Lin emerged to stardom for the Knicks and became a trending topic in social media. But with the big payday, the NBA’s first American-born player of Taiwanese or Chinese descent said he does not think there will be added pressure this season.
“I don’t know my potential but I want to play to that as much as I can,” Lin told USA TODAY Sports by phone Thursday. “But what we will be focusing on more is the team potential, and that is where I put my stock, not just on myself.
PHOTOS: Linsanity takes the NBA by storm
“For me, I try to focus on playing for God and try not to get too into other people’s expectations.”
Lin said he is excited about coach Kevin McHale— and the team that cut him last training camp.
“I didn’t leave on bad terms. They had X amount of spots for X amount of players and it didn’t work out,” Lin said. “Hopefully I’ll be back longer this time around and I can do more with the team. I’m excited to be with the franchise.”
And after missing out on Linsanity last season, the Rockets, who will host the NBA All-Star Game on Feb. 17, are excited to have him, too, particularly general manager Daryl Morey, who waived Lin on Christmas Eve. When Lin hit a winning three-pointer in Toronto on Valentine’s Day, owner Leslie Alexander called Morey to be reminded again why Lin was no longer a Rocket.
“He was killing me,” Morey said with a smile at the news conference Thursday welcoming Lin to Houston. About half those present were Chinese media.
“I think one of the reasons Mr. Alexander is a great owner is because we’re constantly evaluating our past decisions and deciding what did we know at the time? What could we have done better? How can we improve?
“People are making a lot of us admitting to our mistake,” Morey said. “But the only way to get better is to quickly say, ‘That was a mistake. How can we do better next time?’”
To that end, Morey says the team plans to sign Chicago Bulls center Omer Asik to a three-year, $25 million offer sheet Friday.
Lin said he was hoping to remain a Knick before free agency started. But after meeting with the Rockets in early July he was excited about both possibilities. After the Knicks acquired Raymond Felton, Lin knew he was headed to Houston.
“I’m definitely excited to be back,” said the former Harvard star. “I’ve had a very warm reception and I’m excited to be a part of the team and community in Houston.
“We’re going to be really young. That’s fun and we’ll have a lot of challenges. Coach McHale does a good job getting guys ready to play.”
Lin, expected to start next to Kevin Martin in Houston’s backcourt, went to dinner with new teammate Chandler Parsons in Houston on Wednesday night. Parsons estimated they were interrupted 15-20 times by fans asking for autographs and photos.
“This past year, it took me by surprise and it was just this huge storm,” Lin said of Linsanity. “It was kind of baptism by fire. You get thrown into it and you’ve just got to make adjustments and learn. That’s a lot of what I had to do.”
Contributing: Wire reports
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