The intensity and passion point guard Jeremy Lin provides on the basketball court for the Los Angeles Lakers also carries over to other parts of his life, most notably the world of computer gaming.
According to an article posted on Jan. 7 from ThePostGame, Lin takes a certain approach in playing the computer video game Defense of the Ancients, better known as DOTA by most gamers. He talked about his videogame strategy for the sequel, DOTA 2, during the annual Lakers All-Access event at the Staples Center in Los Angeles last week.
"My favorite character? Depends," Lin said. "Am I trying to have fun? Or am I trying to win?"
ThePostGame wanted Lin to elaborate on both aspects.
"If I'm trying to have fun, I love Sniper, but he's not a great player to play when you're really trying to play against competitive guys," Lin said. "If I'm trying to win, usually my team will have my friends and my brothers. I usually be like Phantom Assassin or Void, if it's a hard carry, or be like Leviathan or Centaur, a tank."
ThePostGame asked the Asian-American star whether or not it was fair to consider him a "support player." The article noted that "Leviathan" was a character in the original DOTA, which came out in 2005.
"When we really have to win, they let me hard carry," Lin said. "But I love Earth Shaker, Ogre, [and] Lion. I love all these different characters."
Lin was then asked how often he had the chance to play DOTA, given his busy schedule with the Lakers. He did quip that while he played DOTA "all the time," he sees it as time well spent with friends and family.
"It's been tougher since I've got to L.A. just because so many people are coming into town," Lin said. "Everybody's always visiting, and there are so many people who live in L.A. already, so it's tougher to find time. But me, my brothers, and my friends who play, we try to block off time ahead of time so that we can get a solid chunk of time to play."
According to ThePostGame, each DOTA game has nonstop action that lasts between 30 and 60 minutes. ThePostGame also noted that DOTA has more than 10 million unique monthly users, which makes it one of the most played "free-to-play" video games in the world.
Video gaming skills aside, some think that Lin should work on improving his basketball skills instead. Dan Favale of Bleacher Report argued that Lin's performance on the Lakers so far hasn't lived up to expectations.
"Lin's contract-year performance hasn't yielded the intended results," Favale wrote. "He lost his starting job to a 31-year-old Ronnie Price, and his minutes are down from last season, even though the Lakers rotation is nothing if not pedestrian."
However, Lakers head coach Byron Scott told Joey Ramirez of Lakers.com that Lin has been meeting expectations so far, based on recent performances on the court.
"I think he's getting more comfortable, and I think his confidence is coming back," Scott said during practice last weekend about Lin. "I think he understands exactly what I want from him. It's just a matter of going out there and doing it. And I know from the point guard position, you're going to make mistakes, and I can live with that as long as those mistakes are made with the effort that he played with last night."
Ramirez noted that while the point guard was "averaging 14.8 points on 51.0 percent shooting with 3.6 assists," his mistakes included "2.6 turnovers and 2.6 fouls per game." Lin provided an assessment to Ramirez on where he can improve his performance in the NBA.
"I want to get in more passing lanes and get more steals," Lin said. "When I first started playing, I was ranking (among) the top in the NBA in steals; trying to learn how to play defense and focus more on my guys taking me out of some of those opportunities. But I'm trying to get back more into it where I'm looking for steals, I'm hunting and trying to track guys down."
According to Ramirez, Scott seemed to agree with Lin's self-assessment. The head coach wanted Lin to assert himself in other parts of his game too.
"That's the way he has to play for us," Scott said. "I want him to be always under control and running the team, but there's times when he has to be aggressive as well - and aggressive doesn't necessarily mean you have to shoot the ball every time."
In Favale's opinion, Lin has until April to turn things around, "lest he enter unrestricted free agency with his stock light-years lower than it was three years ago."