Another Lin-credible™ Story
If you’re a sports fan, you’ve definitely heard of the term “Linsanity” by now. If you haven’t, Google it and you’ll get about 100 million results, thousands of blogs referring to it, a hundred puns relating to it and a soon-to-be-added listing on Wikipedia next to the definition of “Tebowing”.
Linsanity refers to Jeremy Lin, the newly installed starting point guard for the New York Knicks, who has single-handedly created such a stir that you would think that it was the early 90’s and the NBA was relevant again.
Lin, a relatively unknown athlete who was overlooked by the big-time college basketball programs, undrafted by the pros, and dumped after stints with Golden State and Houston, and briefly demoted by the Knicks, has become a sports superstar in less than two weeks (seven games).
If Lin was playing for a small market team, his story might not have received this much exposure, but he’s playing for the Knicks. Between the New York spotlight; the overwhelming Facebook and Twitter posts and the Tim “Tebow-mania” comparisons, Lin has gone from an unknown to an overnight sensation.
The funny thing is…. if it wasn’t for the perfect storm of injuries and circumstances, Jeremy Lin may have never had the chance to show what he could do. New York had actually considered releasing Lin before his contract became guaranteed on February 10th so they could sign a new player. However, in the absence of the Knicks’ two highest-profile stars, Carmelo Anthony and Amare Stoudemire, Lin has shined and an unbelievable story has evolved.
So what has Lin done with his opportunity? Since coming off the bench in New Jersey 12 days ago, he’s only racked up 171 points in six games (average of 24.4/ppg), 64 assists (9.1 average) and led the slumping Knicks to seven straight wins. Orders for his jersey are on a two-week backorder and the MSG Network has seen all-time highs in viewership.
Even I tuned in last night to watch the game…and you know how much I love the NBA. Lin rewarded me by hitting a 3-pointer in the final second to give the Knicks a 90-87 win over the Toronto Raptors. If I hadn’t been paying attention, I would have guessed they were playing in New York by the cheers, but they were actually playing in Toronto.
It will be interesting to see how the NBA takes advantage of this and how they start marketing themselves around Lin. How can you have an All-Star game this year without the most talked about player in the league? The NBA and ESPN can’t go an entire weekend without a mention of Jeremy Lin? Can they? Not likely. Obviously, he hasn’t earned a spot on the All-Star roster, but the league will find a way to put him in a skills competition.
The greatest part about Lin’s sudden success is that he got his opportunity and made the most of it. Many times in his short career he could have given up (he does have a Harvard education to fall back on), but he didn’t. Do I think that his amazing run will continue? Probably not. Teams will start watching him, learning his weaknesses and preparing their game plans to stop him, but I still think he’s talented and he’s providing a spark for both the Knicks and the NBA, which is making both at little more interesting to watch.