Jeremy Lin, Starting Point Guard for the New York Knicks
Football is over, and there is a new sensation captivating the minds of the American public: Jeremy Lin. This Harvard grad is unique, because he is the first American player in the NBA of Chinese or Taiwanese descent, and he is quickly becoming a polarizing force in the NBA.
Lin grew up in California, where he led Palo Alto High School to a state title in 2006. Harvard was one of only two Division-1 Schools in the nation that guaranteed Lin a spot on their basketball team. By the time Lin was a sophomore, he was already on the All-Ivy League 2nd team. In his junior year, he broke out onto the scene in a big way by ranking in the top 10 of the Ivy League in scoring, rebounding, assists, steals, blocks, field goal percentage, free throw percentage, and 3 point percentage. Needless to say, he was a consensus All-Conference selection that year. In his final year with the Crimson he was a finalist for the Bob Cousy Award (Best Point Guard) and led Harvard to its winningest season of all time.
Despite his prolific college career, Jeremy was undrafted in the 2010 NBA draft. Although nobody drafted him, he was chosen for the Dallas Mavericks summer league roster, where he earned contract offers from 3 NBA teams. Lin decided to sign with his home team, the Golden State Warriors, where he stayed for a year, but was cut via the amnesty clause at the conclusion of the 2011 NBA lockout.
Lin celebrating in a win over the Utah Jazz
The New York Knicks picked up Lin in late December and assigned him to the D-League a couple weeks later. Three days after joining the Ernie BayHawks, Lin had a triple double with 28 points, 11 rebounds, and 12 assists. Three days later, the Knicks called him back up to the big leagues. This past Saturday, Lin scored 25 points along with 7 assists against Deron Williams' New Jersey Nets. In his first NBA start, this Monday, Lin followed up his previous performance with a 28 point, 8 assist showing against the Utah Jazz. Yesterday, he built on those two performances with a 23 points, 10 assists, and this monster dunk after crossing over 2010 #1 Overall pick John Wall. (Funny how things come full circle, right?)
Lin will face a real challenge when the Knicks play host to the legendary Los Angeles Lakers tomorrow. Although this is not the Lakers team of years past, the psychological ramifications are huge: If he comes up big, he will be here to stay; If he falls flat, expect nothing more than mediocrity.
Prediction: Knicks - 101 Lakers - 91. Jeremy Lin is looking for another game with 20 or more points, as Amar'e Stoudemire and Carmelo Anthony will be absent once again. Black Mamba beware, LINSANITY is on the rise.