Lin gets op­por­tu­nity with Nets

Daily Freeman (Kingston, NY) - - SPORTS - By Michael Scotto

Jeremy Lin knows he’ll carry the weight of “Lin­san­ity” as wide as the Brook­lyn Bridge head­ing into the new NBA sea­son.

“Peo­ple are quicker to dis­count me or say cer­tain things be­cause of my race,” said Lin, the league’s first Amer­i­can-born player of Chi­nese or Tai­wanese de­scent. “In some ways, Lin­san­ity wouldn’t have been Lin­san­ity if I was a dif­fer­ent skin color most likely.

“It wouldn’t have been as big of a deal. That went to my ad­van­tage. But if you look prior to that, a lot of the ob­sta­cles or po­si­tions to even get to that point where I could get to a po­si­tion of get­ting on the floor, they’re def­i­nitely ob­sta­cles or bar­ri­ers or stereo­types

I had to fight along the way.

“I’ve al­ways un­der­stood there’s good, there’s bad and you’ve got to take them to­gether and just be thank­ful for it all.”

Af­ter cap­ti­vat­ing New York and be­com­ing a global phe­nom­e­non by av­er­ag­ing 24 points, nine as­sists and four re­bounds for the Knicks dur­ing a 10-game stretch in Fe­bru­ary 2012, Lin be­comes the face of the Brook­lyn Nets.

“I def­i­nitely feel a much

stronger re­spon­si­bil­ity or lead­er­ship role that I didn’t in my last two or three teams,” he said Mon­day at the Nets’ me­dia day. “I feel like for me here, a lot of it’s go­ing to fall on me and Brook (Lopez) set­ting the tone ev­ery day in work­outs, even how we live off the court and how we take care of our bod­ies, eat and sleep.”

For Lin, an un­drafted point guard from Har­vard, this is the sec­ond chance he’s craved to fin­ish what he be­gan in New York four years ago. And how he plays could de­ter­mine whether the Nets can sur­pass low

ex­pec­ta­tions this sea­son.

“I’ve al­ways prayed and asked God, I want a chance to come back to New York, but I want it to be right,” he said. “I don’t want to just come back to New York just to come back to New York.”

In Brook­lyn, Lin will be the fo­cal point of the of­fense with the ball in his hands of­ten as the pri­mary play­maker, sim­i­lar to his days un­der coach Mike D’An­toni with the Knicks. Lin re­unites with new Nets coach Kenny Atkin­son, the for­mer Knicks as­sis­tant coach who helped him de­velop and be­lieves he is ready to han­dle the re­spon­si­bil­i­ties

of run­ning this team.

“It’s a heck of a chal­lenge for him, but I think he’s pre­pared for it,” Atkin­son said last week. “I think it’s the right time in his ca­reer.”

Af­ter sign­ing Lin to a three-year, $36 mil­lion deal, the Nets hope Lin can pick up where Lin­san­ity left off and spur a re­build­ing ef­fort in Brook­lyn.

“At the end of the day, the best fit was here,” he said. “I was just ex­tra ex­cited when it hap­pened be­cause I get to come back here, my friends are here, the fans, get some good food and just be back where my ca­reer took off.”

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