Jeremy Lin: Why Playing Backup to Jason Kidd Would Help Young PG Develop
Reiterating what we've known for months: #Knicks source says this morning that team will 'definitely' match Houston's offer to Jeremy Lin.— Ian Begley (@IanBegley) July 6, 2012
Lin broke out last season in February when he came off the bench and recorded 25 points and seven assists against the New Jersey Nets. He started the next game and put up at least 20 points and seven assists in his next five outings.
He finished the year with averages of 14.6 points and 6.2 assists, despite his season being cut short by knee surgery.
But Lin’s role will be different this coming season after the Knicks signed Jason Kidd to a three-year, $9 million deal, as reported by ESPN’s Marc Stein.
The 39-year-old veteran said on 98.7 FM, an ESPN radio station in New York, that he did not care whether or not he started for the Knicks, via an article from Begley.
Kidd also said in the interview that playing with Lin was one of the reasons he was drawn to the Knicks:
You look at their roster, you've got some great pieces. With the intention of signing Lin back, I saw that I can help. Hopefully, (I can) help them win and help Lin. He's a talented point guard, so at this stage of my career, I just felt that I could help those guys win.
Will the Knicks be a better team with Lin and Kidd?
Kidd knows the ins and outs of the NBA game better than just about anyone on the planet. He has played in the pros for 18 seasons and has 10 All-Star selections, five All-NBA first team selections, four All-NBA defensive first team selections, an NBA championship and two gold medals on his résumé.
There is nothing that Kidd has not seen happen on a basketball court in his career. He is a self-aware man who recognizes that he is not the athlete he used to be, and that his contribution in the locker room can be equally as important to his team as his contribution on the court.
He is willing to help Lin, who is just 23 years old and played inconsistently at times last year.
The best thing Lin can do for his development is to let Kidd start games and establish himself as a team leader. Lin showed enough to the coaching staff last season to convince them to give him significant playing time, even if he does not start.
With Kidd as his mentor, Lin will learn how to play the point guard position better than he could by figuring it out on the court.
Kidd’s teachings will be significantly more valuable than a few extra minutes of playing time each night.
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