For his first years in the league, the book on Tony Parker read like the book on John Wall or even rookie Derrick Rose — back up and let him take the jumper.
But Parker developed both a steady outside shot and a floater in the lane that is the state-of-the-art in the NBA. That has allowed him to score without getting to the rim and opened up a lot of the game.
Parker said he sees a lot of his young self in Jeremy Lin, he told the Houston Chronicle.
“His shot will come,” Parker said. “Me too. I couldn’t hit a shot at the beginning of my career. I was still able to go to the basket. His shot will improve. It will help, definitely, his game. Definitely. When I start making the outside jumper on a consistent basis, that’s when I was more consistent with my performance.”
“It’s his first full year,” Parker said. “There is a lot of attention on him. I think you have to be patient with his growth. When I first came into the league, I was a little raw. I was very aggressive. At the same time, I had to learn the point guard position and when to score, when to pass and try to find that happy middle, find the balance. I think Jeremy Lin is at that point. He’s trying to find his position on the team. And he needs to fit with another guy who is very aggressive with James Harden. I had to do the same thing when I had Manu Ginobili being super aggressive. You have to find your spots. He will.”
Parker was a little more advanced as a rookie than Lin. He shot 41.9 percent from the floor and 32.3 percent from three, starting 72 games for a 58-win Spurs team. This season Lin is shooting 38.1 percent and 26.5 percent from three. Parker had a PER of 11.7 as a rookie and 16.5 his sophomore year. Lin had a PER of 19.9 (near All-Star level) with the Knicks last season that has fallen to 12.1 this season.
Parker is spot on, Lin has struggled as an offensive focal point teams have planned for, plus having to share the ball with the playmaking James Harden.
Which is to say Lin is on a steep learning curve, one a number of players have been on. Whether he can learn at anywhere near the level Parker did is another question.