Believe it or not, Jeremy Lin will not be playing on Saturday night against Carmelo Anthony and the Knicks.
Lin will be on the bench at the Garden but not available to play in what Nets coach Kenny Atkinson called a planned decision to rest veterans during the preseason. But that didn’t stop Lin from being asked after the morning shoot-around in Brooklyn about – and essentially shrugging off – Anthony’s comments from Friday in which he said that his former teammate is now “the face of that franchise (in Brooklyn), believe it or not.”
“I heard about it through people, actually just this morning. But I don’t really read anything, so I wasn’t aware or I don’t know the context of what he said,” Lin said. “But again, part of me joining this team over here, a big part of it is it’s not so much (being) the face of the franchise or whatever.
“We want to do this thing together and that’s what we signed up for…We know it’s going to be up to us as a team to have to get it done. So I’m not worried about ‘the franchise,” I’m not worried about what people on the outside are saying, I’m not really worried about any of it, to be honest. I really wasn’t even aware of it and I would never have known anything about it if it hadn’t been brought to my attention.”
Lin, who departed the Knicks for Houston as a free agent following a whirlwind several weeks dubbed “Linsanity” near the end of the 2011-12 season, signed a three-year, $36 million deal with the rebuilding Nets this summer.
Asked about his former teammate on Friday, Anthony had responded: “He is the face of that franchise, believe it or not. He came up, they paid him and now the ball is in his hands. So now he’s one of the franchise players over there. What do you want me to say about that? I’m happy for him, excited for him to see how it’s going to work out.”
Lin, who scored 21 points in the Nets’ preseason opener Thursday against Detroit, said he didn’t take Anthony’s words as a backhanded compliment. “No, I don’t think it’s a big deal to be honest,” Lin said. “I don’t really know what he said, and again, five years ago, I’m not really too worried about it.”
Carmelo Anthony called Jeremy Lin the ‘face of the (Nets)’ before adding ‘believe it or not.’
Lin also stressed that from his perspective his relationship with Anthony is solid.
“When I see him, I say what’s up. And like I said, I’ve said this literally since Day 1, every time I’ve run into him or had any interaction with him, he’s been really nice to me, and really cordial to me,” Lin said. “I’ve never had any personal issues with him; we’ve never gotten into a fight or an argument or anything in person or through texts or anything. I’ve never had anything remotely hostile with him. So whatever he says, I don’t know, you guys can ask him, but from my personal interaction with him, I’ve never really bumped heads or anything.”
Anthony has bristled at being portrayed as jealous of Lin in 2012, although then-coach Mike D’Antoni and former teammate Amar’e Stoudemire have said or implied as much in recent interviews.
“I’m thankful that (D’Antoni) said his opinion, but a lot of it I was so young at the time and there was so much going on, that honestly, I’m a lot like you guys in terms of when people say stuff, I piece it together into the puzzle,” Lin said. “I don’t think I understood everything that was going on at that time and things were happening so fast.
“Again, I can only see or judge based on my personal interaction or what I’m seeing face value. And it’s not just him, it’s the whole organization, everybody, and I never really, or he’s never mistreated me in person. So again, when you guys are bringing up these quotes, these are things I heard about, too, last season. And I’m putting it together and figuring things out or whatever. I think the main point, man, is I don’t really care about what happened back then anymore. It’s so far beyond where my focus is right now.”
Source: NY Daily News Headlines Sports News