Even though Jeremy Lin is probably too nice of a guy to have a revenge list saved on his cell phone, sometimes wishing a player goes down a path that’s a bit more sinister, filled with wrath towards those who wronged him, kind of like Arya Stark on Game of Thrones / A Song of Ice and Fire.
For Arya (my 2nd favorite character in the books), it’s a kill list of people who have wronged her, her family and her friends (different list in the books and in the show). The world of Westeros is brutal. Murder, rape, torture, you know the drill. While the NBA can be a cutthroat kind of business, it’s just a saying. For Lin, if such a revenge-list ever did exist, it would simply be about proving certain people wrong, or maybe enjoying watching them fail, although I doubt Lin is like that.
So who would be on the list?
- Carmelo Anthony, 100%. Anthony is one of the reasons Lin isn’t in New York, as in Manhattan, as in playing for the Knicks. His ego drove him to jealousy, and it played a part in the Knicks never matching Houston’s offer sheet for Lin. It killed Melo to see Lin overtake his popularity, and play a huge part in the Knicks making the playoffs that year, although Lin was injured for the postseason games
- James Dolan. Kind of like Anthony. The New York Knicks owner is trying to keep his hands away from the basketball team by letting Phil Jackson run the show, but he has f***ed up things so much for so long, it might take years until the damage is undone. Dolan made a mistake by not re-signing Lin, part of it being his ego, with Lin not “his” discovery, instead opting to appease Anthony, who has taken the Knicks 0 feet forward
- Kevin McHale. There’s not much to avenge since McHale isn’t coaching an NBA team anymore. McHale didn’t like Lin (as a player, I have no idea what he felt towards him as a person), and never wanted him to be part of his system. In McHale’s eyes, following the plan of Daryl Morey to the dot, Lin was just a nuisance in the way of James Harden. He benched him early in season 2 of Lin’s stay in Houston, for the unimpressive Patrick Beverley
- I thought about writing James Harden, but just like Kemba Walker, it’s not his fault. Harden gets a free pass from his coaches, so why shouldn’t he do whatever he wants too on the floor? Daryl Morey, who might now, for the first time, by hiring Mike D’Antoni, partially admitting his mistakes in team building and general basketball knowledge. Morey made it so it would be impossible for any point guard to play next to Harden, and traded Lin to an even worse situation
- Byron Scott, like McHale, doesn’t have a job anymore. Unlike McHale, I doubt he gets another NBA head coaching job, unless it’s to tank. The tank commander made it impossible for Lin, as he did for young Lakers a year later, by playing him behind Ronnie Price, criticizing him and then later, when Lin had a stretch of good games, tried to take credit for it
- Last but not least (and thank you guys for reminding me) – Anyone who has (on purpose) tried to take Lin’s head off and has gotten away with it, including the refs who constantly ignored it: Too flagrant not to call
I thought long and hard about Lin’s season on the Charlotte Hornets. While it had flavors of previous seasons (unappreciative head coach, orders from above to prefer the “face of the franchise”, ball dominant other guard), the situation was different. The team chemistry in Charlotte was good, and I think Clifford did appreciate Lin, only it clashed with the front office wanting to push Walker in everyone’s face. Clifford’s mistakes have less to do with wanting to hurt Lin, and more with his ineptitude as a coach. If he’s let some of those inhibitions go, the Hornets would probably be playing in the conference semifinal.
And what about Kobe Bryant? See the Harden bullet, and multiply it by a thousand. Bryant was going to make it difficult on anyone playing next to him. These last two years, he’s been in a mode of not giving a f*** about anything but himself. If Lakers front office and coaching staff had a pair, his retirement years would look like a veteran trying to pave the way for the next generation. Instead, it was a fading star trying to hold on as strong as he could to his golden years, and taking down the ship with him in the process. Lin didn’t enjoy playing next to Bryant, but it’s not Kobe’s fault that Lin had a rough year in Los Angeles.
Yep. Arya Stark, or Mercy, or Cat of the Canals, won’t get to cross everyone off her list, but she prefers doing that than being a Faceless Man. There’s no real good parallel to Lin’s career at this point. Maybe the fact that Lin is simply focused on making the most of the opportunity to Brooklyn Nets present to him, instead of dwelling of those who have wronged him in the past. Which is the exact opposite of Arya at this point.