Lakers’ Jeremy Lin is running out of time to make a good impression

Lakers guard Jeremy Lin signs autographs before Friday night's game at Utah.
(Rick Bowmer / Associated Press)

What to do with Jeremy Lin?

His first (and only?) season with the Lakers has been anything but incredible, his chances at resuscitating a career fading almost every week.

And there have been innuendoes about his toughness, especially compared with starter Ronnie Price.

“I’m pretty much one of those guys that believes that you’re either tough or you aren’t,” Lakers Coach Byron Scott said Friday. “I don’t think it’s something that you can inherit all of a sudden. You are what you are.

“I’m not saying that [Lin] is soft or anything like that. But Ronnie Price is a tough kid. Period. He’s always been that way. I don’t think you can make Ronnie anything other than what he is. And I think the same with Jeremy.”


To which Lin replied: “Each person has their own opinion. Whatever he said is how he feels. I have my way of playing. I don’t think I play soft. I think I do everything I can [defensively], make it as tough for everybody as I can, try to be a hassle on both ends of the floor, try to interrupt.”

Lin started the Lakers’ 94-85 loss Friday to Utah because Price’s right elbow was so sore he could barely lift it. Price, coincidentally, has worn a plastic mask in recent games because of a broken nose and a facial cut that required 11 stitches.

Lin, the highest-paid starter for either team in Friday’s game, had six points in 30 minutes. He made three of 10 shots and his three assists were canceled out by three turnovers.

To recap the last year for Lin, he lost his starting job in Houston, was traded to the Lakers mainly because a first-round pick was also attached to the deal and then lost his starting job with the Lakers.

He will be a free agent in July. He’s running out of time to impress 29 other teams after making $14.9 million this season.

“I don’t think he’s been great. I don’t think he’s been terrible either,” Scott said diplomatically. “He’s had his moments, but he still has to continue to get to that point where he is playing much more consistent basketball. And that’s on both ends of the floor.”

Miller time

Nick Young might not appreciate Reggie Miller — he was third on Young’s “best shooters ever” list, two spots below Young himself — but some people listened with interest when Miller talked about Kobe Bryant during Thursday’s game against Cleveland.

“I know exactly what Kobe is going through. In my 17th and 18th year, there were some games where I didn’t even know I had legs because they were so fatigued and sore,” said Miller, a TNT analyst and Hall of Fame inductee in 2012.

He added a best-ever list of his own.

“There are only two guards in the history of the game that I would take over Kobe Bryant,” he said. “One being Michael Jordan, the other being Magic Johnson. After that, Kobe Bryant is the best guard who has ever played this game.”

Twitter: @Mike_Bresnahan