Jeremy Lin was handed his number 17 Los Angeles Lakers jersey number today, and he must have had the words of Kobe Bryant ringing in his ears as he did so.
As revealed by Lakers Nation reporter Serena Winters, Kobe has some typically business like welcome for Lin when the pair exchanged messages this past week:
"We have a lot of work to do," was Bryant's simple message for the point guard.
When Kobe Bryant tells you what to do it is in your best interests to go along for the ride.
Jeremy Lin arrives of the back of a so-so year out in Houston, with the 6' 3" averaging 12.5 points in his 71 appearances for the Rockets. Lin saw his opportunities limited last campaign however in comparison to the 2012-13 season in which he started all 82 of Houston's regular-season games.
The arrival of Lin will give Lakers fans some faith that the upcoming campaign cannot be totally decimated by injury however, with the 26-year-old able to offer a decent option in case Steve Nash reverts to his perennial sideline role once again in 2014-15.
But with fans having held high hopes of seeing Carmelo Anthony or LeBron James in the famous Lakers jersey this summer it is hardly the big name arrival they would have hoped for.
Bryant has work to do
Bryant's cold but calculated words therefore are even more poignant. The veteran NBA star is well aware that, coming off the back of a disastrous 27-55 season, the Lakers roster has a lot of work to do just to become competitive once more in the West.
And like those Lakers fans, Kobe is unlikely to have been blown away by Lin's arrival. Moreover, with the Lakers still without a new coach following the dismissal of Mike D'Antoni this summer there is certainly plenty of room for improvement in the coming weeks.
Having a fit Kobe Bryant back however will be a good start for whoever is charged with leading the Lakers franchise from the bottom rung of the NBA hierarchy.
Jeremy Lin, speaking at his official unveiling Thursday, showed his appreciation for his new teammate - citing his as a huge brand in Asia as well as well as reiterating his excitement at playing alongside the likes of Bryant and Steve Nash.
Will to win
As a player looking to rediscover the 'Linsanity' form which saw him land a mega contract with the Rockets, Jeremy Lin will find no greater task master than Kobe Bryant.
Notoriously hardworking, often to the point of infuriating teammates (see Shaq and Dwight Howard) Bryant has gained his success in the NBA through a mixture of talent and a relentless spirit. A mixture of which is sure to at least make the Lakers competitive in the 2014-15 season.
A coach would be nice though...
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