Perhaps they didn't know he worked in the offseason with a shooting coach to correct a perimeter game that was a weakness. Or weren't aware that he asks assistant coaches to have tape available in the morning for extra study before practicing.
Even Smart, now in Sacramento, wouldn't have pursued Lin in December had he already been in his current role.
"Again, at that time in the season, you had every NBA team could have said this is the guy. No one knew he was going to be the guy," Smart said. "Let's say now, Jeremy Lin is available now. You have everyone knocking on the door. But at that particular time, he was just another released player, free agent, let's take a chance on him. That's where he was."
But there were indicators Lin might be ready for breakthrough in New York.
The Knicks, like Smart's Warriors, run a pick-and-roll system, so Lin naturally picked up the offense. That's why, D'Antoni has said, teams ideally draft players suited for their style.
So, if nothing else, Lin's story provides a lesson to the many scouts lining up to look at all those stars from Kentucky, Syracuse, Ohio State and the other big programs.
Better not forget about the little guys.
"(Lin's) on his way toward a lifetime career now because he's managing to master playing basketball in the Mecca of basketball and playing very well in it," Smart said.
AP Sports Writer Jon Krawczynski in Minneapolis contributed to this report.
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