Jeremy Lin: Leadership Role with Houston Rockets Suits Budding Star

Donald Wood@@Donald_WoodFeatured ColumnistOctober 3, 2012

HOUSTON, TX - JULY 19: Jeremy Lin of the Houston Rockets displays his jersey during a press conference at Toyota Center on July 19, 2012 in Houston, Texas.  (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)
Bob Levey/Getty Images

After becoming a cult sensation with the New York Knicks last year, budding superstar Jeremy Lin is now a member of the Houston Rockets.

Not just any member, either. He's the future on-court leader of the team.

If Lin’s tenure in New York has taught us anything, it’s that the Harvard graduate can handle the pressure of being the focus of a franchise; even if it was just a small sample.

According to the Associated Press (via ESPN), Lin recently spoke about coming into the new system in Houston and being expected to take charge: "It kind of reminds me of college. Just coming in, trying to lead, trying to work hard, trying to build a culture of playing a blue-collar brand of basketball."

While many experts were unsure if Lin was ready to lead a franchise as a star player, the Rockets felt they had seen enough after he took center stage in Madison Square Garden.

In fact, if it wasn't for his knee injury, who knows how big Linsanity could have become?

Houston trusted him enough to offer a three-year, $25 million offer sheet to the restricted free agent, which it knew New York couldn’t afford to match.

This "poison pill" deal worked to perfection and the Rockets got their man.

As excited as talk of being a leader has made the young guard, Lin is tempering expectations, according to AP Sports Writer Chris Duncan (via the Houston Chronicle):

I don't know if I'm the face of the franchise just yet. I think we're a young team and we're all going to buy in. The thing about us is it's not going to be any one person that's going to carry us to where we want to go, it's going to be everybody. I think it's so early on, I'm just trying to get to know the guys.

To start the preseason and season, the Rockets will be using a variation of lineups to see what works best for all of their talented players.

While there are bound to be big changes as the season progresses, as long as Lin stays healthy, he will be the starting point guard and see huge minutes.

Lin isn't alone, though.

With star shooting guard Kevin Martin on the wing and an inside presence full of potential stars, including rookie Royce White and free agent acquisition Omer Asik, Lin has a talented young roster around him.

Getting these players on the same page will be a tough task, but one the team’s new leader will be ready to tackle.


Check back for more on the National Basketball Association as it comes, and don’t miss Bleacher Report’s NBA page to get your fill of all things basketball.