Jeremy Lin Is Thankful to Have Matured as a Christian: Excited to Play for LA Lakers, Says ‘Linsanity’ Pressure Is Off

( [email protected] ) Jul 28, 2014 05:45 PM EDT
Jeremy Lin Houston Rockets
(AP Photo/Rick Scuter)

Despite the way that Jeremy Lin was treated recently by the Rockets, the NBA star says is thankful to have matured as a Christian and as a player during his two-year-stint in Houston and is looking forward to playing with the Los Angeles Lakers.

While sharing his testimony in Taiwain last year, Jeremy Lin revealed that he had felt pressured to achieve Linsanity-like success for the Houston Rockets after having had such a stellar performance with the New York Knicks. "I became so obsessed with becoming a great basketball player ... trying to be Linsanity, being this phenomenon that took the NBA by storm ... I had no joy, and I felt no freedom," he said after having accepted a $28.8 million contract to play for Houston.

Lin had solid play with the Rockets during his first year, but was eventually demoted to the second string the following season. As Houston prepared to load their roster with another NBA star for the 2014-15 season, rumors that they would trade Jeremy Lin began to surface.

Some would say that Lin was treated rather disrespectfully as a free agent; Houston had attempted to impress prospect Carmelo Anthony by displaying a poster of him sporting the Rockets jersey and his usual number seven, which was Lin's number at the time. Many viewed the Rockets' recruiting tactics to be disrespectful, since Lin was still on the team. Lin responded by tweeting Luke 6:29 - "If someone slaps you on one cheek, turn to them the other also. If someone takes your coat, do not withhold your shirt from them."

"It wasn't a big thing to me," Lin has said of the Rockets' tactics - "I did feel like in some ways it could have been handled a little bit differently, but I wasn't outraged by it in any way."

Upon LeBron James' announcement to sign with the Cleveland Cavaliers, Houston traded Lin to the Los Angeles Lakers with high hopes that Chris Bosh would join their roster. Bosh decided to stay with the Miami Heat, however. Lin thanked his Rockets teammates, staff, fans, and media for two great years in Houston - "Sad it never went, or ended, the way I envisioned, but God always has a perfect plan and I'll forever cherish that chapter of my life," he said.

The NBA guard says he has no hard feelings against the Houston Rockets, and that he is thankful for the time that he had with the team. Lin feels as though he has matured as a Christian and as a player since coming to Houston - "I think I've learned and grown a lot as a person, as a Christian and also developed as a basketball player. From the minute I stepped into Houston to now, I'm a much more complete player," he says.

Lin can't wait to don the purple and the gold next season - "I'm SO blessed to join the Lakers and can't wait to get started!!!" he tweeted when the move was announced.

The Houston Chronicle reports that being traded to the Lakers has lifted a burden from Lin's shoulders - "I feel the least amount of pressure on my shoulders than I ever have ... I think the one thing I really learned this past year is just starter or not starter, I just have to play the way I'm capable of playing and to play my style and my brand of basketball," he says.