Linsanity II never happened. The Nets high hopes for Jeremy Lin never materialized. A hamstring laid him low for all but 36 games in 2016-17 and a ruptured patella tendon sent him to rehab in British Columbia after one game in 2017-18.
Then, the Nets decided quietly at the end of last season that the soon-to-be 30-year-old was not part of the team’s future and started marketing him. On July 12, they dumped him, somewhat unceremoniously in a trade with the Hawks. The Nets got a heavily protected 2020 Blazers pick and the rights to an injured French guard in return for Lin’s expiring contract, a second pick in 2025 and a swap of second round picks in 2023.
Lin had hoped to return to validate the Nets —and particularly Kenny Atkinson’s— faith in him, but injuries and age plus the development of younger guards made him superfluous.
“I always felt like I had unfinished business — I always felt like I was there for an opportunity that never really came,” said Lin, in New York for opening night vs the Knicks Wednesday. “When you’re a player, you put everything into that organization and then whatever they do, however they treat you, is beyond your control.”
“Everything” of course is relative. Lin missed 127 games in two years. Moreover, Lin admits that he has not recovered all of his explosiveness. (That indeed was one of the Nets concerns, that Lin’s full recovery was not guaranteed.)
“The toughest thing about coming back is definitely getting up to the level that you were before, whether it’s your speed, your rhythm, your explosiveness, your shot, your decision-making,” Lin said. “Just getting to that place you were before, the longer you’re out, the harder it is.”
Isaia Cordinier, the 21-year-old French guard who like Lin missed all of last season with knee issues, returns to action Friday night. That’s more important than Lin’s progress at this point.
- After a Nets tenure that ‘never really panned out,’ Jeremy Lin returns to New York a different player - Michael Scotto - The Athletic
- Jeremy Lin questioned whether he’d make it back to the NBA after knee injury - Laura Albanese - Newsday
- Jeremy Lin sounds so happy, though maybe not with the Nets - Zach Braziller - New York Post