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The Lin-sanity epidemic

Posted on 03.07.2012

An epidemic of Lin-sanity has arisen in New York and across the nation. The sudden increase in the wins column for the NBA’s New York Knicks has largely been credited to the performance of their young point guard, Jeremy Lin.

A movement deemed “Lin-sanity” has swept fans and media not only in this country but on the opposite side of the world as well. Lin jerseys are being created as fast as Lin fans. The craze for this sensational young player and his sudden demonstration of talent is irresistible to basketball lovers everywhere. Everyone wants to watch him play, buy his jersey and follow his story.

But how long will Lin-sanity continue?

It began on Feb. 4, when the he started his first game against the New Jersey Nets. Lin scored 25 points with seven assists, and the ball started rolling. Following that performance, Lin led the Knicks on a seven-game winning streak.

In 11 starts,  Lin has helped the Knicks from an mediocre 8-15 record to a 17-18 record, good enough for second in the Eastern Conference. He averages 14.4 points and nearly six assists per game. He has been clutch, he has played skillfully and he has made himself a household name.

He is basketball’s version of economic inflation.

The New York Knicks have been below average for nearly all of the 21st century. Call it a severe recession. With things in such poor shape, Knicks Head Coach Mike D’Antoni resorted to his third-string point guard,  Lin, who astoundingly became an instant hit. All of a sudden, money was pumping in from every direction, even from as far away as China, Lin’s home country. It is an economic stimulus that could lead the Knicks out of their slump.

But like inflation, it looks good until the prices start rising.

Jeremy Lin was undrafted out of Harvard University. He was waived from his hometown team, the Golden State Warriors, and arrived in New York in December of 2011. Young and inexperienced at the NBA level, he was deemed third-string on one of the NBA’s worst teams. And then he got his chance and his life has turned upside-down.

Lin seems to handle the sudden change in his life with poise, just as the NFL’s Tim Tebow did when Tebowmania arose in Denver.

Lin’s name has escalated in a matter of moments, but as the season heats up and turns toward playoff time, will Lin’s talent keep up with the pressure? Tebow’s didn’t. He was trampled by a more talented football team when the playoff  pressure arrived time.

Lin averages 5.8 assists per game, but he also averages 3.6 turnovers per game, bringing his assist-to-turnover ratio to 1.6. Generally at the college level, a 2-1 ratio is expected of point guards. Lin is in the NBA. The greatest coaches will tell you that turnovers can stifle the momentum of a team.

Lin has hit a hot streak. He plays hard and is a likeable player with a likeable story. The fans needed his upstanding character after the lockout because he is a hero who isn’t playing for money or begging the media for attention.

The media needed him because he sells. He’s an underdog who has risen to basketball stardom in a matter of one month.

The Knicks needed him to breathe some life into a struggling franchise.

When times are difficult, we all seek new means to attain success. But with quick fixes, the economy can fail. Lin is the story of the month, and that deserves a congratulations. However, he probably won’t be the story of the year.



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