Less than two days after Lin’s Rocket relaunch became official, Houston fans and business owners spent their Thursday afternoon dreaming of an electric basketball season. After letting go of key players such as Kyle Lowry and Luis Scola, Houston cashed in on the NBA’s most hyped offseason move since “The Decision.”
“Houston just got Linsane,” said Will Davis, the GM of Yao Restaurant and Bar near the Rockets’ home arena, the Toyota Center. “We want this place to be the home restaurant of Jeremy Lin.”
For Davis and other business owners in downtown Houston, Lin’s signing meant one sound: cha-ching. Davis has already been on the phone with the Rockets director of player development to arrange a welcome celebration for Lin at the restaurant.
“The first thing I said after he signed was, ‘Bring on the marketing train,’ ” Davis said.
Fans have responded. Bill Wang, the restaurant’s owner, said business has been good — even after the retirement of the restaurant’s namesake Yao Ming in 2011 — but more curious fans will certainly stop by just like they did when the former Rockets center was a frequent diner.
“A lot of Asian people have already been asking if Lin’s going to come here,” said Wang, whose restaurant has a Lin autograph hanging on the wall. “And I guarantee he’ll be back. He’s been here two times before.”
“The team did a marketing ploy,” Fletcher said. “And the Asian fans are certainly going to invest in tickets.”
Lin’s return means the potential of high jersey sales…