Photo courtesy of Gil Talbot
Article courtesy of Boston Herald
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Chasing the Dream: Jeremy Lin Prepares for NBA
This is the fourth in an occasional series documenting Harvard guard Jeremy Lin’s preparation for the NBA draft. You can find the previous entries here. Today’s entry focuses on Lin’s preparation for workouts with NBA teams.
On Monday night, Jeremy Lin was preparing to leave Boston for good and head to Las Vegas. Lin had spent three weeks training in Vegas, but returned to Harvard to take his last final exam and wrap up his senior year.
With his school days behind him and a professional basketball career ahead, Lin reflected on the pros and cons.
“It’s good because I don’t want to do homework anymore,” Lin said. “I hate to do homework when I have to work out in Vegas. It feels good, but I’m not going to see my friends anymore so that kind of (stinks).”
Without homework to distract him, Lin can devote all of his focus to preparing for workouts with NBA teams leading up to the June 24 draft. Lin is working out in Vegas with famed basketball trainer Joe Abunassar.
Abunassar has worked with dozens of NBA players, including Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce, Dwight Howard and more. Lin hooked up with Abunassar after looking him up last summer while in Vegas for his brother’s AAU tournament. The experience went well so he was invited back.
The stakes are higher this summer, as Lin works to improve his stock. While in Vegas he’s working with about 15 other draft hopefuls from top college programs, including Avery Bradley (Texas), Sherron Collins (Kansas), Stanley Robinson (UConn), Lance Stephenson (Cincinnati), Edgar Sosa (Louisville) and James Anderson (Oklahoma State).
“It’s challenging,” Lin said. “There’s a lot of good players out there. It’s been good just trying to used to the different athleticism and speed that those guys play at.”
A typical day consists of work on the court and in the weight room in the morning and an afternoon session on the court. The players are broken up by positions and do plenty of skill-work.
“I’m working on my shooting, ball-handling and defense,” Lin said. “Those are my three biggest things right now. There’s definitely improvements on my 3-point shot. The ball-handling is coming along, not as fast I wanted, but it’s OK. And defensively I’m getting there, but it’s not where I want to be. I’m holding my own, but I want to do a little better than that.”
Lin will spend about a week in Vegas before he begins visiting NBA teams for small group workouts with other prospects. The workouts will be especially important for Lin because talent evaluators will want to see him against other elite players.
“I’m not trying to think about it until I have to,” Lin said. “My first one is in a week or so, so I’m just trying not to think about it because I don’t want to get too nervous.”
Check back in a few weeks for an update on the workout process.