On the eve of a Black Friday tilt against his old club, Houston Rockets guard Jeremy Lin admits he may be off a step still as he tries to return to the form he showed when he exploded onto the scene last season.
“I’ve been exposed a lot and have a lot to work on,” Lin told the New York Post. “I’m very young. I’ve started 30-something games my entire career. It’s something I have to keep in mind. I’ve felt better before but it’s just a process. We have three days off after (tomorrow) and there’s a lot of things I’m going to do for my leg, knee, just explosive stuff we’ll work on.”
Lin, who had knee surgery in March, has struggled early in the season. He was benched on Wednesday in the midst of a five-turnover, 2-of-8 performance.
He admitted that he is looking forward to facing the New York Knicks on Friday, saying that he would “play his heart out.”
When the Rockets signed Lin to the three-year, $25-million deal – that included a $15-million poison pill Year 3 — it created a stir in New York, causing some players to make statements that hinted at a tinge of jealousy.
Knicks guard J.R. Smith said that some of the older players deserved better deals than Lin and continued to knock his former teammate on Wednesday.
Smith went on a New York radio show and said that offseason acquisition Ray Felton is “so much different” from Lin.
“He’s so much (more) dynamic in the pick and roll than Jeremy was last year,” Smith told ESPN New York, cleary unworried about the bulletin board material he was providing for his upcoming opponent. “Just finding the lob and finding the guys in the corner for a 3… not always just looking for his shot.”
Lin said he didn’t feel as though any of his teammates were jealous of his newly acquired fame during his time in New York.
“I didn’t sense that to my face,” Lin said. “I’m not sure how they felt. It’s kind of something none of us could control. The way it happened, it happened. Nobody wished for any of that. I’m thankful it all worked out and everything happened the way it was supposed to.
“Everybody has their own specific contract and opinion if they’re worth it or not,” Lin added. “Whether I’m overvalued or undervalued, it’s not my concern as long as I’m trying to reach my potential.”