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From Harvard to the NBA?

Mar 9, 2010, 9:45 AM EDT

There are plenty of Harvard guys in the NBA. They are just all in the front offices, coming up with marketing plans and crunching numbers.

On the court? Yea, right. Harvard isn’t down in the ugly recruiting trenches to get the one-and-dones. Harvard requires you to go to class, there are no athletic scholarships and they just don’t have it set up to get you the cars and cash under the table like they do at other schools. Oh, wait, I’m sure only a few very corrupt schools do that, it’s not something that happens at every major program in the nation. No way. The NCAA would certainly put a stop to that.

But last week there were scouts at a Harvard game, there have been throughout the season. They were there to see Jeremy Lin, a guy who dropped 30 on the NBA-talent guards at UConn and may have NBA game. Slam’s Colin Powers went as well to see the show, too.

So Collin, can he ball at the next level?

I still have a hard time seeing him in the NBA. He’d be at most average sized for a PG at the next level, but does not quite have the cat-quickness of those similarly smallish players. Further, playing off the ball as he did for the large part of the game, I was not able to establish if his handle was quite up to the standard of the El. He did flash a quick, low crossover on one occasion, but that was just about it. Without that handle, or truly dead-eye shooting from the outside (and he may very well have a tough time with the NBA 3-point line because of his mechanical hiccups), I have a hard time seeing Lin making it through a training camp next autumn.

Only time will tell though…if a player can find the right situation at the right time, sometimes that’s all it takes to latch on and become a fixture in the League

What Lin sounds like is a project. A guy who needs some time with a shooting coach and a couple years in the D-League to polish his game, maybe then he’ll be ready.

But you really have to want the NBA dream to travel on a bus, play in half-empty gyms and work hard for almost no money for a shot in the Association. And as a Harvard graduate, Lin is going to have a lot of better paying options available to him. Can’t say I’d blame him if he took those and used his game to dominate some rec league full of egotistical attorneys instead.

  1. David - Mar 9, 2010 at 7:37 PM

    This article is trash. You’ve decided that Lin is a “project” and that he needs time in the D-League based on another person’s opinion after watching Lin play one game. Talk about NOT doing your homework.

  2. Steve - Mar 9, 2010 at 8:04 PM

    I’ve seen him play, I think Colin’s assessment is very accurate. I have watched Lin in a couple games this year. He is probably not a second round draft pick. But he is just as talented as many players in the NBA who had some luck in order to be playing in it.
    I think your article is a bit short sighted though, Lin is too good a basketball player to not play professionally — and too good for the D-League. He’s going to get one or more training camp invites and if he doesn’t make an NBA roster he’ll be very successful overseas.

  3. Lou - Mar 31, 2010 at 1:52 PM

    Absolutly agree, and I can’t believe this article is published on NBCSports.com. If a player is assessed and critiqued, use your own words and judgement, not a third party opinion. Jeremy Lin’s court vision, play making abilities, and points in the paint should get him into NBA.

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