(Ultimate Rockets) A year to the day after Linsanity began, Jeremy Lin sprained his left ankle at Rockets practice. He was not overly concerned with either, though the way both worked out left him feeling fortunate.
He returned to the Rockets shootaround on Tuesday, declaring himself “good to go” long before his availability became a game-time decision. And he marked the occasion of his rise from obscurity to stardom by giving thanks.
“Yesterday, everyone was like “oh, congrats, it’s been one year,’ “ Lin said. “I didn’t even realize it until I got a text. It’s crazy. God’s been really good to me. It’s only been one year. It seemed like so long ago. People would tweet it and stuff like that. It was cool, really cool.
“It seems like a really long time ago. It was definitely a whirlwind. I definitely enjoyed it. I definitely learned and grew a lot as a person. I got exposed to a lot more than I’ll probably be exposed to the rest of my life as far as how fast everything happens.
“I think for me, every time I think back I’m thankful because I still remember like yesterday what it was like to be fighting for my spot and coming to work every day unsure if it would be my last. I’m just trying to stay thankful and grateful and keep that memory of where I used to be fresh in my mind so I don’t take things for granted.”
Desperate for a spark with Carmelo Anthony injured and Amar’e Stoudemire away from the team, former Knicks coach Mike D’Antoni turned to Lin just days before the Knicks were expected to release him. Lin outplayed the Nets’ Deron Williams, scoring 25 points in the Knicks’ win, earning the chance to take off and change – perhaps save – his career.
“I remember I was like in the shower and I was like in tears because it had been such a long journey for me,” Lin said. “My (previous) good game was probably in college to have that type of game. I still remember everything. I remember my phone calls that I made and where I went to dinner and all that.”
With tonight’s game, he will play for the second team that cut him against the first team that cut him. Lin, however, said he had no more hard feelings for his hometown Warriors than he had for the Rockets, the team he rejoined after leaving New York.
“I’m very thankful. I had some great times with them,” Lin said. “It was more of a learning process, improving process in my first year. They gave me the shot. I wouldn’t be here today if I wasn’t able to play my first year with the Warriors.”
He would not be facing them for the first time, however, if he could not play because of the latest ankle sprain. But he said this one, as with the previous two sprains also suffered at the end of practices, would not need any kind of stunning turnaround to rival his story of a year ago.
“I’m good to go,” Lin said. “Just tweaked it in practice. I just rolled it on somebody’s foot. It’s annoying, but it happens. Everybody’s going to twist an ankle here and there.”
When it comes to twists and turns, Lin knew better than most – especially this week – how well they can work out.