In an article out today in the latest issue of GQ, Rockets point guard Jeremy Lin gives interviewer Will Leitch a quote I think we've all heard before.
He would have loved to have retired as a member of the New York Knicks.
"You can't ask for a city or a fan base to embrace somebody more than they embraced me," Lin said in a 4,300-word piece hitting newsstands today. "I know it's kind of silly to talk about it with only two years under my belt in the league, but going in before free agency, I was like, ‘I want to play in front of these fans for the rest of my career.' I really did.
"I really wanted to play in front of the Madison Square Garden fans for the rest of my career, because they're just unbelievable."
The funny thing is that both Lin and the Houston Rockets expected things to play out that way.
"The Rockets thought I was going to be a Knick. They told me when I signed there, ‘We think it's an 80 to 95 percent chance of that happening.' That was consistent with what everyone was saying to me."
Of course, things didn't turn out that way, and now Lin is making an exceptional paycheck playing in front of the Rockets' fanbase, something of a crapshoot between diehards who pack the upper bowl and lazy club section owners who arrive in the third quarter, or just don't show up at all.
Either way, it's safe to say Lin knows that after all, basketball is a job. It's a job with many perks, but it is also a job that doesn't always allow one to play where he wants and play as often as he wants. I don't think there is any question Lin will work his butt off for the Rockets, and at the end of the day, if he thinks the fans at MSG are better than Houston's fans... well goshdarnit, he's one-hundred percent correct.
The last tidbit I found to be interesting stems from a department where Houston fans should be well-versed: His heritage. Does Lin think it has to do with his perceived limitations as a basketball player?
"If I can be honest, yes. It's not even close to the only reason, but it was definitely part of the reason. There's a lot of perceptions and stereotypes of Asian-Americans that are out there today, and the fact that I'm Asian-American makes it harder to believe, even crazier, more unexpected. I'm going to have to play well for a longer period of time for certain people to believe it, because I'm Asian. And that's just the reality of it."