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NBA Hall Of Famer, Rick Barry: “Every Time He Steps Out There He Proves To Himself That He Can Do This”

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The Drive Wednesday 2-15-12-Rick Barry talks with the guys about the resurgence in New York with Jeremy Lin, how Jeremy Lin will handle on all the attention, and if Carmelo Anthony will step back and relinquish the team.

Barry’s excitement over Jeremy Lin was practically exploding with The Drive.  He was in awe of his skills, thrilled to see such a genuine guy succeed-and is excited about what great publicity it is for the NBA.

“I’ve never seen anything quite like it in the NBA.  I am excited for the young man, he seems like he is very humble.  [He is] handling the enormous amount of publicity…exceptionally well.  He brings an energy to the team and an excitement to the game…why shouldn’t he be able to keep it up? …How in the world did he get overlooked? …it’s very simple…he reminds me of Steve Nash, he got overlooked and all of a sudden he developed in to a future MVP.”

Barry did say that he did not see it as a bad sign that Lin got overlooked, but really spoke to his character and work ethic as a player.  He said it happens quite often on teams because of the star players and said it was lucky for Lin that he was ready for the challenge and rose to the occasion.

“[Players like Lin get overlooked] because the other team has tremendous amounts of dollars invested in other players…nobody got hurt so he didn’t get a chance to do anything.  So yeah, I can see how he got overlooked…you don’t know when your chance is ready to come, so you have to always be prepared and ready…he is gaining confidence every time he steps on the court…he does some amazing things…he’s a player, there is no question about it…[last night] he basically said, ‘hey, I’m gonna do this…you’re gonna play off me? I’ll knock down a three.’ [He plays like a true veteran]…this young man believes in himself.  If you don’t have confidence you will choke like a dog.”

Barry didn’t seem to think there would be a clash of the titans between Jeremy Lin and Carmello Anthony later this season, he thought Anthony would really benefit from a player like Lin on his side.

“Jeremy Lin will make the game easier for Carmello…[Lin] is looking to be a creator first, not a point scorer first…give me the guy who wants to be the assist guy, but if you need him to get 30, he can get 30…look at the weapons that he has to be able to get the ball around on the court! …For what this kid has shown, I would not let him get away, lock him up!”

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