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The Curious Case Of Jeremy Lin

Jeremy Lin’s star is fading as quickly as it rose.

Jeremy Lin

Without directly saying anything, Byron Scott spoke volumes about how he and seemingly more and more of the entire L.A. Lakers’ organization now seem to view Jeremy Lin.

“I’m pretty much one of those guys that believes that you’re either tough or you aren’t,” Scott told the L.A. Times. “I don’t think it’s something that you can inherit all of a sudden. You are what you are.”

Earlier this season, Kobe Bryant was roundly criticized for his attacking style when he blasted Lin for not being man enough to “mark” his territory, but to now hear Scott preach seems to suggest the first-year Lakers’ coach more than shares the Black Mamba’s poisonous assessment.

“I’m not saying that Lin is soft or anything like that,” Scott added. “But Ronnie Price is a tough kid,” he said of the man he weeks ago moved to replace Lin with in the Lakers’ starting lineup. “He’s always been that way. I don’t think you can make Ronnie anything other than what he is. And I think the same with Jeremy.”

Yes, Linsanity’s fall from grace has been just that crazy and just that precipitous, with him steadily falling from once being considered among the league’s most captivating players to one not even capable of retaining his starting job over a 31-year-old journeyman point-guard who despite being in his tenth NBA season still doesn’t have enough starts to highlight a full NBA season.

During the Lakers’ 94-85 loss to the Utah Jazz last Friday night, Lin took the floor as the highest paid starter for either team, but by the final horn he had only distinguished himself by looking the part of a baller more easily associated with Price’s marginal credentials.

He finished the night with just six points on ten shots and had as many turnovers (three) as assists. It’s spotty play like that which cost Lin his job in Houston and resulted in him being shipped to L.A. It’s that degree of inconsistency from his once heralded running mate that’s seemingly had Bryant fuming all year long.

“You have to be able to assert yourself,” Bryant added back then. “Especially on a team I’m playing on. Because I don’t want chumps, I don’t want pushovers, and if you’re a chump and a pushover, I will run over you. It’s important for him to have that toughness and say, ‘I believe in myself. I can step up, I can make these plays.”

But talking and doing are two different things and with Lin struggling through his worst full NBA season one has to wonder if all the magic might be gone as quickly as it materialized.

For what it’s worth, Lin does actually still talk a good game, telling reporters of Scott’s declaration “each person has their own opinion. Whatever he said is how he feels. I have my way of playing. I don’t think I play soft. I think I do everything I can, make it as tough for everybody as I can, try to be a hassle on both ends of the floor, try to interrupt.”

At this point, the Lakers will settle for him simply settling into a flow.

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