In case you've missed it, there's a six-foot three-inch Asian kid, who played his college ball at that perennial New England basketball powerhouse of Harvard, who has seemingly been teleported to Earth from the basketball deities to turn the NBA on its head. Writers, media personalities, and fans have taken to Facebook and Twitter to document their elation on the newest, most fascinating feel good story of the year, Jeremy Lin.
The only issue is that some people have spent the better part of the last week drudging up every comparison to Tim Tebow they can possibly think of. STOP IT! It's an utterly ridiculous comparison. After all, Jeremy Lin can actually pass.
I was in the Garden last Friday night when the newly anointed Taiwanese Basketball Jesus met up with the Black Mamba (Kobe Bryant) to slug it out. Let me reiterate what I just wrote: Jeremy Lin, a former D-Leaguer from the Crimson, showed up to outduel one of the five best players of all time.
In the fourth quarter, when Lin stoically drilled a deep jumper from the corner right in front of the Lakers bench, the roar that reverberated throughout the Garden was deceiving enough to make you think it was Game Seven of the NBA Finals. I've been to about thirty Knicks games over the past two years, and nothing could compare to the fervor in the Garden last Friday.
Under Supreme Allied Commander General Lin, the Knicks have reeled off seven straight victories. However, the combined record of those seven teams is just 84-105, with only the Lakers being a top five-ranked defense. And even then, they’re a measly 5-10 away from the Staples Center, and not a team you'd consider atop the hierarchy of NBA talent this season.
So the reality is that this wasn't the NBA Finals. It was essentially a meaningless game before the All-Star break at the tail end of an East Coast swoon for the Lakers, following an all-out slugfest in Boston the night before.
So like all things in life, a certain matter of perspective should certainly be applied to the newest rock star that has us all on the edge of our seats. Yet here's the best part about the marvel that has become Jeremy Lin — rational or not, witnessing Linsantity is like sitting at a poker table waiting on the flop; it's bloody exciting, and way too much fun.
Can it last? Is he a product of Mike D'Antoni’s system, or is he the legit point guard the Knicks and their aficionados have been publicly Tebowing for? The answer is simple — it's both. After Lin called his own number in a one-four iso set on Tuesday night to ice the upstart Raptors, I immediately ran to the phone to call my best friend Eddy (who is a college coach) and had him walk me through every nook and cranny of Mike D's offense. The fundamental truth about the rise of Jeremy Lin is that yes, it makes it sense, yes it can continue, and yes, he's in the perfect environment for him to continue playing at torrid pace.
The reality of Linsantity is somewhat ironic. There isn't a coach in the world aside from D’Antoni that could or would stomach his point guard averaging six turnovers a game (Lin's average over the last six games). Yet there also isn't any other coach in the world who can seemingly empower a point guard like he can. I saw Ray Felton run this offense and look great, then I saw Iman Shumpert and Toney Douglas look like one-year-olds with their shoelaces tied together when they tried to do it. Jeremy Lin in D’Antoni’s offense is like Joe Pesci in a Martin Scorsese film. Sure, Joe can be a great talent on his own (Vincent LaGuardia Gambini), but put him with the right cast and with the right director, and you get Tommy DeVito (Goodfellas), or Nicky Santoro (Casino).
While the chants of M-V-P for Lin are more premature than I would be on a date with Brooklyn Decker, the inevitable truth is that the Lin train isn't slowing down anytime soon.
Jeremy Lin has every basketball attribute to not only be successful in this offense, but to someday be a star. He's smart, has real shooting range, can get to the rim and draw fouls, plays like his hair is on fire, reads the pick-and-roll to perfection, and is athletic enough to actually impose his will on his opponents.
Here's the most ironic part about the sensation that is Lin-sanity: the biggest star right now in Gotham didn't even have his minimum contract guaranteed until the middle of the week. James Dolan has seemingly thrown good money after bad in an effort to populate the Knicks roster with the right collection of stars as if he's casting an Ocean's film. Lo and behold, it's a kid who was sleeping on his brother's sofa (now he's in the Trump Tower), and not the guy with the penthouse condo in Tribeca who has brought the Garden to life.
People continue to argue that the NBA is a superstar league, yet the almost Shakesperian paradox is that it's Carmelo Anthony — the superstar — who’s going to have to morph his game to fit his seemingly antithetical component to Lin’s game.
While the chants of M-V-P for Lin are more premature than I would be on a date with Brooklyn Decker, the inevitable truth is that the Lin train isn't slowing down anytime soon. Last year I had to listen to every Knicks fan complain about not having a "legit seven-footer" to play center. This year the commonly held edict was that "we needed a legit point guard." Well, now they have both, and the pure best scorer in the league to boot. Could the sky in fact be the limit?
Fan Hub Action
Michael T Carr May 16th
Another good article, Craig Lowell.
Charlie Lobosco May 1st
This is a very compelling story because Mr. Collins is a very passionate, tough, intelligent, athelete taking on some additional responsibliity to help others as…
Scott Cohen May 1st
Charlie.. very well said.. he does have guts
Scott Cohen May 1st
but it shouldn’t require guts. .like you said it’s nobody’s business but his own
Hisham Zameeth April 30th
best player ever…..
Kareem Musa Mayowa April 29th
We don’t need to be hopeless about the situation bryant his. Because even david villa situation also up to the level of his own to…
Maritess Lim April 28th
I still believe in KOBE’s power…… He is still the best…… He will make it possible no matter what……
mimi_aragon84 April 28th
I feel no pity for him. First of all, it is EAGLE, COLORADO, not Eagleton, secondly he enjoyed success and adulation from fans from 2003…
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