The Brooklyn Nets, for the most part, are a young team. New point guard Jeremy Lin is one of the acquisitions who can provide leadership to some of Brooklyn’s younger players.
Jeremy Lin, during his Golden State Warriors tenure and Linsanity tenure with the New York Knicks, was once a younger player in the NBA. Lin is still rather young, at 28 years old and should be entering his playing prime. But Lin is one of a few veterans the Nets have added this offseason, and he should be able to step into a leadership role in Brooklyn.
Lin served, for the most part, as Charlotte’s sixth man last season. Lin flourished with the Hornets, and he’ll now be entrenched as a starter for the Nets. But Lin brings more than points and assists to Brooklyn. His NBA career has spanned six seasons to this point, and Lin has certainly been through a lot in the NBA. Lin has experienced highs and lows, and he can share valuable experience with some of Brooklyn’s younger players.
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Entering this offseason, Brook Lopez was the oldest player on Brooklyn’s roster. The Nets, however, added some older players. Luis Scola (36), Randy Foye (32) and Greivis Vasquez (29) are all older than Lopez and Lin, who are both 28. While Lin may not be the oldest player on the team, he definitely has the necessary leadership qualities and experience to mentor Brooklyn’s youth.
Brooklyn’s first round pick in the 2016 NBA Draft, Caris LeVert, is 22. The Nets’ second round pick, Isaiah Whitehead, is 21. And, even though they are not primarily guards, Rondae Hollis-Jefferson and Chris McCullough are both 21 as well. If Brooklyn wants to take the next step in the coming years, the development of their young players will be essential.
Certainly, head coach Kenny Atkinson will work with the players, but from a player-to-player standpoint, Lin can be an excellent leader. During the NBA Summer League, Lin spoke to Ohm Youngmisuk of ESPN.com and discussed his role with his new team. “I’m definitely coming in [to Brooklyn, understanding] what my role is. I’m the playmaker. I’m the point guard. I’ve got to lead. I’ve got to be an extension of the coach, and I’m not shying away from that role at all.”
Ideally, Lin will serve as a coach on the floor, which is a role that many veteran point guards such as Tony Parker, Chris Paul, and others have taken on over the years. The Nets moved on from Jarrett Jack — who is a veteran in his own right — so Lin will now take over as not only the starting point guard, but the veteran leader on the floor.
This is a role Lin is well-equipped to fill. He proved last season with Charlotte that he can be a starter in the NBA. Now, the Nets will rely on him. Brooklyn’s younger players may rely on Lin for advice and suggestions in practice and during games. Lin has the ability to be a great resource for younger players, and Lin will be able to lead by example on the floor, as well.