Jeremy Lin is going back to his old #17 jersey when he plays for the Los Angeles Lakers. That is the same jersey number he used when he played for the New York Knicks and when “Linsanity” exploded in the basketball scene.
In his two-year stint with the Houston Rockets, the Taiwanese-American used a different jersey number (#7) and he did not deliver the same stats in Texas relative to his time in the Big Apple.
Jeremy Lin with New York Knicks (2011-2012): 14.6 PPG, 3.1 RPG, 6.2 APG in 26.2 MPG Jeremy Lin with Houston Rockets (2012-2014): 12.9 PPG, 2.8 RPG, 5.1 APG in 30.5 MPG
The numbers are actually very similar but if the minutes per game plus the role in the offense are considered then it’s safe to conclude that Lin’s play had a slight drop-off when he transferred from New York to Houston. To further emphasize this slight dip in stats, here are the more reliable per-36 numbers:
Season Averages (Per 36 minutes)
Jeremy Lin with New York Knicks (2011-2012): 19.6 PPG, 4.1 RPG and 8.3 APG Jeremy Lin with Houston Rockets (2012-2014): 15.2 PPG, 3.3 RPG and 6.0 APG
*points per game (PPG), rebounds per game (RPG), assists per game (APG) and minutes per game (MPG)
Blaming the change in the jersey number is moot if not, downright stupid. The reason for the dip in play is because of his change in role with the Rockets—he was primarily a back-up to Patrick Beverley and his head coach Kevin McHale did not trust him in stretches.
The situation will change a lot in his move to Hollywood. Lin will most likely grab the starting job in Los Angeles barring any miracle recovery from a 40-year-old Steve Nash.
Don’t expect Jeremy Lin to return to Linsanity form just because of the jersey number. But for the Los Angeles Lakers and Los Angeles Lakers fans who are expecting another tough season ahead, they will take the change in jersey number as a good omen and a positive start for Lin in L.A.