Houston (CBS Houston) – Jeremy Lin is ready to leave all the “Lin-sanity” behind and focus on being the NBA player he’s always wanted to become.
According to ESPN, Houston Rockets’ Jeremy Lin, who is currently in Taiwan for an eight-day visit that began August 14, was speaking at a youth conference and candidly admitted that the Rockets coaches lost confidence in him due to his inconsistent play.
“The coaches were losing faith in me; basketball fans were making fun of me. I was supposed to be joyful and free, but what I experienced was the opposite. I had no joy, and I felt no freedom.”
During Lin’s early birthday celebration on Tuesday, he admitted the hype around him became too much, “I became so obsessed with becoming a great basketball player, trying to be Linsanity, being this phenomenon that took the NBA by storm.”
The Rockets acquired Lin last season following his breakout 2011-12 season with the New York Knicks. Lin signed a three-year, $25 million deal.
Lin put extremely high expectations upon himself, “I was ready to invigorate the entire city of Houston, I was supposed to save Houston basketball.” But instead Lin struggled, averaging 13.4 points and 6.1 assists a game, and battled injuries that forced him to miss two games in Houston’s playoff-round loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder.
Friday August 16, Rockets GM Daryl Morey participated in Ask Me Anything (AMA) on Reddit and answered questions about Lin.
It is amazing to me that all the time I encounter people feeling negative about Jeremy’s season with us. I have chalked this up to:
- he started off slow, mostly due to getting 100% back from injury
- very high, unrealistic expectations after his time in New York
- had a rough ending in the playoffs, again due to injury
- people generally remember starts & ends more than anything else
- people generally compare things to their expectations when forming opinions versus look at the big picture
As his GM is coming to his defense, Lin told the crowd in Taiwan that he experienced “emptiness, confusion and misery” at points last season.
“The one thing I learned was how empty fame and worldly success really are. The desire for success never stopped,” Lin said to a crowd of approximately 20,000 at the Dream Big, Be Yourself youth conference.
Lin, who will turn 25 on Friday, expressed hope that the Rockets can win the championship and that he’s going to be a big part of that.
Watch Jeremy Lin poke fun at himself with, “You Changed Bro”
Follow Julie Takahashi on Twitter: @Julie_Takahashi