Former New York Knicks PG Jeremy Lin offered a recommendation to fellow NBA Finals combatant Kevin Durant, one his former squad might appreciate.
The most memorable sequence of “Linsanity” might have its namesake’s game-winning shot in Toronto. With his New York Knicks tenure long over, Jeremy Lin might still be trying to help the Knicks win with heroics from Ontario.
Lin is now a member of the Toronto Raptors, who are in the midst of their first NBA Finals appearance. Speaking at the Finals’ media day earlier this week, Lin continues to look back fondly on his time in Manhattan.
“I love the New York fans. I feel like that was such a special moment in my life,” Lin said, per WFAN.com. “The big reason is (the fans) made it special. Just walking down the street, wherever I went, being in that arena playing at that time, all the fans make it special. It was a great experience. I don’t really have any negativity when I think back at those times. Even though there is the whole stigma of that market, I loved my time there.”
Lin’s endorsement could be a selling point for Golden State Warriors star Kevin Durant. The 10-time All-Star and former MVP is set to be a free agent this summer. The Knicks are projected to be one of his top suitors.
“To be great in New York, that’s either the top one, two, three city to choose to have something awesome, to have an awesome team and awesome situation there,” Lin said. “A lot of players have a shot for that and went for that and there’s nothing wrong with that.”
Lin certainly knows what it’s like to win in New York. His brief breakout in 2012 remains one of the Knicks’ most memorable moments in recent history. The Harvard alum joined the team in the middle of the season, his lone previous experience being one-year service as an undrafted free agent with Golden State. He would burst onto the scene with a 25-point performance against the New Jersey Nets, opening a streak of stellar play that gripped New York by storm. In addition to game-winner against the Raptors, the biggest highlights included a 38-point performance against Kobe Bryant and the Los Angeles Lakers.
A March injury prematurely ended the craze. Lin would sign with the Houston Rockets in the ensuing offseason. Toronto is his eighth NBA squad, having signed with them in February after he was waived by Atlanta. He averaged 7.0 points over 23 games, including three starts.
Durant has not played since the conference semifinal round. He continues to nurse a calf injury sustained in Game 5 in the series against the Houston Rockets. Chris Haynes of Yahoo! has reported that Durant could return by the time the Finals return to Golden State for Games 3 and 4. Toronto leads the series 1-0 after a 118-109 in Thursday’s opener. Game 2 will be held at Scotiabank Arena on Sunday night (8:00 p.m. ET, ABC). Durant has been the Finals MVP in each of the past two editions won by Golden State.