When the Brooklyn Nets named Kenny Atkinson its new head coach on Sunday, Charlotte Hornets point guard Jeremy Lin had some good things to say about him. Atkinson was one of the assistant coaches when “Linsanity” took over the New York Knicks in 2012.
“I mean this guy wakes up at 6 a.m. every morning. I’ll text after a game at midnight, one o’clock when I go home, and I’ll say, ‘Hey, can I look at those turnovers? Can I look at the upcoming team? How they run pick-and-rolls?’ And he’ll have the film ready when I walk into the facility the next morning,” Lin told the New York Post.
“When I wasn’t playing much, we were working out before practice, and after practice, he was picking apart my game, teaching me what it’s like to play in Coach D’Antoni’s system,” he added.
Those comments fueled the rumors of Jeremy Lin leaving Charlotte and joining the Nets this offseason. As mentioned in a previous report, he is set to become a free agent this offseason if he decides to opt-out of his current deal with the Hornets.
The 27-year-old guard is one of the leading candidates for Sixth Man of the Year as he averages 11.7 points, 3.2 rebounds and 3.0 assists per game this season. He will likely get a better deal than his current $2.2 million salary this summer as the NBA salary cap is set to balloon to $92 million.
Jeremy Lin became a world famous figure during his short stint in New York in 2012 when he averaged 14.6 points, 3.1 rebounds, 6.2 assists and 1.6 steals in 35 games. A return to Brooklyn, which is part of New York, may help him find his touch again with the help of coach Atkinson.
Before Lin hits free agency this summer, he has the chance to increase his value during the 2016 NBA playoffs. The Hornets are currently trailing the Miami Heat 1-0 in their first round matchup.
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