To cheer us up, the Warriors sign a flawed combo guard

The Warriors signing Jeremy Lin is a little bit like the Giants signing Shinjo. It makes more than a little sense for a Bay Area professional team to take fliers on Asian talent — however marginal — but you wish they’d throw in a Yao Ming or an Ichiro every now and then.

Sorry to be so cynical as to bring up race on the day of this monumental signing (a lack of available FA guards, C.J. Watson’s departure and the Warriors’ refusal to spend any more money surely have more to do with it than Lin’s ethnic heritage), but it’s impossible to ignore that the Warriors got more press coverage for signing an undrafted player than they did when they introduced the No. 6 pick overall. Part of that could be due to the fact he’s Asian-American, part of it could be because he’s local, and even a little bit because he played at Harvard. And undoubtedly all of this will lead to a few more tickets sold, a few more media passes issued, and another diversion to talk about while this team crashes into an 18-win fireball of a season. It’s the Warriors’ way.

And everyone’s drinking the Kool-Aid (or is it “purple drank”?), as if the Warriors were geniuses to sell their 2nd round pick and fill out their roster with a guy they probably would have rescued from D-League hell in a few months anyway. Lin ripped up the Summer League, and everyone knows how hard that is to do! He grew up around here! He went to Harvard and his first name doesn’t start with “De” or “Da,” so his “basketball IQ” must be off the charts!

Unfortunately, Lin’s a 6-3 guard who never had a AST/TO ratio of 2 or higher in the Ivy League, and although he had a good shooting percentage in his Jr. and Sr. seasons with the Crimson, the consensus is he needs a better jump shot, and he needs it now. But, he was featured in Sports Illustrated and gives the local scribes a nice feature story angle. This is a blatant PR stunt until proven otherwise, another reason why I’m shocked the Warriors didn’t snatch up Omar Samhan when they had the chance.

The Cohan Curse lives on…

— Larry Riley: “Welcome to the Warriors, David Lee! Lucky for you and Udoh, we now have spiffy splints adorned with the new logo! I wanted to give you a note from our training staff, who recommends ‘a strict bowling regimen.'”

— And if you believe that Lee will be fine in six weeks, won’t need surgery and will be there for the entirety of training camp, you’re a lot more optimistic than I am.

— Even if reports are correct and Lee’s finger dislocation won’t require surgery, don’t dislocations often recur? Can’t wait till he goes up for an offensive rebound and his middle finger gets caught in the net or Anderson Varejao’s hair.

— Here’s a real depressing story in the Awl about why Knicks fans should look forward to their LeBronless season. Hint: Anthony Randolph is heavily involved.

— So what’s the odds-on favorite for “Warriors lineup on the court together for the longest time during the 2010/11 season”? The Warriors hope its Curry/Monta/D. Wright/Lee/Biedrins. I’m guessing it’ll be Curry/Monta/Williams/D. Wright/Radmanovic.

— Brandan Wright is currently rubbing his shoulder tenderly as you finish reading this rosy little blog post. Oh well, at least there’s always the Draft Lottery in 10 months.

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Bay Area Sports Guy

BASG (Steve Berman) and his wife started Bay Area Sports Guy in 2008, and now it's the No. 1 independent website covering Bay Area sports. You can follow him @BASportsGuy and on Facebook.

14 comments
Rios
Rios

This is token nothing more. the new owners are already messing around and being cheap. They tell us it takes 3 years to win but when mullin ran the team year 1 (traded dead weight for stars and finished .500 year 2 ( playoffs year 3( 48 wins but year 4 he had showed up rowell and cohen so much they had to take away the power because mullin showed it was THAT EASY IF YOU TRY to make a winner. so then this new guy comes in and tells us we'll have to wait at least 3 years to be winners? THEEEEEEEEEEEEN he goes out and lets morrow get away while doing the same with cj? two proven nba players for a LOCAL KID from the same city who 1) played in a really poor ivy league 2) was apparenlty so good stanford across the street didn't even offer him a scholarship. they are doing what the A's did a few years a go. They are doing that brand stuff. He's a marketing tool to get either more local people from the richer pennisula to come out to oakland and see him or to get more asians to come because its believed they have the money. don't be fooled. He's now gonna be asked to guard kobe and nash and cp3 and many many others. But he was signed off of what he did against Jon Wall-who for the record still lit this kid up. Like I say I wasn't aware that Wall was the NBA standard for guards. as a 22 year season ticket holder all i can do is just shake my head. I know better. I'm my buying that he's good. I've seen him and he need to get bigger REALLY FAST. Feet work is only for the centers-if you ain't as fast as the other players no amount of foot work will make you faster, quicker-better. good luck to him but I know better.

Dave
Dave

It's nice to see a thoughtful discussion on a comment board for once. Nice work. Good luck Jeremy!

BASG
BASG

They've kinda filled out the roster, but Udoh probably won't play this year, Lee has a finger injury that I suspect is going to linger longer than the Warriors are letting on, Gadzuric is a stiff with an expiring contract, and Wright couldn't even play a whole summer league "season." Trust me, Lin's signing will be followed by more D-League pickups this season. And I agree with you on the race/perception thing. I'm glad Lin's getting a chance to prove people wrong, I really do. I'm just more frustrated with what the Warriors have done over the past 3 years. Destroying the momentum they had after their playoff run was just cruel, and I'm not willing to give them a free pass until I see a reason to.

Doc K
Doc K

You're right, this is a total PR stunt but this isn't the same as Shinjo. Shinjo was asked to be the lead off batter and everyday outfielder. Lin is asked to compete for backup minutes. This is a low risk/high reward acquisition. And, looking beyond race, he may turn out to be a good player if he can build on his SL performance. We won't know but even if he's a failure, he won't impact the Warriors as there's really no repercussions for benching an undrafted rookie. Jud Bucshler (sp) hardly got playing time yet when he got minutes, he electrified the crowd. That's the least Lin will do but I think he'll do better.

Rios
Rios

smart response. I thought I was the only one who felt that way.

BASG
BASG

He could be awesome. He could be forgotten by December like another local kid, DeMarcus Nelson. Thing is, the Warriors just lost three of their best four shooters and are perpetually in dire need of players who make good decisions with the ball. Lin's jumper doesn't have the range the Warriors need now that they don't have Morrow or Watson anymore, and he's always been a high-turnover guy. And to make this a big deal just because he had a good summer league is kind of crazy, since 40-point nights for Warrior role players have been the norm there for years. I understand the low risk/high reward thing, but regardless of race I wish the Warriors would have instead kept their 2nd round pick and chosen a guy who might not make as many headlines, but would probably be a better player -- like Stanford's Landry Fields (who went 39th to the Knicks), whose Summer League stats were way better than Lin's. Lin: http://www.nba.com/summerleague2010/players/sl_jeremy_lin/ Fields: http://www.nba.com/summerleague2010/players/landry_fields/index.html And just for fun, Samhan: http://www.nba.com/summerleague2010/players/sl_omar_samhan/ Lin had some highlight plays against John Wall, who was playing NBA All-Star Game defense. I don't know about a long-term career, even as a backup.

Doctor Kajita
Doctor Kajita

Also, you could make the argument that Lin didn't get drafted because he was Asian. Warriors have proven that there is talent beyond the NBA draft...for cheaper.

Doctor Kajita
Doctor Kajita

I think we'll just have to wait and see. I don't think it was pure PR propaganda. Lin had a very good collegiate career, albeit in the Ivy League, and does many things the players we've recently lost couldn't do. The Warriors are building their roster with smart players with good attitudes (not that the players we lost weren't), but getting David Lee was big. Dorell Wright can shoot the corner 3 as well as Reggie Williams. Morrow is an excellent shooter, but he could not create his own shot for the life of him and that limited his productivity. He is a great shooter but he didn't necessarily have a great shooting season last year. Reggie Williams was more effective. I honestly don't think the loss of our "shooters" is a big problem because what we got in return and what we retained is more valuable.

Rios
Rios

no you can't because ming is a star. They'll take players if they can play.

Doctor Kajita
Doctor Kajita

I'm not trying to stir the pot, but it's possible. There are so many intangibles when it comes to race that some of us are not even aware of. I don't think it's "racism" as you put it. It's just perception. I don't think the Warriors are having a tough time filling out their roster. They have 12 players and all the key pieces are in place. The current roster is already an improvement over last year (on paper). Just need to add a few more insurance pieces. Although I agree that they probably could have kept that 2nd round pick they traded to Portland for CASH...total Cohan move.

BASG
BASG

That would be assuming that there's only racism toward Asians when it comes to the Draft. Don't buy that, I just think it's because he's no bigger, faster or athletic than anyone else and he played against inferior competition, and none of the other GMs thought he'd be drafted. But yeah, there's talent to be found outside the draft, but that doesn't mean it's a good idea to bypass the 2nd round altogether when your team is having a tough time even filling out the roster.

Doctor Kajita
Doctor Kajita

It's just one of those things we'll have to wait and see. All I can say is I'm excited about the new acquisitions and I THINK they are an upgrade and make the team better. I can't say for certain. I wish Randolph the best. I think he'll be a good player.

BASG
BASG

I don't know, Morrow shot over 45.6% from 3 (2.8 3's attempted per game) and Williams went 35.9% from 3 and attempted 3.8 per game. Williams is better as a slasher than as a spot-up shooter, and while he's better at creating his own offense I don't see how having Williams and Monta on the floor at the same time helps your team. Dorell Wright's OK, a young version of Devean George, but he won't contribute much offensively. Defensively he's an upgrade, however. And until proven wrong I'll be on record as staunchly against the David Lee trade. He's good, but just like Dunleavy/Murphy/Richardson/Monta/Biedrins before him, another above average FA they had to overpay because elite FAs have no interest in playing with the Warriors. I also don't like the Lee trade because they botched the Anthony Randolph situation so badly, and I think they're going to pay. Nobody remembers how great Randolph was playing before his ankle injury and since he's been away from the court so long his image morphed into crybaby/malcontent/partying fiend. Drives me crazy, but then again I have a borderline irrational attachment to Randolph.