The NBA confirmed that the seemingly out-of-nowhere New York Knicks star will play in the Rising Stars Challenge on Feb. 24, giving fans a chance to see the player that the New York Times and USA Today dedicated a combined 13 stories to in their Friday editions. Yeah, he's that big.
Linsanity is so big that even NBA Commissioner David Stern apparently is unable to stop it. Stern had told USA Today that Lin would not play because the pool of 18 players had already been chosen. However, that decision was apparently reversed Thursday once someone in the league office realized that Lin had 136 points in his first five starts.
The move makes sense to Challenge general manager Charles Barkley, who told the Associated Press that it was "really stupid the NBA denied him in the beginning."
Unfortunately for Barkley, he'll have to find a way to stop Lin if he wants to save face in front of his NBA colleagues. Shaquille O'Neal, the game's other GM, selected Lin with the third pick in the challenge draft.
Lin, the first American-born NBA player of Chinese or Taiwanese decent, was little more than an NBA bench warmer until Feb. 4, when he made his first NBA start. Since then, the Harvard graduate has played a leading role in the Knicks' current seven-game winning streak.
He now has a legion of fans and fellow players who've been following his rise to stardom.