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Lin’sanity’: unnoticed star

 

You might be thinking what this Lin’sanity’ is, is this a new word of English or what but “Linsanity” isn’t just an easy nickname, it’s an actual movement in New York that is gaining steam throughout the basketball universe. Everybody is talking about Lin’sanity’ and so are we.

Jeremy Lin is the name from where Lin’sanity came. He is 6’3’’ from Harvard is an American professional basketball player with the New York Knicks of the National Basketball Association (NBA). He is off to a terrific start in his NBA carrier. This is rare air Knicks guard Jeremy Lin is breathing these days and has become the hottest sensation in the NBA, at least for the last 5 games. He has taken the league by storm. He just can’t get a much better start than this. Lin is off to the best scoring start (109 points) to a career of any player since the 1976 NBA/ABA merger; Allen Iverson has the old mark of 101. He’s fuelled five straight wins for the Knicks. His performances have rattled the basketball world to its foundations. Many presumed it would come crashing to an end Friday night with the Los Angeles Lakers in town and Kobe Bryant ready to stomp through the Lin parade. Career-high 38-points and seven assists later, it was clear that Lin is here to stay a little longer. He just outperformed one of the best players Kobe Bryant who also has 34 points in the same game. Saturday it continued. Even on a brutal shooting night (1-for-12 after halftime), he found a way to outshine Timberwolves rookie phantom Ricky Rubio, sinking the game-clinching free throw with 4.6 seconds left for a win in Minnesota. He is exotic, the first Chinese-American in a black man’s game. He is awkwardly coached, hailing from that hoops hotbed of Harvard. He’s a true underdog who didn’t register strongly on any general manager’s radar in the Draft, was cut and played in the NBA Development League. Up until a few weeks ago, he was an afterthought on the very team he’s now saving from disaster. Before Lin, Mike D’Antoni‘s job was being discussed with regularity on the radio. Carmelo Anthony was almost in tears as he slumped in front of his locker, following a sucker-punch of a defeat to the Nuggets. Their backcourt was thin on talent. They were 8-15 when, because of injuries and also because they really had nothing to lose, Lin was thrust into the action against the Nets last week. Up until that Nets’ game, he’d played only 48 minutes, scored 30 points, and didn’t get any run in 13 of 23 NBA games. But now Knicks are 7-1 with Lin. The last player to record 20 or more points and eight or more assists in his first two NBA starts, LeBron James. Lin made it three straight 20-point games and established new career-highs in assists in each of those three starts. “Linsanity” is obviously contagious. Lin has simply made the most of his opportunity. He is simply destined to be in the right place and the right time. Jeremy is so determined and took the opportunity when he saw it. He made the best of it. He is just shattering the defence. What’s been most impressive is that he never doubted himself. He’s always maintained a certain amount of confidence that he could do it when given the opportunity. It’s not about whether or not he leads them to a championship or is an All-Star but definitely he has proved that he is an NBA player. He had 36 turnovers in his first six starts. Lin was named the Eastern Conference Player of the Week after averaging 27.3 points, 8.3 assists and 2.0 steals in those four starts with the Knicks going undefeated. He is the first NBA player to score at least 20 points and seven assists in each of his first four starts. He has a sweet taste of fame and success and hungers for more. But he has lot to learn like defences can figure him out, cut down his lanes, force him to shoot, which again he doesn’t do exceedingly well yet. For Lin, basketball was always more than a hobby, even if talent evaluators didn’t spot his potential. No Division I universities offered him a basketball scholarship. No NBA teams risked one of their draft picks on him. In fact, two NBA teams cut him before the Knicks signed Lin last month. In less than two weeks’ time, the Knicks’ television ratings have jumped, Lin jerseys have sold out and ticket prices have skyrocketed. Lin’s own Twitter account has exploded to more than 365,000 followers.

After Lin hit the game-winning shot at Toronto earlier this week, a reporter asked, “Can you believe this is happening to you?” The player slowly bobbed his head from side to side, letting the question bounce around a bit. “No,” he finally said. “But I believe in an all-powerful, all-knowing God who does miracles.” “My identity is in Christ and not in basketball,” Lin said this week. “I love playing basketball, and it’s my job. But at the same time, I still recognize I’m a sinner and that’s not going to change regardless of how well I play on the court.” Lin says he wants “to be the same person before and after,” this wave of attention.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hCzaXGWbfm8[/youtube]

Here is what other players and coaches have to say about him:

All of that would have been hard for some college coaches to have predicted while watching film of Lin as a skinny, average-shooting guard at Palo Alto High School, even though he was a standout for the modest program, leading it to a 32-1 record and an upset of the power house Mater Dei in the 2006 California Division II championship game.

“He was a good student, a good player and, yeah, it’s amazing what he was doing,” said Steve Donahue, now the coach at Boston College, said in a recent telephone interview. “But he didn’t look that athletic and he didn’t shoot it that entire well. Even after his freshman year at Harvard, you didn’t give it a second thought that we made a mistake.”

Brooks said. “No. He’s a player. The system has nothing to do with that kid playing as well as he’s playing. Opportunity has nothing to do with it. You can give players opportunities every day of the week to play and they are not going to do as well as that guy. “It’s never been done before. Words can’t describe it. I played at a very low level in this league. But what he’s doing, nobody would have ever guessed it. He’s doing it and they’re winning, which is the No. 1 thing you’re playing the game for.

“I think everybody is keeping one eye on him,” the Thunder’s Kevin Durant said with a grin on Tuesday night. “I mean, I don’t know that guy from a can of paint, but I’m happy for him. I’m rooting for him. “Guys this locker room are not fans in terms of being in awe of other guys. But we see the good plays. We respect the good players. We respect the good teams. You have to respect what the guy is doing. “It’s a little different than it was for me, because I was the No. 2 pick and I was supposed to do that. For him, people didn’t think he’d even come close to that. So that’s the unique thing about it. I’m so happy for him that he’s out there proving people wrong. He’s gotten his chance and he’s taking full advantage of it.”

“He has the ability and he has the talent to play like this every night,” coach D’Antoni told reporters. “I think it’s real.”

 ”I didn’t know he could dunk,” Chandler said, “When he’s going in for the dunk I’m like ‘no Jeremy, just lay the ball up.’ And all of a sudden he dunks it and I was probably just as excited as the crowd was.”

When Suns star and two-time MVP Steve Nash is Tweeting about you in the middle of the night” If you love sports you have to love what Jeremy Lin is doing. Getting an opportunity and exploding!!” You know you’re on to something. Nash tweeted his appreciation for the breakout star after Lin’s latest big night: “It’s crazy! I’m watching Linsanity hoping every shot goes in. Hope I never grow up.”

Kobe said,” Players playing that well don’t usually come out of nowhere. It seems like they come out of nowhere, but if you can go back and take a look, his skill level was probably there from the beginning. It probably just went unnoticed.”

Yao Ming said, “What I see from Jeremy and what I hear in his interviews is he appreciates everything. He pursues his dream. His attitude is so peaceful, but there is strength to him. It is not a violent strength like fire or something aggressive. It is like the ocean, very peaceful, very quiet when you look at it. But you can never underestimate the power that is in there.”

But Knicks winning streak was hampered by New Orleans Hornets. Lin played well but was bit sloppy. Lin put up 26 points and five assists but also tallied eight of his nine turnovers in the first half which cost them the match. Lin has 45 turnovers in his first seven starts. That is an NBA record (since 1977-78). Glenn Robinson is second with 38, according to the Elias Sports Bureau. 

After the game this is what Lin has to say “It was just a lacklustre effort on my part coming out and [being] careless with the ball. Nine turnovers is obviously never going to get it done from your primary ball-handler. It’s on me in terms of taking care of the ball and the game in general. If everyone’s going to credit me for these last seven games, then I definitely deserve this one. So that’s fine by me.”

So we have to wait and watch that is this just a “short lived fame or a rise of star”.