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Former Brooklyn Nets guard Jeremy Lin apologized to coach Kenny Atkinson for being injured so often after he learned he had been traded to the Atlanta Hawks.
Lin suffered a season-ending ruptured patellar tendon on opening night this past season and played in just 37 games in two seasons with Brooklyn.
“I have a close relationship with him,” Atkinson told Brian Lewis of The New York Post. “We’ve known each other a long time. Anytime you have a colleague you’ve been with, it’s difficult.
“Jeremy said to me, ‘I feel bad I wasn’t healthy for you guys.’ He told Sean [Marks] the same thing. That’s the kind of guy he was. He wasn’t bitter, he was frustrated we never got to see him over a stretch of time. Above all he was frustrated, as the organization was frustrated we didn’t have him on the court. I believe in the player to the utmost. It’s frustrating and sad he had bad luck during his time with us.”
Lin averaged 14.5 points and 5.1 assists per game in 2016-17 with the Nets. The Hawks will pay Lin $12.5 million in 2018-19 and the 29-year-old will become an unrestricted free-agent in the summer of 2019.
Lin is excited to mentor and play with rookie Trae Young.
“I think I can help (Young) a lot and share my experience playing in the NBA with him,” Lin told Michael Scotto of The Athletic. “I know the Hawks plan to use us on the court together. I had played for the Rockets, Lakers and Hornets that put two point guards on the court simultaneously, so I know Trae and I could play very fast. Coach Lloyd Pierce, one of the (former) coaches for the Warriors, was also my coach, so I have talked to him already. I’m really excited, about the upcoming season, it’s going to be fun.”