It's not hard to reason this one but you migh...
The Associated Press has dubbed this 23-year-old point guard "the most surprising story in the NBA," and with good reason! Within days of making his first ever NBA start for the New York Knicks, Jeremy Lin has broken several records and stereotypes, and is in the process of changing his club's fortunes.
The Harvard alum--who surprisingly played college basketball without a scholarship--is the first player from the academically-inclined Ivy League to play in the NBA since 2003. He is also only the third player from Harvard to ever play in the NBA. The last time a Harvard alum played in this league was back in 1954 when Ed Smith played a season for--you guessed it--the New York Knicks.
However, the similarities between Smith and Lin end there. While Smith was a 6'6" wiry forward, Lin is a 6'3" dynamic point guard; unlike Smith, who was the 6th overall draft pick, Lin went undrafted in the 2010 NBA draft.
But Lin was offered meager contracts by a couple of NBA teams, including his hometown club, the Golden State Warriors. Although the Warriors offered him less money, Lin was keen on staying in his native Bay Area and representing a team he had cheered for growing up.
Unfortunately for Lin, his stint with the Warriors afforded him limited playing time, and not a single start. Having said that, his popularity knew no bounds given the sizable Asian population in the Bay Area. As a result, his jerseys were selling like hot cakes, despite him not really making an impact... yet!
Lin spent most of last season in the D-League (or the development league) trying to work on his game and finally, hoping to start in the big league someday. However, the Warriors waived the Chinese-American star-in-the-making on December 9, 2011. He was quickly claimed by the Houston Rockets, who also waived him on December 24, 2011.
Lin was then picked up by the New York Knicks, who assigned him to their D-League team, the Erie BayHawks on January 17, 2012. Meanwhile, the Knicks were all set for their newest acquisition, star guard, Baron Davis to make his New York debut.
But as luck would have it, Davis was unable to start for the Knicks, and coach Mike D'Antoni, impressed by Lin's D-League performances, decided to give him a try. His decision was also motivated by a careless loss to the Boston Celtics, which saw the Knicks give up a decent fourth quarter lead.
Cashing on his team's and Davis' misfortunes, Lin scored 25 points, five rebounds, and seven assists on February 4, 2012 against the New Jersey Nets. Not known for a flashy playing style, Lin is basketball basics personified. His clinical approach to the game saw him score 28 points and eight assists in his first career start against the Utah Jazz. He followed it up with 23 points and 10 assists against the Washington Wizards in the next game.
'Linsanity' was gripping New York, and Jeremy Lin's jersey became the highest seller in the NBA! However, no one expected him to do what he did against Kobe Bryant and the Los Angeles Lakers on February 10, 2012. Lin scored a whopping 38 points and seven assists, and helped the Knicks to a comfortable 92-85 win--for the record, he even outscored Kobe Bryant for the night!
Thanks to Lin's accurate three-point shooting and great pass play, the Knicks are now on a seven-game winning streak despite not having stars like Baron Davis and Carmelo Anthony on the court. In fact, Lin, who many thought was going to be waived off by the Knicks before February 10--the day his contract was due to be fully guaranteed--is now the true star of this struggling franchise.
His first four career starts produced 109 points, which is an NBA record. He's also become the first player to average at least 20 points and seven assists in his first four NBA starts.
Clearly, this one-of-a-kind player is not a one-hit wonder! He's proven night after night that he can match up with the best in the business and prevail. While he may not have the flash and swagger typical to most stars in the league, he's the kind of player who can keep his wits about him when the chips are down.
Little wonder why the whole world is now sitting up and taking notice of this formerly underrated point guard. Even we acknowledge the impact he's had on the NBA in just the last few days, and proclaim him our 'Sports Hero of the Week!'
Here's what happened when Jeremy Lin took on the LA Lakers:
Here's Jeremy Lin sinking a last-second three-pointer without any hint of nervousness:
Update: The Knicks lost versus New Orleans to end their winning streak, with Lin having a sub-par night, but Linsanity continues to grip the basketball world!
-Pictures courtesy Reuters-
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