For the majority of his basketball career, Jeremy Lin has been viewed as the underdog. Up until “Linsanity” in New York, the Harvard graduate was always overlooked as a basketball player. Even once he landed in Houston, Lin’s bloated contract and reduced on-court role caused him to be overlooked by the basketball world once again.
That’s fine with Lin, though, as he has always thrived off the doubters, and the 25-year-old is looking forward to doing so again with this Los Angeles Lakers team.
“It means a lot [to be a Laker]. Whenever you think of the Lakers, there’s obviously a certain culture that you think of and I’m just excited to be a part of it,” Lin said last week on ESPN L.A. 710 radio. “For me, it’s a cool start. I get to go back home and have a lot of friends and family around. It’s just a new opportunity for me, so I’m really excited.”
However, Lin isn’t the only guy with something to prove this time around.
The Lakers are coming off their worst season record-wise in franchise history, and while there are many question marks surrounding the team’s roster, it sounds as if Lin wouldn’t have it any other way.
“I think it’s definitely an interesting time for sure,” Lin said. “I think the Lakers are not where they have been traditionally, and I think that presents a really cool challenge. I’m looking forward to it. It kind of puts the team in a similar position that I’m used to which is just kind of being the underdog or kind of being overlooked, so hopefully we can go out there and make some noise.”
From the top to the bottom of the organization, this Lakers team is looking to prove the doubters wrong.
Firstly, there’s Jim and Jeanie Buss who are determined to show the world that they can lead this team back to contention without the help of their father.
There’s the always motivated Kobe Bryant who wants to silence the doubters and show that he’s not done despite playing in just six games over the past year. The same goes for Steve Nash, who has been all but written off by most for next season, which will likely be his last in the NBA.
Carlos Boozer is at a point in his career where the general consensus is that he’s well past his prime. Ed Davis came into the league as the 13th overall pick in the 2010 NBA Draft but has since seen limited minutes in his professional career and was let go by the Memphis Grizzlies this summer despite being just 25-years-old.
Even the team’s new head coach, Byron Scott, is coming to Los Angeles without the backing of some media members and fans of the purple and gold after a rough three years with the Cleveland Cavaliers.
So, yes, this Lakers team is most definitely full of underdogs, and the purple and gold couldn’t ask for a better player than Lin to help Bryant and company lead this group of overlooked NBAers.
“The one thing [Kobe] told me is we have a lot of work to do,” Lin said during his introductory press conference last week, “and I think that’s 100 percent accurate.”