[Photo courtesy of USA Today]
By Kevin Smith, staff writer, @Kevsmith88
Linsanity. Linning. Linderella.
These are a few of the many puns pressed onto the surprising sensation that is Jeremy Lin.
His sudden ascension from the last seat on the bench to the Knicks starting point guard has seemingly saved their season from being an epic failure.
Analysts and fans alike have penned Lin as another Tim Tebow. But that can not be further from the truth.
Tebow’s rise centered around his humble words and religious background while leading the Denver Broncos from the ashes to a playoff berth.
The only comparison that holds truth is the humbleness displayed by the former Harvard graduate.
But the fascination does not end with his ties to the Crimson. It goes to his ethnicity — Asian-American.
Lin has spoken of being overlooked and after going undrafted, being waived by three different teams and almost cut from the Knicks in early January — the 23-year-old has experienced ups and downs.
Now imagine where the Knicks would be without their newest star.
New York had a record of 8-15 before Lin became a full-time starter. He has since led them to an 8-2 record since that point, once again making the Knicks a dangerous team.
Lin is averaging 14.4 points per game to go along with 5.8 assists in helping the Knicks discover their identity — a pass-first team that moves the ball with rapid efficiency.
This philosophy led them to surprise wins over the Los Angeles Lakers and the defending NBA Champion Dallas Mavericks.
The only aspect one can point to as a need for improvement is his penchent for turnovers, but his high minutes played per game can be a factor.
Off the court Lin has had an even bigger impact.
He owns the highest selling jersey in the NBA, helped Madison Square Garden’s stock rise by 11 percent and increased sales and traffic to the Knicks online site by more than 4,000 percent
His impact is even felt on the road.
Lin’s stardom led to sell-outs in both Toronto and Minnesota, including a standing ovation as his buzzer-beating 3-pointer delivered a Knicks win over the Rapters.
His story exemplifies the old saying of never giving up.
Through trials and turbulations, Lin’s confidence has never wavered.
Now, through 10 games as a starter Lin has facinated and captivated many, becoming both the story of the year and inspiration for those who have also been overlooked.