Incoming Houston Rockets coach Mike D’Antoni recently revealed that Jeremy Lin was in a way bullied by Carmelo Anthony and Amar’e Stoudemire during the height of “Linsanity” during his coaching tenure with the New York Knicks.
D’Antoni told Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical that both Anthony and Stoudemire did not want to adapt to Lin’s style of play that gave the Knicks a seven-game winning streak back in Feb. 2012. D’Antoni added that they two NBA superstars seemed jealous at the praises and attention Lin was getting from everyone in and outside the league.
“It was there, it’s real. The problem that we had was that for Jeremy to be really good, which he was, he had to play a certain way. It was hard for him to adapt. Amar’e, Melo, whatever, kinda had their way they had to play a certain way to be really, really good. So there was that inherent conflict of what’s better for the team? What isn’t? Can they co-exist? Can they not? And again, they could co-exist if Melo went to the 4, which he really didn’t want to, and if Amar’e came to the backup [center], like the Tyson [Chandler], which he didn’t want to,” D’Antoni explained.
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D’ Antoni added that since “Linsanity” appealed to the fans, it was not with the locker room back then. He mentioned that it created a split in the players, which was getting worst night after night. D’ Antoni stressed that the Knicks’ role players back then could not handle the pressure of a rising star within their ranks that they have to do things to get Lin out of the way.
“There’s some guys in the league that I really want to respect me. I respect the way they play, I respect the way they look at the game, and their respect is more important instead of having a job. [If] everybody else is killing me, I’d rather be killed and those guys respect me. Relationships deteriorated where I couldn’t get the most out of people. Take me away and they’ll up their game,” D’Antoni said.
On the other hand, Stoudemire told NY Post in Feb. that it was Anthony who could not stand a rising star in the Knicks lineup back in 2012. He added that Lin was a good player but Anthony’s jealousy got the best of Lin.
“If [Lin] stayed, it would’ve been cool,’’ Stoudemire said. “But everyone wasn’t a fan of him being a new star. So he didn’t stay long. Jeremy was a great, great guy, great with teammates, worked hard. He put the work in. We were proud of him having his moment. A lot of times you got to enjoy somebody else’s success. That wasn’t the case for us during that stretch. You got to enjoy that and let that player enjoy himself and cherish those moments. He was becoming a star and I didn’t think everyone was pleased with that.’’
However, Anthony denied his involvement in the issue and added that if he was jealous with Lin at that time, he would have done the same with Kristaps Porzings now. He added that when Lin was a rising star, he was happy for him and even told his teammates to embrace that.
“Wasn’t that five years ago?’’ Anthony said. “I don’t know. I have no comment on that. If [Lin] was becoming a star, we should embrace that. Didn’t we embrace that? If that was the case, I’d be upset with KP [Kristaps Porzingis] right now. But I doubt he’s talking about me. I highly doubt that.”
Things happened in the past and everyone has moved on with it. But D’Antoni clarified that NBA superstars like Antony and Stoudemire have insecurities inside them that need to be addressed. Lin has also moved on as well as he will share a city with Anthony, although they will still play on opposite sides. Lin is out to prove his talents worth as Anthony is still chasing a championship ring. But one thing is for sure Lin got bullied and D’Antoni was not able to do a thing about it.
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