Long before there was Jeremy Lin, another Ivy League basketball star was the talk of the NBA – Bill Bradley, who helped lead the New York Knicks to two championships during a Hall of Fame basketball career that predated his time in the Senate.
For a “Top Line” interview this week, we asked Bradley for his take on “Linsanity,” a huge sports story this year that turned the Knicks – briefly – into the buzz of the NBA when the Harvard-educated Lin became a breakout star, before an injury ended his season early.
The lesson of Lin for the Knicks, Bradley said, is that there should be more players like him.
“There has to be a decision made to draft character not statistics, and do that for three or four years,” said Bradley, who led Princeton to a Final Four in 1965, then played for the Knicks from 1967 to 1977.
“I think Jeremy Lin is a really interesting player. He had 15 or 20 good games before he was injured. He has to be on a team though that moves without the ball so he can be at his best,” Bradley added.
He concluded with a lesson about basketball that may be applicable to politics.
“If he is on a team where they hold it down and play people one-on-one, then he is not going to be able to maximize his contribution to the team, and the team is not going to win a championship.”