Success in the NBA isn't built on revenge but does center on putting together a good roster. The Houston Rockets knew this when they took Jeremy Lin from the New York Knicks. Now can he lure some help over with him?
Lin trying to learn what made Yao Ming successful in NBA
Part of helping the Houston Rockets get back to winning for Lin starts with not ignoring their history. The last time the town had success was when skyscraping center Yao Ming manned the paint. As an Asian-American with a Chinese heritage, there is no way for Lin to escape that connection. Nor should he try. The Ming shadow looms large in Houston and all of China. To most fans, Linsanity hasn't reached that high yet but has every chance to do so. Part of it for the young point guard is embracing the NBA challenge to turn around another struggling team and get them back on track to winning. Ming did the same thing when he replaced Hall of Fame big man Hakeem Olajuwon. It's part of sports and a humble player like Lin wants nothing better than become part of it. The big question is how can he do it? He has skills that can create success. He proved that it New York. Part of the answer rests with how he plays but also how the Rockets feed off what he brings to the team.
Iman Shumpert and Lin saved Madison Square Garden for the Knicks
Yao Ming won with Houston because he was a great player but also because the Rockets made an effort to surround him with help. Without a doubt their biggest addition was perennial All-Star Tracy McGrady. Their combined talents turned the team in annual playoff favorites. While it never created a championship it did teach the team some valuable lessons about having great players work together. Jeremy Lin showcased that when he played for the New York Knicks. Together with surprise rookie Iman Shumpert the two led the team on an eight-game winning streak that saved the season long enough to reach the playoffs. It also had a bonus effect for the iconic Madison Square Garden, which took in tremendous fourth quarter profits during the improbable run. Now the Knicks look towards the 2013 season with high hopes and a new roster. Lost to many fans is what the future holds for Shumpert. He hasn't returned from a knee injury suffered last year and he becomes a free agent next season. Given his greatest success came while playing with Lin and the Rockets badly need offensive help, another early playoffs exit could push the young man to seek out his old teammate.
Lin knows the task of taking over the Houston Rockets for Yao Ming isn't easy. The NBA is hard that way. However if the New York Knicks can't get their roster right, then Iman Shumpert could slip away next year. If Lin can't win through his skill, then he can do it as a recruiter.