Our First Comment, Our First Friend-of-the-Podcast

By genewang0123 (林書豪) [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons
We received our first comment on Facebook (btw, you should follow us) from a big Jeremy Lin fan. He thinks we’re not showing Lin the level of respect he deserves, and he very well may be right. Anyway, I’ve copied his comment below, followed by my response. Now it’s up to you to decide: is Lin the face of the franchise? 

I’ve listened to your two podcasts and like them but there’s some issues, and I’ll get to them in a minute. I’ve listened to all of the Locked On Nets podcast and most of the EC teams podcasts and NBA podcast in AudioBoom. I like you guys’ light-hearted take on the Brooklyn Nets news and team related. They are quite enjoyable. First, I’d like to say I’m a JLin7 fan first before continuing. I’ve followed him ever since NYK days.

And now, I found myself becoming a loyal Nets fan as well due to franchise’s direction, team culture and chemistry, and circumstances. I’d say I’m still a Nets fan, if JLin7 leaves town (by his own design), I’ll still be here rooting for the team to succeed.

So, I do care about the Nets and its success. But I’m also a JLin7 fan (as well as Lillard and SC30).

The issues: your bias and negativities towards Jeremy Lin on the podcast are not funny. Clearly, Lin is this Nets team’s leader and floor general, last season and onward, unless we heard something otherwise about that from Marks/coach KA. There’s a recent ESPN podcast interview on Marks and he clearly stated that Lin brings leadership to the clubhouse. Is he the face of the franchise – That’s yet to be seen. Results speak louder than words. I want to see success with the Nets before I start claiming this or that player is the face of the franchise. We all know too well about the NBA and it is all business. With all that said, there’s too much bias when comes to Lin.

First, he played 36 games, and 20 games won. What was the Nets’ true record ? Could you have ask John Wall to play 36 games last season with this Nets squad (including Scola, Greivis, Bennett) under a rookie coach and get us 20 wins ? i don’t think Wall would have done better. But more likely worse. Or K. Irving ? Or Lowry ? Truth of the matter is: Lin is the most valuable player on this Nets team – an All-stars caliber capable to lead on both ends of the floor, offensively and defensively. I like Lopez a lot but he was no game changer like Lin (CP3 or Blake Griffin ?? – which is more valuable?) Lin is CP3 to this Nets team. If Lin hadn’t played 36 games (many games were under minute restrictions) the Nets probably wouldn’t even log more than 7 wins.

Why are you guys advocating the Nets should get rid of an All-stars caliber player this season or next or ever ? We’ve seen the results. It’s there. The intangibles that Lin brought to this team is like the three-headed monster without the heads if Lin was not the floor. I know what’s he’s capable of (take a hard look of his 80+ wins against top teams like Cavs, Raptors, Celtics, Spurs, Rockets, Grizzlies). Before you ever mention Archie’s flashes again can you list Archie’s 80+ scoring prowess against those teams I’ve just mentioned.

To be honest to myself, K.Irving and Jeremy Lin are the two best point guards in the East from 2016-17 and onward. My prediction: with the upgraded talents in D-Lo (Foye), Carroll, Mozgov and possibly 1-2 more moves – Lin can lead this squad to Top 5th seed in East 2017-18. We shall wait and see.

Here’s my response:

Wow, thanks so much for your extremely thoughtful message! We’re really excited anyone (other than a small group of our friends) is even listening! You make some great points about Lin – we were objectively a MUCH better team when he was playing. That is absolutely true. And I think that one of the hosts – Simon (this is Bill responding, btw) – likes Jeremy Lin considerably more than I do, and would agree that he is an essential part of this team. He has included him in his starting 5 in both casts, and rolls his eyes every time I suggest that Archie Goodwin should start over Lin.

As you mentioned, this is a light-hearted take on the Nets. We are both irrationally obsessed with the worst team in the NBA (last season anyway – I think we both genuinely believe they’ll be significantly better next year), and this is just sort of a fun way to engage with something we both kind of see as an absurd (if sincere) passion.

Do I actually think that today, July 12, 2017, Archie Goodwin is a better player than Jeremy Lin: absolutely not. But, for me anyway, so much about being a Nets fan is reveling in the fantasy of what the Nets might one day become (because to dwell on what they currently are is too depressing). So while I fully acknowledge (here anyway, I know I haven’t on the cast) that Lin is currently better than Goodwin, I keep including Archie in my starting 5 because I want desperately to believe that one of these young guys is magically going to become an NBA superstar.

Hopefully this clarifies a bit where I’m coming from – it’s less a place of objective NBA analysis and more one of wishful NBA imaginings. That’s one of the fantastic aspects of current Nets-fandom, I think, that the team is so bad that one has to take refuge in more or less irrational fantasies of future greatness.

One thing I failed to include was a response to Jett’s claim that Lin and Irving have been the top two PGs in the East from 2016-2017. Conceding that Lin is probably better than Goodwin is one thing, but I can say with near certainty that Lin is not the #2 PG in the East. For fun, here’s a list of PGs in the East from 2016-2017 who I think are better than Lin (in no particular order):

  • Kyrie Irving (which Jett would concede)
  • John Wall
  • Isaiah Thomas
  • Kyle Lowry
  • Kemba Walker

And many more for whom a case could easily be made:

  • Jeff Teague
  • Ricky Rubio
  • Goran Dragic
  • Elfrid Payton
  • Jrue Holiday

Thanks for the comment Jett, and thanks so much for listening. Hope to hear more from you (and others) as the cast goes on.

4 Replies to “Our First Comment, Our First Friend-of-the-Podcast”

  1. Hello Bill,
    It’s me again. Thanks for the write up! First, I’d like to say that I hope you guys will have so many more followers.
    And the Nets fans truly deserve a much more respectable product on the court. That’s why I’m ready. I’m so hyped up. About this coming season and expects nothing but the Very Best from our guys, #BrooklynGrit, battling on the hardwood for that longed-for pride and bring back the Nets Relevancy. The competition is real. Never been more real than now – esp. with the other team just over the bridge. A race for relevancy is on!

    First, there’s NO starting point guards in the league that Lin have not out-played: K. Irving (in NYK and CLT), Westbrook (Hou, Nets), Wall (NYK, Hou, CLT), SC30 (Hou, Nets), Kemba (LA and in CLT -Lin led the Hornets to wins over the Cavs and Spurs – never been done before with Kemba), Dragic (Hou, CLT playoffs), Lowry (Hou, CLT), TParker (Hou, CLT), Kawhi Leonard (CLT), Harden (LA, CLT, Nets), Teague (Hou, Nets), I.Thomas (Hou, LA, CLT, Nets), Schroder (Nets), Holiday (NYK), Payton (Nets), and so on…
    Did Lin lost to some of these all-stars guys – Hell, yeah – different teams, coaches, teammates, usage rate, his role in the team. The most important is coaching: Lin playing under MDA/Woodson – he was The franchise point guard – freedom to play freely. Lin was NOT that in Hou (Harden was, and Lin was SG combo and treated less than value). Lin was NOT that in LA (tanking season under tank commando BScott), in CLT (Kemba was).
    FACT of the matter is: even a great player needs nurturing and catering to by a coach with mutual trusts, especially more so for a difficult position as such, your Starting Point of offense and defense.
    Nash, T.Parker, Kawhi L, SC30, Lillard – they were not the top 5 picks.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hello Bill & Simon on Maybe Nets Time,

    I will reiterate my case for JLin and the Nets team here.
    In my “No point guards that Lin haven’t outplayed,” I should have, at least, mention Mike Conley, another pg that worth my admiration, a very, very underrated pg in the league (Lin outplayed him in Hou, CLT, and Nets), CP3 (Hou, LA), and DamLillard (Hou playoffs, CLT).

    The reason is obvious: JLin do not look the part of a pro BB player with above average athletic capabilities. But not only that, he was also doubted of his basketball IQ. A Harvard graduate? Not that smart?

    Well, let’s take a closer look at Lin’s career: number one on his HS team and led the team to historic wins, number one on his Harvard team and led the team to great success and almost won over Kemba’s team, LED the NYK to the playoffs in his “rookie” season – FIRST and only year there, playing “Robin” and LED the Rockets to the playoffs – unexpected 8th seed – in his FIRST year there, playing “Robin” and lifted the Rockets to unexpected 6th seed in the West and LED the team to the Only Win against the Mighty Lillard’s Blazers in game 5, LED the Lakers to Wins over the Warriors and Celtics (and only games that BScott cared about), playing “Robin” and lifted the Hornets to unexpected 6th seed EC in his FIRST and only year there – and LED the Hornets to historical wins in the playoffs against the mighty Heat (championship tested – Wade and Coach Spo).

    Yeah, I think that’s not too much under Jeremy Lin’s belt. Especially for a “pioneer” player that has been passed on by All good basketball programs, went undrafted in the NBA, warming the bench as 3rd stringer – Yeah Sure, the pressures were never too high once he got. Or was it ? One can argue which is more harder – the road to success or the task of staying there? Many people can say, with certainty, that Lin have to face many unnecessary bias to not only get to where he is but to stay where he is. Does Lin’s story hold any resemblances to the first Black player in organized basketball ? I do not know. But the impact and inspirations are not to the lesser degree for the people that do care about racism and changing history as we saw fit to do what is right.
    If the GS Warriors did not have faith in SC30 when he was most vulnerable they would not have had the high rewards years later.

    You can look at our 2016-18 Brooklyn Nets team as a cup half full or half empty. The tree is strong but it will still need water and sunlight.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Hello Bill and Simon,

    Can’t wait to have me some of that pina colada… Tastes even better at the games.

    I’ll be driving myself and everyone else crazy if my discussion is only going to be about Jeremy Lin (tho he’s the only player on the Nets I’d really know about since I’ve followed him for the past 6 seasons. But dare not to claim that I’m even close to being his biggest fans).
    Sometimes it’s the thing you have to do even you do not feel like doing it (like getting on a plane and be at the games. I rather be comfortable in front of my fireplace watching it on a big TV screen). Because I’m truly passionate about NBA basketball and the unfair, unwarranted bias towards JLin.

    So, without delay I will conclude my JLin discussion with this post.

    Is JLin worthy to be the face of a rebuilding franchise such as the Nets ? Well, let’s see.
    High character: check; Great teammate: check; Great leadership: check; Very good player: check; Can still play for 4-5 more years: check. Marks and KA have nothing but high praises for Lin in their interviews.
    The Only question is: can Lin played an entire season and lead the team to good progression. If he do that this coming season. It’s absolutely, 100% positively that he will be resign to a Max Contract, but being good citizen that he is – he will not ask for maximum $$ in exchange for team improvements to compete at a higher level. He has done that last season – taken less $$ for higher purposes.

    The Nets will need an elite, veteran pg to lead the young team moving forward. And assuming the Nets do not get SC30 from GS, Westbrook from OKC, Irving from Cavs, Lowry from Raptors, Wall from Wizards. I dare say, Yes.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. If you are Nets FO, would you put 18 months (When SM took over) of efforts of recruiting, building, shaping for culture and basketball development in a young guard named D-Lo, who is not proven in terms of performance, leadership, maturity, who happens to be in question mark territory in terms of character? D-Lo needs to prove he belongs first before he can prove he can lead to this team. That’s 5 years down the road. Anything can happen in this 5 years. (Check D-Rose).
    If you are Nets FO, would you ship away a high character leader, who has the talents (advances stats prove so), who can lead and mentor young players, who advocates team-ball and most importantly fits perfectly with Nets culture. who happens to bring in tones of revenue globally, where now is critical time selling tickets? Would you take Irving instead of Lin? Would you take any superstar guard in place of Lin to help rebuild and lead this young team? There is only one vet guard Nets would consider, that is Stephen Curry. Other so called superstar guard are either ball-hogger or with self giant ego or both. Would Nets go to that route the other 25+ teams go? Or Nets prefers a GSW approach?

    Of course above theory is based on ONE big assumption, Nets is what Nets advocates, high character culture with no tanking in sight. If it is otherwise, Lin no needs to stay there.

    ~by another JLin fan.

    Liked by 1 person

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