The latest issue of GQ features a familiar face on its cover: Rockets guard Jeremy Lin. In the cover story for the November issue, GQ's Will Leitch profiles Lin, who spoke about playing in the D-League, his desire to finish his career with the Knicks, and a confusing summer in free agency. Here are a few of the highlights:
On wanting to remain in New York:
"You can't ask for a city or a fan base to embrace somebody more than they embraced me. I know it's kind of silly to talk about it with only two years under my belt in the league, but going in before free agency, I was like, 'I want to play in front of these fans for the rest of my career.' I really did. I really wanted to play in front of the Madison Square Garden fans for the rest of my career, because they're just unbelievable."
On his ascension from benchwarmer to star:
"I mean, to literally go from 'If I score two, three, or four points today, it's a good day' to setting the record for the most points scored in your first five starts of any NBA player, I'd be a huge liar if I told myself, 'I knew I could do that.' You know what I mean? That's not realistic. Let's just be honest. I had no idea I could play like that. It was as amazing to me as it was to everybody else."
On playing in the D-League prior to his breakout season:
"I'm going to be honest, playing in D-League games is tough. We got way more fans at Harvard games. It feels like a demotion, and it feels like if you have one bad game then the thought gets in your brain: I might get cut."
On whether he would have played overseas if he hadn't received a shot from an NBA team:
"I absolutely would not have liked playing in Spain or somewhere like that, so I was just gonna do it a year. Then I was gonna be done."
On the difficulty he had securing offers this offseason in free agency:
"[Rival teams] figured the Knicks were just going to match anyway, so there's no point. We couldn't get anybody. At one point in time I thought, 'Are we going to have zero contract offers?'…. The Rockets thought I was going to be a Knick. They told me when I signed there, 'We think it's an 80% to 95% chance of that happening.' That was consistent with what everyone was saying to me."
On whether he'd do anything differently in free agency:
"I might have been a lot more reserved about [seeking out offers] in free agency. But the thing about it is, there was no other way to handle the situation. I didn't get an offer from the Knicks, so I had to go test my market."