Lin was part of Parker’s motivation. But just part.

Tony Parker said the rights things.

He said Jeremy Lin will be a good player. He said he attacked the basket because Tyson Chandler was out. And he said a post-All Star Game slump was reason enough to be ready to play.

I believe all of it.

But Parker keeps up with news around the league, and he’s seen how his peers have reacted to Linsanity. Parker also likes the stage.

So here’s the guess: Parker didn’t need the motivation, but he still used his first game against Lin as another way to find the gear he had lost lately.

It’s all unfair to Lin. He never asked for the attention, and he was never what the publicity made him out to be. Now he’s being treated as if he’s failing, when he’s just another guy trying to earn his place in the league.

“He’s really just a rookie,” Parker said, and he meant that with kindness.

Parker was a rookie once, after all, starting for a contender. But even as a teenager, even running an offense with two Hall of Fame big men, Parker had less pressure than Lin has now.

Lin also has less of a system to work with. Without Chandler, Mike D’Antoni’s defense looked the way it often did in Phoenix. The Spurs shot 54 percent and scored 118 points, and Lin wasn’t responsible for all of that.

Parker scored 32 points, all right, with Lin trying to defend him most of the second half. But Parker also stuck 42 on Russell Westbrook, and Oklahoma City had Serge Ibaka behind him.

As Parker was leaving the locker room Wednesday night, he was asked if he would have still gone to the basket with Chandler playing. Sure, he said, smiling, because he goes to the basket against everyone.

“When you are talking about quickness,” Lin said of Parker afterward, “he is up there with a select few.”

It’s willingness to use that quickness in the lane that got Parker to the All-Star Game again. But it’s as if he relaxed with the honor, most notably against Derrick Rose, and he needed to find the aggression that has made him one of the league’s best. This is where Lin came in.

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