By Joseph Staszewski
Scott Machado doesn’t want to compare himself directly to Jeremy Lin, his potential future teammate with the Houston Rockets, but the similarities are striking.
Both came from athletically underrated colleges — Machado from Iona and Lin from Harvard — and went undrafted, then having to listen to critics rip apart their games. While Machado considers himself a pass-first point guard and Lin is more of a scorer, the 6-foot-2 Queens native does want something Lin received: a chance.
“I feel like I was in the same situation he was last year,” Machado said of Lin. “He was undrafted, ended up going with a bunch of teams and ended up with the Knicks and did a good job. Now’s he’s got a big contract. He came from an underrated school and he was able to show his talents. I feel like I would be able to do that as well.”
Machado received an invitation to play with the Rockets in the recent NBA Summer League in Las Vegas and performed well. Machado has also been asked to attend Houston’s training camp in September. He is keeping his options open, though, as other teams are also interested.
Machado spent Saturday afternoon at Adelphi University playing in the second annual Malone Mulhall Benefit Basketball Game to benefit the foundations of Paige and Jamie Malone, and Michael Mulhall, who were killed in a car accident in July 2010.
“I feel like if I was able to do what I did in college, I feel like my game translates better in the NBA,” said Machado, a Knicks fan growing up. “If I am able to get that opportunity, I’ll be able to show people what I can do.”
If he is picked up by the Rockets, Machado said he has no problem backing up Lin, but wants to be a starting point guard down the road. He is coming off a stellar senior season at Iona. He helped turn the Gaels into a winner, leading Iona to the MAAC regular season title and the NCAA tournament. Machado did so while averaging 13.6 points and a Division I-best 9.9 assists. It earned him the Haggerty Award as the area’s top player this year.
“Hopefully, one day,” Machado said, “I’ll be starting on an NBA team.”