- (Photo: Reuters/Eduardo Munoz)
Speculation has arisen surrounding New York Knicks starting point guard Jeremy Lin's position on the team under the direction of newly-appointed head coach Mike Woodson, but both coach and player seem confident that Lin is not going anywhere.
Lin, 23-year-old Harvard graduate who was passed over by two NBA teams and sent to the NBA D-League, managed to make his way to a starting point guard position under former coach Mike D'Antoni's system. However, after the former assistant coach Woodson took over the team on Wednesday amid D'Antoni's resignation, he made it clear that no player's position on the team was safe.
"I tell guys on this team now that you better cherish the minutes that you get, make the most of them," Woodson said on the day of D'Antoni's departure. "Because if you don't, I might not come back that way."
Lin, who scored a career-low six points and six assists while playing for Woodson in a win against the Portland Trailblazers, may be one of the Knicks players whose position may be less than secure. Woodson's system has not favored developing players such as Lin who got his first NBA career start last month.
A source who has worked close with the coach in the past told The New York Times that Woodson may not be looking to Lin as much as D'Antoni did.
"Woody's inclination would not be to play him," the source reportedly said.
Woodson made it clear that his main priority is to bring wins to the New York Knicks team.
"That's just the nature of this business," Woodson told the press after taking on the role as head coach. "I'm trying to win, I want these guys to win for the city of New York. That's the only way it should be."
Although the coach has been vocal about focusing on the team's known scorers, forwards Amare Stoudemire and Carmelo Anthony, Woodson assured Lin that he would continue to work with the budding point guard.
"Jeremy is a big part of what we do. He's our starting point guard," Woodson said. "He and I are on the same page. I thought the other night he played extremely well. We played well as a group."
Lin spoke to his coach on Friday, before the team was set to play the playoffs-bound Indiana Pacers. According to the starting point guard, the position is still his for now.
"He said that's not going to change," Lin said in an ESPN report. "He told me not to worry about anything, just play my game."