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Jeremy Lin a fan favorite in Vegas

Jul 15, 2010, 11:21 PM EDT

Jeremy Lin.jpg
At the beginning of Friday’s game between the Dallas Mavericks and the Washington Wizards, those assembled at the COX Pavilion in Las Vegas were on their feet and craning their necks to get a look at No. 1 overall pick John Wall. The crowd oohed and ahhed at Wall’s pre-game routine of windmills and tomahawks, just like they have before every Wizards game in Vegas.
But while Wall was the star of pre-game warmups, Harvard graduate Jeremy Lin ended up stealing the show. Lin isn’t the most athletic guy in Las Vegas, and he’s not the most skilled, but he may be the most fearless. 
Don’t let the Harvard degree fool you — Lin is a hard-nosed player who loves to take the ball right at the rim in every situation, and he doesn’t mind taking a bump or flat-out crashing into an opponent on his way to the hoop. 
Lin played the same aggressive game against the Wizards that he’s been playing all week, and the crowd ate it up. When Lin converted a tough drive, the crowd cheered. When he threw down a fast-break dunk, they roared in appreciation. When Lin split a double-team, weaved through the rotating defenders, got knocked down, and had a shot linger on the rim for a few seconds before it fell to the floor, the crowd went absolutely crazy. Even though the shot missed and Lin actually got called for a charge on the play, it was as loud as the COX Pavillion has been all week. 
Just like his and-1 that wasn’t, Lin’s bid for an NBA roster spot may come up just a bit short. Friday was by far the best of Lin’s four summer league games, and his stat line still didn’t look all that impressive: 13 points on 6-12 shooting, four rebounds, two assists, four turnovers, and six fouls. It’s hard to make the NBA as an undrafted rookie without great athleticism, a great shooting stroke, or great court vision, and Lin doesn’t have any of those. What Lin does have is the toughness, determination, and savvy that have made him one of the most fun players to watch in summer league, and there’s always a chance an NBA team will want somebody with Lin’s attitude and approach to the game on their bench. 
Lin has a bright basketball future ahead of him, even if that future doesn’t include a stint in an NBA rotation. Wherever Lin does go, he’ll have plenty of fans who will remember the fearless show he put on during his time with Dallas’ summer league squad. 
  1. David - Jul 15, 2010 at 11:31 PM

    HAHA! You’re going to write off a guy from the NBA because he had 4 turnovers and 6 fouls?
    So are the Mavs going to dump Roddy because he had 0 points and 5 fouls?
    Are the Wizards going to dump Wall because he shot 4-19?
    Why would you write off someone who made electric plays for himself and his teammates because of 4 fouls? That’s a joke! Who are you?

  2. Richard - Jul 16, 2010 at 12:04 AM

    I completely agree with David. You cannot completely disregard a player like that because his performance wasn’t as “outstanding” and he didn’t score as many points as a player like John Wall. He is much less experienced in playing guys with this much talent and is getting better each game. Besides, even the guys commentating were saying Jeremy Lin definitely has a spot on a team’s roster in the NBA next year. I think his chances of playing are just a bit higher than “probably not”.

  3. Jerry - Jul 16, 2010 at 12:21 AM

    Mr. Krolik, it’s critics like you that will motivate Jeremy Lin to make it to the nba. So I thank you.

  4. Jon - Jul 16, 2010 at 12:58 AM

    Some time in the D-League to hone his game would serve him well. He has a shot as an energy guy off the bench, or a third option guard. He’s obviously a hard worker and a good defender. His summer league play should give him confidence, and encourage him to work even harder.

  5. Kat - Jul 16, 2010 at 1:20 AM

    I like him better than Roddy, I think Roddy has been a little ovverrated by mavs staff and now everyone has high expectations for him. But I’m really liking Jeremy Lin, I hope the mavs sign him if they can, I know they have a lot of guards now though…I would trade Roddy for Lin any day

  6. mark - Jul 16, 2010 at 1:43 AM

    John Krolik is another white racist writer and an a-hole.
    Per minute, Jeremy is playing John Wall to a standstill and outplayed Wall in their 4th quarter head-to-head matchup.

  7. Eric - Jul 16, 2010 at 2:47 AM

    Haha…Mark, chill out dude. I’m Chinese American and it didn’t even cross my mind that John Krolik “is another white racist writer and an a-hole”! As a matter of fact, I read the article as Krolik giving Jeremy Lin the positive attention he deserves. Sheesh, talk about sensitivity!

  8. James - Jul 16, 2010 at 2:50 AM

    Is this a joke? Did you even watch the game? Jeremy Lin will be on an NBA roster and anyone who knows anything about basketball would be able to see how talented he is.
    In the entire second half, he ate up Wall defensively and successfully attacked him relentlessly offensively. The #1 draft pick John Wall. This article is a travesty.

  9. Mo - Jul 16, 2010 at 3:43 AM

    The fact that the writer gave a player from an Ivy League school attention, and said that he has a bright future, gives Lin a great compliment. And Lin being Asian makes it that much more special. I was like whoa how is this guy holding his own in there. We’ve seen Yao Ming dominate and Wang Zhi Zhi hit some threes, but ya’ll see Sun Yue play? whoa man Chinese Magic Johnson? sickk. Lin looks way better, more control, more confidence driving and shooting. and Sun Yue made the Lakers! so Lin, hope you really do succeed in the NBA level, and folks.. try and lay off the writer. im happy he even brought attention to Jeremy Lin.

  10. anon - Jul 16, 2010 at 4:16 AM

    You can’t deny that he played decent d against Wall. It’s not hard to believe that some teams would look for a wing that just needs to bring the ball up and play d for brief stretches. Lin seems to have the drive that a lot of other players do not. With that drive, hopefully he can get a great outside game and maybe make a team.

  11. zxcvb - Jul 16, 2010 at 4:20 AM

    The writer isn’t a racist…just dumb. First of all, fouls and TOs are largely irrelevant in summer league — Wall had 8 TOs in a game twice already. Also, there’s a big difference between drawing fouls like Lin’s (one at the end of the game to stop the clock, another to deny a breakaway layup, another on a spin-move “charge” that brought the house down) and fouling because you can’t stay in front of your man.
    His stat line wasn’t “that impressive” because he’s a point guard. A real point guard runs the offense instead of hogging the ball for himself. Whenever Lin came in, the Mavs cut into the Wizards’ huge lead. That speaks volumes and has been happening all week. Lin also played mind-boggling defense on Wall — who shot 4-19 but was bailed out by MJ-type calls.

  12. Anonymous - Jul 16, 2010 at 4:40 AM

    Your name wouldn’t happen to be Eric Shyu by any chance? (if so, Ricky says hi)

  13. Angler - Jul 16, 2010 at 5:27 AM

    Krolk, are you a joke or just a fool perpetuating your wired beliefs. You obviously got a bad eye for talent. Lin played phenomenal today and your trying to trim off his abilities?. Get off your high horse and see the light.

  14. cliff - Jul 16, 2010 at 8:58 AM

    if jeremy lin is not athletic.. how is he able to defend the fastest player in the league…he also had a fast break dunk… hustles all the time going for loose balls, i think that’s some athleticism…everyone criticizes lin for his so-called weaknesses, but then he just proves everyone wrong. Lin’s stats didn’t seem that impressive cuz hes got to share the ball with jones. When jeremy was on the floor they were +14. Jeremy is easily 2nd best player on the Mavs summer league team.

  15. Randall - Jul 16, 2010 at 9:32 AM

    It’s always fun watching Ivy League athletes competing at the pro level. Good luck kid.

  16. Khyber Jones - Jul 16, 2010 at 11:11 AM

    I was at that very entertaining summer league game, and Jeremy Lin was the only guy who could keep up with John Wall without fouling him. No one else on that Dallas roster, including Roddy Beaubois, had any chance.
    Lin has NBA level quickness. He also broke down the defense off the dribble as well as anyone, including Wall. He reminded me of Goran Dragic. He shot the ball better than Wall. If you look at the plus/minus for Dallas when Lin was in the game, it was off the charts. That’s where his value and impact on the game shone.
    I’m not saying any of this to diminish Wall. He was the real deal. He is not guardable off the dribble and he can create space for a shot any time he wants. He could actually be a hybrid of Isiah Thomas and Kobe Bryant if he learned to hit some off balance shots the way that Kobe does.
    All I’m saying is that Lin was a fan favorite because he has talent, not just because he is gritty. I could name at least 10-12 teams that could use him as a backup. In fact, Memphis would do well to get Lin to run the point and allow Mayo to go back to the natural #2 spot. The Heat could use Lin for more penetration an dish. The Knicks could use him as he is perfect for a D’Antoni offense.

  17. Jason - Jul 16, 2010 at 2:37 PM

    Amen Khyber,
    Article’s well-written, but to play off the non-athletic angle is to take away a ton of due credit from Lin. He plays smart and fearless ball, there’s no denying that of course. To make some of the plays that he did though and to successfully defend the freak that is John Wall takes some real speed and athleticism, so I don’t know how you can write that off as one of his weak points.
    His real weakness is his inconsistent jumper, and the fact that he might be just a tad bit weak. I can see him putting on a bit more weight though and being a really good backup PG if not starting PG for some lesser teams in the NBA.
    No way he’s ‘a bit short’.

  18. Dew - Jul 16, 2010 at 3:32 PM

    Jeremy Lin to the Warriors to be the Asian Brian Scalabrine! All those freaky recessive gene’d ginger kids love that no talent bum. He puts those pasty butts in the Garden’s seats. Why not have Jeremy, an actual talent, help sell tickets to all those sad east Asian kids who don’t have a basketball hero of their own (Yao Ming is hard to relate to after all). Getting a couple minutes here and there to stoke up the crowd in a blowout, all for the cost of a minimum contract. That’s just smart money. I’d personally go to a couple more games if it wasn’t just the Monta and StephC freak show they got there every night.

  19. Neil - Jul 16, 2010 at 4:06 PM

    c’mon David, the writer is very complementing of Jeremy’s skill, but he is also very realistic about why he won’t get picked up. I’m a huge Lin fan and hope he gets picked up, but having a couple of solid performances in the Summer League do not equate to stardom in the NBA. I think Lin would be best served going overseas or playing in the NBDL where he’ll get regular minutes. Even if he’s on a team and doesn’t get game time, it won’t do him any good.

  20. Mike - Jul 16, 2010 at 7:05 PM

    Those “freaky recessive gene’d ginger kids” and “sad east Asian kids” may not have a basketball hero of their own, but hey at least you’re smart enough to try to make a quick buck at it. Hubris is the downfall of man. Keep that mouth yapping Dew.

  21. zxcvb - Jul 16, 2010 at 10:39 PM

    Menu for Krollik and Others Tonight:
    -Oven-Roasted Crow with a side of Humble Pie.
    http://sports.espn.go.com/dallas/nba/columns/story?columnist=caplan_jeff&id=5387547
    Lin is already in CONTRACT talks with three teams. Not D-League or training camp talks…a legit NBA contract.

  22. macheath - Jul 16, 2010 at 11:31 PM

    Actually, he might start off in the D-League, but yeah — it’s a legit NBA contract not a D-League invite.

  23. fred - Jul 17, 2010 at 1:20 AM

    i think this website needs a new writer because krolik knows NOTHING about basketball

  24. Jay - Jul 17, 2010 at 4:58 AM

    I think jeremy lin has a really good feel for the game, in his anticippation and reading the court. That isn’t something that necessarily teachable. He isn’t as bad an athlete as ppl thought. When I say feel for the game I mean, change of speed, when to penetrate, surveying the floor for a play to conceive. Remember, some people still say steve nash isn’t a great athlete. A good athlete isn’t necessarily only someone who runs, jumps, or lifts the most. Think of all the reasons why steve nash is a great basketball athlete. I think the writer drenched his own hot topic tho.

  25. Jay - Jul 17, 2010 at 5:14 AM

    john krolik the writer is being optimistic and supportive of Lin btw..it’s sad how some people can’t read.

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