'Linsanity' has taken over New York and Knicks fans couldn't be happier. With the star-stocked Knicks plodding through the first two months of the strike-shortened season, it became clear that -- despite having Melo, Stat and Chandler -- they didn't have a chance without an aggressive point guard with great court vision.
What fans didn't know was that Baron Davis, currently sidelined with a slipped disk, was not going to be their savior. Rather, it would be a Harvard grad, almost unknown outside of his hometown in the San Francisco Bay Area, who was in his second year after being released by both the Golden State Warriors and Houston Rockets.
Even with Davis injured, Jeremy Lin, the first Asian-American player of Chinese or Taiwanese descent to play in the NBA, had to wait for Mike Bibby and Tony Douglas to play themselves out of the starting role. He got his chance Feb. 4th coming off the bench against the New Jersey Nets, and coolly put up a career-high 25 points and to go with seven assists.
With Knicks fans needing to believe -- but still skeptical -- Lin came through two nights later, dropping 23 points and 8 more assists. It was a surreal scene at Madison Square Garden as giddy Knicks fans stood and chanted 'MVP' while Tina Cervasio interviewed Lin after the victory. Despite the chants, the scene barely drew a reaction from the hyper-focused Lin who seemed more concerned with complementing his teammates, deflecting praise and joining his teammates in the locker room.
Two days later, Lin, who still sleeps on teammate Landry Fields' couch, posted 23 points, 10 assists and four rebounds against John Wall and the Washington Wizards -- launching Knicks fans into a hyperbole-laden frenzy.
As radio stations compare him to Tim Tebow, and pundits point out that the last person to put up 28 points and eight assists in his first career start was Isaiah Thomas, merchandise companies seem to be just finding out about Jeremy Lin.
According to the New York Times, the first no. 17 jerseys went on sale on the Knicks website Thursday, but won't be delivered until Feb. 20. Promotional deals offered during the MSG broadcasts can only offer a signed Jeremy Lin game-worn sneaker while offering jerseys for other players. And while the genuine, stitched article won't be ready in time for the showdown with the Lakers, the MSG promotional staff has been pressing numbers onto blank, blue Lin jerseys in order to sell 200 of them at Friday's game.
His stretch of dominance at the point certainly hasn't been lost on the rest of the NBA however, with Steve Nash tweeting, "If you love sports you have to love what Jeremy Lin is doing. Getting an opportunity and exploding!!" Von Wafer sent Lin a message on Twitter, saying, "my dude I know the feeling keep killing these dudes but not when u play us though."Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times