Houston Rockets point guard Jeremy Lin showed up in downtown Los Angeles for a charity soccer match to support the Steve Nash Foundation.
Since the free-agency trade started on July 1st, the media has zoomed in on which team the former Los Angeles Lakers center Dwight Howard would eventually join. And if the NBA All-Star signs with Rockets, would Jeremy Lin and Omer Asik be traded.
Jeremy Lin broke his silence on Sunday through an interview with Los Angeles Times. The interview came a day after Houston Rockets general manager Daryl Morey emphasized again at the Dwight Howard’s Houston Rockets introduction that he is not looking to trade Lin and Asik. James Harden and Dwight Howard have expressed their desire to play together with the first Chinese-American NBA player and Asik, the GM announced.
“It’s huge. It’s really important for us,” said Lin. “When you talk about a franchise player or a superstar, having him and James Harden – we’re definitely fortunate to have two of those top-tier guys.”
Meanwhile, Lin said he was not part of the recruiting process of the free-agent 6-11 center, and has learned of Howard's decision only after people started texting him at a family function.
Howard’s coming on the team will supplant Omer Asik as the starting center, so the Rockets have to figure out how to fit Howard into their pick-and-roll heavy offense.
“A lot of it is going to be learning on the fly to a certain extent, but listening to coaches and buying in,” said Lin. “We always want to go as deep as we can but I’m not going to make any guarantees right now.”
In this season, the young players on Rockets were just figuring how to play with each other and their overall performance has landed them as the seventh seed in the Western finals, tying with Lakers in the West at 45-37. Although the Rockets pushed the Oklahoma City Thunders to six games in the playoffs, they were knocked out in the first round and Lin’s injury left him unable to contribute to the team in the playoffs.
“We learned a lot. Any time you get bumped out in the first round, you get a taste of what it’s about but it’s kind of like a tease – you want it to go longer,” Lin said. “It made us even hungrier.”
He averaged 13.4 points, 6.1 assists and 1.6 steals a game last season, and was one of the two Rockets to play in all 82 games.
Coming into the offseason, Lin has shared his picture of him and his brother shooting 78 percent three-point accuracy rate without guard during a practice night, which was verified by his coach. In another summer game in San Francisco, he scored 45 points and led his team to a win.
While Lin and the Rockets improve on their individual game during the offseason, Howard’s addition would make them a formidable team and provide the young players a bigger chance at winning their first NBA title.