went further, making it clear he hopes the Nets can play “exceptionally well.”
“I still feel like we can make the playoffs. I know everyone will laugh, but that’s no problem. If I believe we can make the playoffs, this is most important.... “Hopefully we can perform exceptionally well. Everyone thinks we’ll suck, so I feel like we don’t have a lot of pressure.”
Lin also said that while he will miss Brook Lopez, he’s very happy with how the Nets handled off-season.
“I’m really satisfied (with the Nets offseason additions). Of course, I’ll miss Brook Lopez. We were good friends and we paired well together. They already traded him away, but I feel like we’ll be a stronger team this year.”
Lin also talked again about how he and D’Angelo Russell will mesh in Brooklyn. As he has since the June 22 trade, Lin said he doesn’t think there will be any issues, noting Kenny Atkinson’s motion offense puts a premium on multiple playmakers ... no matter what you can call them, no matter what number you assign them.
Specifically, Lin said that not only the are the 1 and 2 guard spots interchangeable. So is the 3.
“Of course he can play at the 1, can play at the 2, but will probably first start at the 2,” said Lin of his new backcourt mate. “In our (motion) offense, 1, 2, 3, are all interchangeable. All positions has to be able to pass, play pick and roll.
“I don’t think it’ll affect me too much because I need others to drive, to attack, to pass, can’t just rely on me. So I hope we’ll be able to pair well together like me and Kemba did.”
Lin also spoke about team leadership.
“Lead by example, this is very important,” he said when asked about his role. “Every team’s leader has to be very humble, take care of the younger players. If a player is struggling or feeling really bad, (the leader) should take care of them. I feel like these are really good values (to have in a leader).
“I’m usually the one to speak up the most in the locker room. I give out instructions, get our team on the same page. I feel this is very important. So usually I talk the most.”
Lin also said that his happiness are more important than his statistics or his accomplishments. And nothing is more important than wins.
“I think the most important thing for me is to be really happy. Everyday when I play ball, I want to be really happy playing,” he said. “Of course I want to win a lot of games. I’m not really concerned with my own stats. I feel like if we perform really well and win a lot of games, these things will take care of themselves.”
Lin also said that he considers last season a lost opportunity for him.
“Even though this upcoming season is my 2nd year in Brooklyn, I feel like it’s my 1st year here because last year was such a different year for me. I’m really excited. I hope to protect my body and remain injury-free.”
The first Asian-American in the NBA spoke as well to his Chinese fans about two Chinese players who could play in the NBA this year.
Zhou Qi, who’s been signed by Rockets, said needs to be very confident in himself, feel like he should be playing in the NBA, Lin said. He also said he hopes the Mavericks sign undrafted guard Ding Yanyuhang who was a bit of a summer league sensation.