Jeremy Lin happy for D’Antoni with Lakers
by Scott M Gleeson, USA TODAY sports
We all know the legend of Jeremy Lin and the “Linsanity” that captivated the NBA last season for the month of February and lasted until the end of the season.
It’s the story of a player who was cut by an NBA team and at the bottom of the depth chart. He was sleeping on his teammate’s couch because of the likely inevitability that he’d be cut once again.
Until a coach gave him his chance.
Some people tend to forget that coach was Mike D’Antoni, who is back in the NBA after being named the Los Angeles Lakers’ new coach, replacing Mike Brown. The Lakers went with D’Antoni over 11-time NBA champion Phil Jackson.
Lin thought it was a great hire and expressed his gratitude for D’Antoni, saying he’s happy having him back in the league.
“Obviously, I’m very, very happy for Coach D’Antoni,” Lin said via Ultimate Rockets. “He deserves it. He changed my career. He changed my life. I’m always thankful to him for that. I wish him the best of luck in LA. Obviously, I’ll be seeing him soon.”
The Rockets play the Lakers at Staples Center on Sunday. The timetable for when D’Antoni takes over the team has not been determined yet. Lin spoke to his old coach’s strengths.
“He gave me confidence in running the offense,” Lin said. “He’s a coach that empowers his players. He gives his players the confidence and freedom to go out and play to the best of their abilities. That’s what he did for me last year.”
Lin feels the pick-and-roll game with Steve Nash and Dwight Howard will work well in L.A., as it did when he played in New York.
“His system is so hard to guard, if the players buy in I don’t see why it wouldn’t work. You have so much spacing and you have Dwight Howard in the middle. The last thing he needs is more space. You have Pau Gasol, a versatile four man who can pick-and-pop, pick-and-drive. And obviously, Kobe (Bryant), he can do it all and Nash, we’ve seen what he did in that … [For more on Jeremy Lin happy for D'Antoni with Lakers, click here.]