Ken Goldfield for New York Daily News
Scott Machado (c.), out of Iona, looks to make room for himself in the NBA - possibly as Jeremy Lin's teammate.
Scott Machado, the former Iona point guard, is a committed Knicks fan. But he stopped short of saying he was an admirer of Linsanity last season when Jeremy Lin was electrifying the league with his come-from-nowhere play. Â
âI wasnât on his bandwagon,â Machado said. âI was a Knicks fan and we were winning with him, so I was just happy.â
Machado went undrafted last month but caught on with the Houston Rockets summer league team. Now, armed with an invite to the Rockets training camp, Machado has a chance to make the team and possibly back up Lin at point guard.
Machado is subdued and naturally polite, but in comments he made Saturday following a charity game, it was clear Machado is not as charmed with Lin as the Houston Rockets, who signed Lin to a back-loaded three-year $25 million contract earlier this month.
âI feel like Jeremy Lin is a good player - nothing against his game - but I want to show my talent and be able to play there as well,â Machado said. âIf I have to sit behind him for a little while then thatâs fine, but hopefully one day Iâll be starting for an NBA team.â
Machado said heâs in discussion with several other NBA teams and itâs possible he never makes it to the Rockets training camp. The Rockets purged most of their roster after last season and lost unrestricted free agent Goran Dragic to Phoenix and traded Kyle Lowry to Toronto, making the team especially thin at point guard. Based on his senior season at Iona, when he led the nation in assists, Machado is confident in his ability to run a team. Machado also agreed with a reporter who suggested he probably had a better college career than Lin, who played at Harvard.
âHeâs shown what he could do, and like you said, I had a better college career than he did,â Machado said. âAnd he just got a chance to show what he can do. Heâs more of a scorer, and Iâm more of a real point guard. It would be fun for a while [backing Lin up], but I wouldnât like it. Iâd want to play. Itâs a business and theyâre going to do what theyâre going to do.â
At the same time, Machado acknowledged his NBA career bears a resemblance to Linâs start. The charity game that Machado participated in Saturday at Adelphi University honored the lives of Jamie and Paige Malone, a well as Michael Mulhall, who were killed in a 2010 car crash.
âI feel like Iâm in the same situation he was last year,â Machado said of Lin. âHe was undrafted, ended up with a bunch of teams and ended up with the Knicks, and he ended up doing a good job with the Knicks. Now, he got a big contract and heâs an excellent player. I feel like he has a lot of talent, and he came from an underrated school, and he was able to show his talent. So I feel Iâll be able to do that as well.â
But backing him up?
âIâll back him up if I have to,â Machado said with a smile.