The Linsational Story of Jeremy Lin & NY Knicks
Every once and awhile a story comes along in the world of professional sports that captures the attention of not only the die-hard fans but the general public as well. This season in the NFL, Denver quarterback Tim Tebow was all the rage, but in the last 10 days or so there has been an even bigger phenomenon in the world of sports and his name is Jeremy Lin.
Lin was a reserve guard on the New York Knicks roster soaking up time on the bench, when an injury to perennial All-Star Carmelo Anthony opened-up a spot for him in the starting lineup. The impact was immediate as he knocked-down 25 points in a 99-92 victory over the New Jersey Nets on Feb.4 to help New York post just its second win in its last seven games.
Two nights later, Lin went 10-for-17 from the floor and 1-for-3 from three point range to tally 28 points in a 99-88 win over Utah. Against Washington last Wednesday, his legend began to grow with 23 points in a 107-93 victory over the Wizards, and Lin became an all-out media sensation when he scored 38 points in a 92-85 win over the Los Angeles Lakers last Friday night. He recorded his fifth-straight 20+ point game this past Saturday as the Knicks ran their current winning streak to five games with a 100-98 victory over Minnesota.
What makes this story so improbable is the fact that Lin was basically written-off as a legitimate basketball player out of high school despite leading Palo Alto to a 32-1 record and California Division II state title. After failing to receive a scholarship to any of the schools from the PAC-10, he decided to go to Harvard as a walk-on because it guaranteed him a spot on the team.
Lin was named to the All-Ivy Second Team as a sophomore and was named to the first team in both his junior and senior year. ESPN pegged Lin as one of the 12 most versatile players in college basketball as a senior, but was completely passed over in the 2010 NBA Draft.
Undeterred, he accepted an invitation to play Summer League with the Dallas Mavericks. After an impressive performance in five games, he was offered a contract by a few teams but decided to sign with the Golden State Warriors in order to play in front of his home-town crowd. Lin was the first American of Chinese decent to ever play in the NBA and became an instant hero with the large Asian-American population in the San Francisco Bay Area. Lin’s stint with the Warriors lasted until the first day of this season’s training camp after they decided to waive him on Dec.9.
The Knicks claimed Lin off waivers on December 27 as a possible third-string guard, but he was assigned to the Erie BayHawks in the NBA’s Developmental League. He was quickly recalled and given a chance to start when Anthony went down with the groin injury. Lin’s overnight success has made him the first player ever to score at least 20 points and seven assists in his first five NBA starts and is already being regarded as the most famous Asian-American player in the history of the league.
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