Jeremy Lin probably will be the next player representative for the New York Knicks and might win a spot on the union’s executive committee, the head of the National Basketball Association players union said.
Billy Hunter said Lin, the second-year point guard with an economics degree from Harvard University who has led the Knicks on a seven-game winning streak and sparked what’s become dubbed “Linsanity,” expressed an interest to be more involved in the National Basketball Players Association.
“At the least he’d be the player representative for the Knicks,” Hunter said in a telephone interview. “If not something higher.”
Hunter didn’t give a reason for his projection of Lin’s union future. Amar’e Stoudemire is the current Knicks player representative, which teams elect each season. The job usually lasts one season, and if a player wants the spot he generally gets it.
Executive committee members serve three-year terms and are elected by the player representatives. The president serves a four-year term.
The NBA season started in December almost two months late after players and management agreed on a 10-year contract, ending a lockout. Player representatives were among the union negotiators.
Hunter said he would meet with the Knicks after the All-Star break, which is scheduled for Feb. 24-26.
“I’ll get a chance to sit and talk with Jeremy,” Hunter said.
Lin, 23, is the first Harvard graduate to reach the NBA since Ed Smith made 11 appearances for New York in 1953-54. He wasn’t drafted and was cut by two teams before signing with the Knicks in December, emerging as a starter earlier this month. He and the Washington Wizards’ Maurice Evans, a union vice president and part of the nine-member executive committee, share the same agent, Roger Montgomery.
The Knicks beat the Sacramento Kings 100-85 two nights ago at Madison Square Garden, with Lin getting a career-high 13 assists. A night earlier in Toronto, Lin waved off his teammates and sank the game-winning 3-point shot with less than a second remaining.
“Jeremy acts like a team representative already, on the court,” Knicks swingman Bill Walker said in an interview. “He’s a leader.”
Hunter said he’s more intrigued by Lin’s education than his sudden success on court.
“First of all, it’s not every day that you get a kid from Harvard,” Hunter said. “He’s very bright.”