HANG TIME HEADQUARTERS — Jeremy Lin was back on a teammates’ couch his first night in Houston, huh?
Some things never change.
(According to the report in the Houston Chronicle, Chandler Parsons wins the teammate couch challenge over ex-Knicks teammate Landry Fields.)
The former Knicks sensation and new face of the Houston Rockets clearly hasn’t forgotten where he came from, even if he still seems a bit bewildered by the cosmic ride he’s been on since breaking through last season in New York.
And we hope he never does.
Hopefully Lin takes a page out of the book Grant Hill will write one day about being the consummate and humble pro that all burgeoning stars (willing and reluctant) should aspire to be.
Stay hungry and stay humble through whatever comes your way.
Lin didn’t sound like he was 100 percent ready to take the reins in Houston, telling a crowd of reporter (our main man Jonathan Feigen being one of them):
“I don’t know if I’m the face of the franchise just yet,” Lin said, while surrounded by about 40 media members. “We’re a young team, and we’re all going to buy in.
“The thing about us is it’s not going to be any one person that is going to carry us where we want to go. It’s going to be everybody.”
But he has no choice.
This is real, young fella. Believe it, you are the face of the franchise … even though we love that you are pushing back on the idea. Because it will give you much more locker room cred if you don’t embrace the Texas version of Linsanity.
That said, Lin’s new reality comes with expectations that must be dealt with one way or another. Based on what we saw of him after the bright lights started shining in New York, we have every reason to believe he’s prepared for the challenge.
And he knows there will be plenty:
Lin’s greatest concern might have been the rapid acquisition of furniture, including an actual bed. He seemed much more comfortable than he often did in the New York spotlight or at the news conference following his return to the Rockets in July.
“I learned a lot in New York,” Lin said. “It happened so fast I think I learned (about) basketball, but I think I learned a lot about people, a lot about life. That’s was huge. On the outside looking in, it might have been all about the glitz and the glamour, but it was really tough for me to handle everything, from all aspects.
“The biggest thing (learned) is what it takes to be consistent every night and to do well every night. It’s one thing to do well once a week, twice a week, but to do it three, four times a week takes a lot of mental focus.”
Most players don’t carry that expectation. Still, by the third time he was asked about being “the face of the franchise,” he made it clear that he won’t view himself that way no matter how often that label is assigned to him.
He can fight it all he wants, and it might be his most admirable quality, given the things we’ve seen the spotlight do to others we thought might have the humble quality Lin seems to have in surplus.
But it won’t change the fact that he is and will be the face of the franchise in Houston and beyond (check below) until further notice.