HANG TIME HEADQUARTERS — This is rare air Knicks guard Jeremy Lin is breathing these days and we are all indeed witness to the phenomenon that has become the hottest sensation in the NBA, at least for the last three games.
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 last night in Washington D.C.
The last athlete to snatch the sports spotlight like this in his debut on the big stage, Tim Tebow? (It’s way before Lin’s or Tebow’s time, but you old heads might remember “Fernandomania” sweeping the sports world back in the early 1980s.)
“Linsanity” isn’t just an easy nickname, it’s an actual movement in New York that is gaining steam throughout the basketball universe. CNBC Sports Business reporter Darren Rovell reported this morning that “Lin’s highlights of his 1st breakout game (against the Nets) has had 1.27 million views on Sina’s NBA page.”
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.
“Linsanity” is obviously contagious. How else do you explain Tyson Chandler‘s 25 points and 11 rebounds in the Knicks’ 107-93 win over the Wizards last night? Chandler, a 10-year vet, was just two points shy of his career scoring high while feeding off of the energy of Lin’s 23 points and 10 assists.
The fact that Lin is doing all of this while Carmelo Anthony (injury) and Amar’e Stoudemire (family reasons) are not uniform only adds to the growing legend of the Harvard grad and former D-League performer with the buzz cut and flashy game. Three straight wins after the Knicks lost 11 of 13 certainly helps fuel the movement.
The sick highlights — “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.” — are just gravy on the feel good sandwich Knicks are chomping on right now.
Not everyone is feeling the good vibrations, though. Wizards coach Randy Wittman got word from an expert, his son Ryan played at Cornell and faced Lin in the Ivy League, was not impressed with the Wizards’ defensive effort.
“He told me that they did a much better job of guarding him than we did tonight,” Wittman said. “I already had that text message before the game was over. Makes Dad feel good.”
How long Lin’s New York Minute(s) lasts depends on if you truly believe in this movement.
His teammates are all in. Jared Jeffries told Newsday:
“The energy in this room, the camaraderie that we have right now, he’s kind of unified this team. He can take a lot of credit for that because his energy and how much he truly enjoys every moment he’s out there has unified and given our team a new energy.”
Knicks coach Mike D’Antoni insists that what you’re seeing from Lin, is the genuine item.
“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.”
If so, we have to come up with something better than “Linsanity” for this thing. Occupy has already been used up on in New York City, so we need to go in another direction.
And that’s where you come in. We need your help. We’ve got plenty of room for your suggestions and we’ll let you know in advance that your contributions are greatly appreciated!