There are two ways to view Jeremy Lin’s move from the New York Knicks to the Houston Rockets.
The first, more optimistic theory goes something like this: Although Lin was extremely successful in the Big Apple during the peak of Linsanity, circumstances changed dramatically with that franchise within a few short months. The return of Carmelo Anthony took touches away from a guy who needed the ball to successfully run the offense, and Mike D’Antoni being replaced by Mike Woodson signaled a shift in the Knicks’ offense-defense prioritization. Seeing as Lin wasn’t, and still isn’t, a particularly great defender, he just didn’t fit anymore. If you look at things that way, his move was the best thing for all involved.
Of course, some opt to view things through more pessimistic lenses. And given the way the Knicks trashed Lin in New York papers after the fact, understandably so. That theory goes something like this: the Knicks were too cheap to pay Lin what he felt he was owed, and they didn’t really think he was worth the dough they’d have to shell out after Houston inserted that poison pill into his three-year deal. If you look at the move that way, it’s still the best thing for all involved, but it leaves a sour taste in everyone’s mouth anyway.
Regardless of which side of the fence you fall on, though, one thing is undeniable: Lin has changed a lot since his days in New York. Not in the way he plays basketball – that’s remained largely the same. He still needs the ball in his hands to be successful; he’s still a questionable defender; and he continues to struggle when forced to play alongside ball-dominating volume scorers. But personality-wise, he’s definitely changed.
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Money, power, attention – it changes folks.