- (Photo: Reuters/Andrew Innerarity)
Jeremy Lin, New York Knicks starting point guard, may be having a tough time adjusting to life without head coach Mike D'Antoni, who resigned from the team on Wednesday.
Although the Knicks were victorious in the 121-79 game against the Portland Trailblazers Wednesday night, Lin's personal production was among his lowest of the season, with six points, six turnovers and six assists. While the Christian point guard tweeted about being happy with the win, he also spoke about missing D'Antoni.
"Glad to get a win," Lin tweeted Wednesday night. "A huge thank you to coach D'Antoni for everything he did for the team and me!! Truly a class act who will be missed."
D'Antoni, who has been under fire over the course of the season when the Knicks developed a losing record with six straight losses most recently, abruptly left the team Wednesday amid rumors that he was having issues with some players. Although interim coach Mike Woodson has risen to the occasion after joining the team to help its defense this season, Lin has been very vocal about the importance of working in D'Antoni's offensive system.
"The way that he creates a system and, every single game, during walkthrough he does something different, and he'll do it to adjust to that specific team's defense," Lin told reporters in a press conference during his winning streak in February. "He makes us look good ... but it's pretty fun."
It seems NBA players on other teams also took notice of the chemistry between Lin and D'Antoni when the point guard emerged as a starter for the Knicks. Matt Barnes, Los Angeles Lakers forward, spoke about D'Antoni's confidence in Lin having an impact on the Asian-American point guard.
"When your coach has your back like that, as long as you're playing smart there's nothing you can do wrong," Barnes told the press after his team lost to he Knicks in February. "I definitely see that's what's going on [in New York], with D'Antoni having confidence in him and his teammates believing in him."
Lebron James, Miami Heat forward, spoke in a press conference about D'Antoni being the best thing that has ever happened to Lin.
"He's playing good basketball. The best thing that ever happened to him was him being in that system with coach D'Antoni," James said. "He lets you play freely, you don't worry about mistakes. He's thriving in that system."
With D'Antoni out of the picture for the remainder of the Knicks season, Lin admitted that he was sad and in an emotional state.
"Obviously, I miss him a lot. What he did for me and my career, I'm not going to forget," Lin said in the press conference after the Knicks' win Wednesday night. "I'm not going to forget what he did for me personally. Just very emotional and sad to see him go. I owe a lot to him."