Asked by Chinese media to choose from among Carmelo Anthony, Kevin Durant and LeBron James the NBA’s best player, new Houston point guard Jeremy Lin didn’t hesitate Sunday during his visit to Taipei’s Xinyi District.
“LeBron James is the best player in the past five years,” Lin was quoted in the China Post, joking that if he were running a team, he would do everything necessary to acquire the Miami Heat superstar – including trading himself.
Lin conceded, too, that his selection might rankle Anthony, his former New York Knicks teammate. But then, neither James nor Durant ever termed Lin’s backloaded free-agent contract — the business end of things that all NBA players work for and generally respect with their peers — to be “ridiculous” the way Anthony had.
‘Melo also is the culprit largely fingered for having snuffed Linsanity in New York, getting his way both in the focus of the Knicks’ attack (iso’s for the high-scoring small forward) and the team’s preference in coaches (Mike Woodson over Mike D’Antoni). But while Anthony was in London raining buckets on Nigeria and Lithuania, Lin was over in his parents’ native Taiwan, where Linsanity was alive and well.
The Rockets’ newly acquired point guard grew up in California, graduated from Palo Alto High and attended Harvard. After apologizing for his shaky Mandarin, he spoke mostly in English and skirted any Taiwanese/Chinese questions about his family’s roots. Wearing a t-shirt and jeans, Lin credited the national media for their “man-to-man defense” in their coverage of his visit. And he offered no more of an explanation to reporters there for his sudden development and underdog appeal than he had once “Linsanity” took hold in the States.
So much for that Harvard economics degree.
According to Lin, he learned three main things while at Harvard. The first was basketball skills, which improved greatly because of the sports system at the school. The second was a different studying method. The third was how to play video games, which he spent two years mastering.
Lin also shared with Chinese media his desire to be a basketball inspiration to others there the way former Houston star Yao Ming was for him, and the vital information that he currently does not have a girlfriend. (‘Melo probably thinks that is ridiculous too.) Lin said he would consider visiting some of Taiwan’s famous hot springs, said to be therapeutic for injuries such as the torn meniscus in Lin’s left knee that ended his season on March 24.