Jeremy Lin: I always wanted to be a leader

ByXin Wan ESPN logo
Tuesday, September 27, 2016

NEW YORK -- During media day in the heart of his new home,Jeremy Lin could look out from the Brooklyn Nets' new training facility in Brooklyn and see Manhattan. He definitely remembers the crazy days in the other borough.

"I'm not intentionally going back to New York to prove something, the only reason I chose to come back is because this is the best place I can be," Lin said during an interview with ESPN China. "But New York is definitely special in my heart."

The Nets offered Lin exactly what he wanted last summer as a free agent: a young team that needs a franchise player, a head coach who is fully invested in him, a starting role and a caring community.

"This is the first time my team has gone the extra mile to really take care of me both on and off the court," he said. "They even care about how well I sleep. They just care about me so much."

Lin can appear shy at times, but he doesn't hide how badly he wants to lead as a starting point guard in the NBA.

"I always wanted to be a leader," he said. "Three months after I joined the Rockets, James Harden was on board so he became the leader. The situation with the Lakers wasn't good either. I just didn't have the opportunity to prove myself. But I think I have a pretty good chance this time."

Head coach Kenny Atkinson considers Lin to be the Nets' Eli Manning. He believes in Lin's leadership and has asked Lin to be the commander of the Nets. Lin has responded by emphasizing some of the important goals that the Nets players need to focus on.

"Defense is really important," Lin said. "Team chemistry is really important and this training camp is really important!"

But besides his focus on basketball, Lin is apparently enjoying city life.

"My favorite restaurant in Manhattan is a sushi restaurant. I wish I could eat there every single day, but I can't afford it. It's too expensive," he said, laughing.

Check out the video above for the full interview with Lin.

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