Why Jeremy Lin's skills coach believes the ex-Knick can still play in the NBA

Ian Begley
·3 min read
Jeremy Lin in a Knicks uniform
Jeremy Lin in a Knicks uniform

Jeremy Lin announced earlier this month that he won’t return to the Chinese Basketball Association and is looking to make an NBA comeback.

Lin last played in the NBA with Toronto in 2018-19. He was a reserve guard for the NBA champions, playing in 23 regular season games.

Can the 32-year-old help an NBA team at this stage in his career? Teams will make that decision in November when we get to the NBA offseason.

David Nurse, a skills/life coach who has worked closely with Lin, strongly believes Lin belongs in the league.

“Here’s why Jeremy Lin should be back in the NBA and he should be back next season: No. 1, the NBA is a pick and roll game,” Nurse told SNY’s The Putback about his new book, ‘Pivot & Go.’ “It’s based on pick-and-roll reads and making plays out of it and Jeremy is one of the best point guards in the past 10 years playing the pick and roll. That’s why he blew up in New York and that’s why he’s successful wherever he went when he was in the pick-and-roll. Very, very high IQ, can see plays happen before they develop.

“So coming off the bench as a second point guard, even a third point guard, to give you this type of stability would be huge. If you have a dynamic scoring point guard then you have a change-of-pace points guard like Jeremy Lin to switch it up, that’s very very effective.”

Lin, obviously, rose to stardom in February 2012, when he came from the end of the bench to lead the Knicks to seven straight wins. He’s averaged 11.6 points and 2.2 assists in nine seasons.

In addition to Lin’s prowess in the pick-and-roll, Nurse noted the veteran guard’s off-court value when talking about his NBA comeback.

“One of the most overlooked things in all of basketball and all of sports is culture. Culture is a word that gets thrown around a lot but it’s actually the chemistry, the fit, the players, pieces put together that help these other players become part of this fit.

“Jeremy is one of the best overall human beings, leaders. It’s like the Steve Nash effect, where Nash just encouraged everybody he met, gave out 239 high fives a game. Jeremy is that guy. He brings up the level of the locker room which brings up the level of play on the overall court. So he’s an unbelievable glue guy who brings a lot of value off the court and making plays out of the pick and roll as a smart point guard. So there’s no doubt in my mind that he is an NBA player and should be in the NBA and can bring a lot of value for a team, for a contender looking to make a run in this upcoming season.”

Nurse talked about his book, new Knicks coach Johnnie Bryant and the nuances of player development in his Q&A with The Putback. You can find the full conversation here.