Although the Los Angeles Lakers officially acquired Jeremy Lin on July 14, 2014, the point guard was locked up with a basketball tour in China and could not immediately make his presence felt in the southland.
“I'm seeing it as a new start, a fresh start, and it’s good to be back in the state of California. I was born in Torrance, so not too far away from here,” Lin opened his press conference with the LA Lakers on Thursday.
In his first official appearance with the Lakers, Lin came off as charming, humble and often humorous.
At one point, a Chinese reporter asked Lin when he would be able to play for the Lakers. After confirming the start date of the preseason, Lin answered the question and said he was ready to go. However, the Lakers’ point guard went on to confirm whether he had properly answered the reporter's question and appeared to be genuinely concerned about whether he had satisfied the reporter. He did not sound like a global superstar who had already achieved greater levels of fame than the vast majority of players in the NBA.
Looking to the court, Lin said he looked forward to learning for Kobe Bryant and Steve Nash. From Bryant, Lin was hoping to take away bits from the Bryant's famous workouts. From Nash, Lin was a bit more technical about refining his point guard skills and playing in “control,” using "angles" and improving "footwork."
With the Lakers, Lin will wear no. 17. The point guard wore the no. 7 in Houston and was asked why he had changed. Naturally, he pointed to Xavier Henry currently holding the no. 7 with the Lakers. When asked about the controversy surrounding his former team, the Houston Rockets, mocking up graphics for Carmelo Anthony wearing his occupied no. 7 in an attempt to woo the Knicks free agent, Lin gracefully avoided conflict.
“I just felt like [the Rockets] could have maybe kept it internal,” he said. “It wasn’t a big thing for me.”
Lin was also asked about comments made by former teammate James Harden dismissing Lin’s importance to the Rockets. Again, Lin balked at being confrontational and spoke highly of his personal relationship with Harden.
On the court, the Lakers gained a player that should help them at a position that has been lacking for several years. Off the court, however, the Lakers appear to have picked up a character individual that knows how to speak to the media and value fans.