More so than other sports, leadership in the NBA season is a necessity due to the youth of players and the travel and grind of the regular season. A strong leadership presence is just as vital as having 20 point per game offensive machines that are capable of carry teams for stretches at a time. The Houston Rockets have mortgaged its future on wing stars James Harden and Jeremy Lin and the duo has recently proven that they will go further than put up points and hand out assists.
Jones recounted how Harden and Lin kept in contact with the Rockets players demoted down to the team’s D-League affiliate, the Rio Grande Valley Vipers.
“He texted me after almost every game, especially if I did good,” Jones told Feigen. “I texted him after his games, too, when I was down there. I talked to James (Harden) after almost every game. A lot of guys checked with me, but J-Lin especially. J-Lin was always texting everybody. J-Lin texted me every game pretty much every time I went down.”
It definitely helped to know he was watching, my teammates were cheering for me to do well down there. It means a lot.”
Feigen talked to Lin about the open lines of communication.
“I’ve been in those shoes before,” Lin said of his time initially struggling to find a spot in the NBA. “I know what it’s like. A little something like that, keeping up with them, making sure they feel a part of the team, and giving them that confidence, I think that’s really important for their growth as a player. I think for me, I still remember the D-League like yesterday. I still try to encourage them. Anything I can do to help them, I try to do.”
This inside information into the Rockets’ locker room isn’t just positive information, it’s an indication as to how the Rockets have been able to improve so radically in 2012-13.
Robert White covers the Houston Rockets for Rant Sports. Follow him on Twitter @RobertWhitebrrr.