Jeremy Lin is notoriously humble, but no matter how hard he tries, or how coy he attempts to be, there’s no denying he’s the face of the Houston Rockets.
When Houston pried Lin away from the New York Knicks, it did what was believed to be impossible. New York was prepared to match any offer thrown Lin’s way, no matter how steep it was.
The Rockets found a way around that reality, though, coming up with a poison pill that was too painful for even James Dolan to swallow. And whether or not Dolan’s fractured ego had anything to do with the Knicks’ decision, that’s still incredible.
But, do we honestly believe the Rockets would have gone to all that trouble to bring in Lin if they weren’t prepared to build around him? Are we supposed to buy into a notion that dictates there is a player on the current roster Houston holds in higher regard than Lin? Should we honestly be coming to grips with the notion that Lin is not the face of the Rockets franchise?
Well, according to Lin himself, yes, we should.
It turns out Jeremy Lin is a shot-blocker, too. No matter how often he was asked, and he was asked repeatedly, Jeremy Lin swatted back every attempt to describe him as the face of the Rockets’ franchise…
“I don’t know if I’m the face of the franchise just yet,” Lin said, while surrounded by about 40 media members. “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 is going to carry us where we want to go. It’s going to be everybody.”
Spoken like an athlete who has mastered the art of public humility, wouldn’t you say?
Now, I’m not about to discredit anything Lin said, at least not to a certain extent. The fact is, he’s right, he won’t be playing alone, there will be other guys in red and white pushing the team toward whatever success they’ll achieve during the 2012-13 campaign.
That said, Lin is misguided in the sense that he doesn’t believe he is the face of the franchise or that it’s going to be him carrying this team on his shoulders. Obviously, there are going to be other contributors, other players who help the Rockets progress. But—and make no mistake about this—Lin is this team’s end-all. Not Omer Asik, not Kevin Martin—Lin.
Well, for starters, the Rockets essentially bid adieu to two talented point guards in Goran Dragic and Kyle Lowry, clearing the way for Lin to take over the offensive reigns without resistance or competition from anyone else. And if that’s not enough, how about the global influence Lin has? That’s cause enough to plaster his face across Houston’s jersey.
Lin is more than just a promising floor general who can attack the basket while keeping one eye on his teammates—he’s a global icon, who inspires people around the world. And now it’s up to him to inspire, and carry, the Rockets toward wherever it is their headed.
We can chastise Houston’s decision to line Lin’s pockets all we want, and we may wind up being right, but there’s no denying what he already means to this franchise and its future. Unless your Lin, that is, who has yet to seem to accept that he is not just facing high expectations with the Rockets, but also the prospect of leading an entire team, serving as a symbol for an entire organization.
And you know what? It’s this refusal of Lin’s to admit that he means more than any one player or person that proves he’s just the face for this franchise.
Dan Favale is a firm believer in the three-pointer as well as the notion that defense doesn’t always win championships. His musings can be found at Bleacherreport.com in addition to TheHoopDoctors.com. Follow @danfavale on Twitter for his latest posts and all things NBA.