The Giver of “Linsanity” Continues!
Jeremy Shu-How Lin. That’s his name, and this is one name that has been taking over the basketball world from day one. Right now, Lin is making all the papers, from being the ‘best of the best,’ to his own teammates and even enemies giving him ‘shout-outs’ as one of the most exciting players to ever set a sneaker on the court.
In fact, Lin is being held responsible for bringing the Knicks back to life; ushering them back into the spotlight of professional basketball where each and every fan is practically awestruck by Lin’s seemingly effortless moves on the court. By the way, this is not exactly some ‘empty-headed’ sports star, either. He is not the regular poster-child for basketball. In fact, Lin graduated from Harvard in 2010, and actually reached a ‘partially-guaranteed’ contract deal later that same year with his hometown team, the Golden Sate Warriors. Oddly enough, after only his first year, Lin was waived by the Warriors AND the Houston Rockets, before the Knicks brought him on board early in the 2011-2012 season. (I bet those other guys are crying in their beers right about now.)
The Knicks claimed Lin to be a backup behind Toney Douglas and Mike Bibby, after an injury took down guard, Iman Shumpert. Can you imagine a young man of this caliber sitting on a bench? It’s hard to see now, folks, let me tell you. As fate would have it, Lin made his season debut as the Knicks’ third-string point guard on the road against the Warriors, where he was given a truly warm homecoming by the fans. (Apparently, they were not the ones who wanted Lin to go somewhere else).
It was on January 17th, 2012, that Lin was assigned to the ‘Erie BayHawks’ of the D-League (not kidding). But three days later, Lin delivered a game that included 28 points, 11 rebounds, and 12 assists which, oddly enough, had the Knicks calling Lin back to the team immediately. (DUH!)
His troubles weren’t over. The Knicks did consider letting Lin go once again because his contract became guaranteed on February 10th, in order to sign a new player. However, after the Knicks completely messed-up a fourth quarter lead in a loss to the Celtics, the coach finally saw the light – or at last opened his eyes – and decided to give Lin a chance to play. In order to make himself seem a bit brighter, the coach commented that: “Players playing that well don’t usually come out of nowhere. It seems like they come out of nowhere, but if you can go back and take a look, his skill level was probably there from the beginning. It probably just went unnoticed.” (Duh, would yet again be the appropriate word to add here.)
The Knicks are climbing out of the muck and mire they seem to have been in for a good, long time now – on the back of Lin’s amazing ‘unnoticed’ ability.
There are others playing, of course, but simply look at a bit of this man’s track record and you will see the real story.
On February 4th Lin had 25 points, five rebounds, and seven assists (all career-highs) in the Knicks victory over the Nets.
February 10th, Lin scored 38 points and upset Kobe Bryant of the Lakers, to say the least. A new career-high for Lin, with seven assists, was responsible for the 92–85 victory. (He outscored Bryant who had only 34).
On February 11th, Lin scored 20 points and had 8 assists in a narrow 100–98 victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves. And the list goes on…
On February 14th, with less than a second remaining, Lin scored a game-winning three-pointer against the Toronto Raptors. This basket so amazed the Lakers watching on TV, that a veteran player ran by reporters shouting, “Linsanity! Linsanity!” and waving his hands above his head. THAT stuck!
New York has had a 7–0 record after Lin started receiving major playing time; 6–0 with him starting. And the Associated Press has stated that Lin has “already become the most famous (Asian-American NBA player) in history.” Knicks’ fans have had a great deal of fun making up nicknames for him – and Magic Johnson even commented that when he was inside Madison Square Garden the excitement that Lin caused was something he hadn’t seen in a very long time in the world of basketball.
The Knicks who – remember – had basically been ready to throw him into a slush pile – hustled in order to sell replicas of Lin’s No. 17 jersey, as well as t-shirts, making their online store sales immediately increase more than 3,000%.
Will this continue? When the players who are hurt and out return to the Knicks line-up, will Lin still be the ‘best of the best?’ We’ll see. But Sunday’s game against the Dallas Mavericks that the Knicks once again walked away with (104-97) was yet another ‘look’ at the meteoric rise of this young superstar.
This twenty-three-year-old man also has his very own idol that he looks up to. Jason Kidd, the Maverick’s point guard (the team they just had the win over) is someone that Lin truly admires. Speaking to reporters: “He’s a (San Francisco) Bay Area legend and I grew up in the Bay Area,” Lin, who led his Palo Alto, California, high school to a state championship, said. “I’ve admired him and watched him his whole career.”
Now add to that the fact that when Lin speaks to reporters, he never acts like one of those media morons who believes that he SHOULD be getting all the press and accolades. In fact, this is a very humble man who speaks about his love for his family and relatives living back in Taiwan, and even recently asked the media to “give them their space because they can’t even go to work without being bombarded and people following them.”
Huh? A fantastic ball player and a man who proved that he was NOT going to back down or go quietly into that goodnight simply because a bunch of men ‘didn’t notice’ his talent in the first place is also – on top of everything else – a humble, kind individual who loves his family? Maybe the press is right…maybe this IS someone from outer space. Because he’s certainly showing qualities that not many sports’ millionaires have ever shown before.
I say, keep up the “Linsanity!” So far…this guy really deserves it!