The question at Monday’s “Markinson” presser was simple, What is Jeremy Lin’s role? With Lin returning from a lost season and a unique recovery/rehab program, you have to wonder what’s going on, particularly with the backcourt logjam and Lin’s belief he’s stepping back into a starting role.
Sean Marks wouldn’t get into details, but he made it clear that a competitive Lin, a healthy Lin is a good thing.
“He’s proven people wrong his entire career, so that’s something when we first brought Jeremy on board intrigued us about him,” Marks said. “There’s no market too big for him, there’s no moment.
“I’d say I wouldn’t bet against Jeremy. The way he’s attacked his rehab over the last six to eight months is really impressive. He’s come back with a new lease on life, which is great. We’re intrigued.”
As for his rehab, now centered in Brooklyn rather than Burnaby, British Columbia, Marks said it is continuing.
“It’s a long process. We’re not going to rush him back by any means, as much as he’d probably like to be playing right now. At the same time, it’ll work its way out. I’m not too worried about that.”
And he touched as well on how Kenny Atkinson and the coaching staff were able to recover from the loss of Lin and D’Angelo Russell.
“Obviously, with the injury situations that happened, that threw a wrench in the works for us. Our staff, starting with Kenny and his coaching staff, was able to navigate that and put players in different situations to succeed. So you saw two point guards go down with injuries, and then you saw Spencer come in. He held the reins there for a little bit. Then, you saw Caris come in and Caris was able to develop and have the ball in his hands more.”
Marks’ comment about LeVert is a bit intriguing, especially when combined with one by Atkinson on LeVert’s potential as a point guard and what he learned about Spencer Dinwiddie, things he said he discovered after Lin and Russell went down.
“I think positive things do come out of it,” Atkinson said about adjusting to the injuries. “You learn that Caris LeVert can play point guard. It’s amazing how you’re depressed for a day and you discover all these other things like, ‘Spencer Dinwiddie, man, he’s pretty good.’ Would he have gotten the same opportunity? D’Angelo (Russell) goes down and you have to kind of tweak it.”
Lin left little doubt last Thursday in his “baggie day” talk with reporters that he wants back badly, to prove himself. That competitive streak is, as Marks noted, very real. And he’s always been open about it.
“I came here having the same role. I don’t expect it to change,” he said Thursday. “And if it does, it’ll be something we communicate over. But honestly, I’m not really even thinking that far in advance. I’m thinking about my health; I’m thinking about moving properly. And I have full confidence that if I’m doing that, everything will be…everything will make up for lost time, and we’ll see what I had envisioned my time in Brooklyn being.”
It’s a given, at least among fans, that the Nets have to do something about their logjam in the backcourt, their roster imbalance. Atkinson is on the record saying he sees Russell as a 1. Lin, Dinwiddie and LeVert can all play the 1 or 2. The Nets have moved Isaiah Whitehead’s career trajectory from being 1 or 2 to 2 or 3, the same roles Allen Crabbe can play. Are we missing anyone? Probably.
It will be an interesting summer.
- Why Nets GM won’t bet against a Jeremy Lin comeback - Brian Lewis - New York Post
- BROOKLYN NETS’ SEAN MARKS: DON’T BET AGAINST JEREMY LIN - Alex Labidou - Brooklyn Nets