Jeremy Lin played in just 37 games across two seasons for the Brooklyn Nets. This offseason, they traded him to the Atlanta Hawks, and he’s apparently still not back to 100 percent after suffering a season-ending injury in the first game of the 2017-18 season.
Still, his comments to Newsday’s Laura Albanese on Wednesday suggest he’s upset with Brooklyn’s decision to send him to a team that should be competing for the No. 1 overall pick of the 2019 NBA Draft.
“I always felt like I had unfinished business — I always felt like I was there for an opportunity that never really came,” the point guard told Albanese.
“When you’re a player, you put everything into that organization and then whatever they do, however they treat you is beyond your control.”
Lin’s Nets Tenure
In the summer of 2016, Lin agreed to a three-year, $36 million contract with the Nets, who’d won just 21 games the previous and who wouldn’t have their own first-round pick until 2019. He explained that his decision to join Brooklyn had a lot to do with his belief in general manager Sean Marks and head coach Kenny Atkinson, who’d been a New York Knicks assistant during “Linsanity.”
“The way I was looking at free agency is kind of when you invest in a start up company,” Lin said weeks after signing with the Nets, according to NBA.com. “You don’t necessarily look at the product right then and there at that moment. That is a big part of it, but you’re kind of betting on the founder a lot of times. You’re betting on what that person is capable of doing because sometimes as you go through the process the final product is going to change a lot and that’s very common in start ups. I feel like that’s kind of like how I saw this. I’m betting on certain people. I’m betting on Kenny (Atkinson). I’m betting on Sean (Marks). I’m betting on myself. I’m betting on Brook Lopez.”
Lin missed most of his first Nets season with hamstring issues, and the team went 20-62. They improved to 28-54 a year later, but almost entirely without him — in their season opener, Lin suffered a ruptured patella tendon that’d keep him out for the year.
In July, the Nets sent Lin to the Hawks, dumping his contract into Atlanta’s cap space, a move that’d free Brooklyn’s cap up for a flurry of offseason moves. The deal also opened some minutes for a crowded young Nets backcourt.
Lin’s New Role
In Atlanta, Lin will start the season coming off the bench behind rookie point guard Trae Young, the fourth overall pick of the 2018 draft. Lin’s expected to mentor the young point guard.
“I’m very excited about playing for the Atlanta Hawks,” Lin said of the move, according to The Athletic’s Michael Scotto. “It’s a fresh start for me. The Hawks are a relatively young team, but Trae Young is a talented player. I think I can help him a lot and share my experience playing in the NBA with him.
“I know the Hawks plan to use us on the court together. I had played for the Rockets, Lakers and Hornets that put two point guards on the court simultaneously, so I know Trae and I could play very fast. Coach Lloyd Pierce, one of the (former) coaches for the Warriors, was also my coach, so I have talked to him already. I’m really excited, about the upcoming season, it’s going to be fun.”