Jeremy Lin comes to Brooklyn with high expectations. But Lin's own hopes pale in comparison to what new Nets head coach Kenny Atkinson expects from his new point guard. After Lin signed his $36 million deal his summer, Atkinson didn't beat around the bush -- he even referenced the L word ("Linsanity") to describe his hopes for Lin's impact: "Obviously we want him to play like he did when he was in New York for that brief stretch." Sure Atkinson toned it down a little, saying Lin is "going to have to figure out how best to play in this system." But who heard that after Atkinson had said he wants the Brooklyn Jeremy Lin to play like the Madison Square Garden Lin of Linsanity yore?
Now Coach Atkinson is comparing Lin not just to the ghost of his breakout past, but to one of the biggest names in all of New York sports, Giants quarterback Eli Manning. Describing how different this year would be for Lin, starting rather than coming in as a reserve, Atkinson told the New York Post of Lin: "now you're the quarterback, the Eli Manning. There's a different level of responsibility." Manning has won two Super Bowls at quarterback for the Giants. At least he didn't call him Babe Ruth. But Lin already knows -- and Atkinson keeps reminding him -- that t New York City spotlight is going to bright and unforgiving. He says he's ready.
Think he's listening to this?