Jeremy Lin: NBA Experts Sound off as Linsanity Sweeps Big Apple

Eric BowmanFeatured ColumnistFebruary 9, 2012

Jeremy Lin: NBA Experts Sound off as Linsanity Sweeps Big Apple

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    Jeremy Lin continues to shine bright for the New York Knicks, carrying the team to three straight victories by scoring over 20 points in each game. 

    The Knicks were in dire need of a spark, and they're very thankful Lin has stepped up and put the team on his back.

    With Carmelo Anthony hurt, as well as Baron Davis, the Knicks could have easily fallen off the map. However, Lin has elevated his game to new heights, and New York has a nice win streak going. 

    Because Lin has taken the NBA by storm, it's caused several NBA writers to weigh in on young point guard from Harvard. 

    Read on to take a look at what they all have to say about Lin. 

Linsanity Almost Never Existed

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    Ian Begley of ESPNNewYork.com writes about how Lin has risen from nowhere, and he even brings up the point that Lin almost never got his moment to shine.

    Head coach Mike D'Antoni said on Tuesday that he was "afraid" to play the 23-year-old guard because the Knicks had fallen seven games under .500 just six weeks into the season, and he didn't know what to expect from Lin.

    D'Antoni had seen "bits and pieces" of what Lin could do during team scrimmages, "but there were other things I questioned just because I didn't know. And I was afraid to do anything. We're already in a little bit of a crisis and I just couldn't be, you know, pulling straws," the coach said.

    D'Antoni has to be pleased that he gave Lin a chance, because now he's the talk of the town.

    Lin continues to prove his doubters wrong and is a big reason the Knicks have hope for the next few weeks while star players are out. 

Love for Lin

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    Rembert Browne of Grantland discusses the 10 greatest things Walt "Clyde" Frazier has said about Lin, and how awesome he thinks the second-year point guard is.  

    In addition to that, Browne lists out nicknames for Lin, and says one has the potential to be "greatest sports phenomenon of all time." 

    Jeremy, you're officially a star. So far, "Linning,""Linsanity," "Inlincible" and "All I Do Is LIN LIN LIN" have taken the streets by storm and aren't going away anytime soon.

    Other nicknames Browne mentioned are, "7 Deadly LinsLin and TonicChalinionaireDr. Lin, Medilin, Womlin [and] Burrrrlin." 

    But the best of the best was the violin. 

    I swear, if everyone shows up at Madison Square Garden with violins, and every time he does something awesome the entire crowd starts aggressively doing bow work, it will be the greatest sports phenomenon of all time. This is the best idea ever, and the only good thing I have ever contributed to the world. You're welcome, New York. This one's on the house. 

    Make it happen New York, make it happen. 

Lin Lives Where?

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    Howard Beck of the New York Times writes about the breakout performances from Lin, and even mentions how much he makes and where he sleeps. 

    His contract, potentially worth nearly $800,000, was not even guaranteed until Tuesday afternoon. So for the past six weeks, Lin, 23, has been sleeping in his brother Josh’s living room, waiting for clarity and career security. 

    Lin's brother, Josh, says Jeremy sleeps on the couch, which makes his rise to stardom even greater. 

    He was cut by a few teams, picked up by New York on waivers in December and is now taking the league by storm.

    Sure, it's only been three games, but Lin has been consistent in each, which is why he's become so popular. 

    With his newfound popularity, perhaps Lin will soon upgrade to an actual bed. 

Looking Back

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    Ken Plutnicki of the New York Times jumped in on the Lin hype train, but he took a different path and decided to look into the past of Lin and how basketball players from Harvard don't excel in the NBA.  

    The list of former Harvard players who have played in the N.B.A. since the 1953-54 season begins and ends with point guard Jeremy Lin.  

    At least 10 Harvard players have been drafted by the N.B.A., according to university records....None of them made a roster, and for some time, it appeared that Harvard’s lasting contribution to the N.B.A. would be a nonstudent, Tom Thibodeau, the current coach of the Chicago Bulls, who was an assistant at Harvard from 1985 to 1989. 

    Lin is breaking the mold and making a name for himself in a big way. If he were doing this for any other team, it likely wouldn't be such a big deal.

    But because he's playing in New York, his success has been amplified in a big way. Lin is representing Harvard well, which others haven't been able to do. 

The Hype and Looking Ahead to Future Opponents

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    Frank Isola of the New York Daily News joined in on the Lin discussion, and he mentions all the details about Lin's popularity, as well as who he has to face fairly soon. 

    He’s now trending on Twitter (#Linsanity)...The Garden crowd has chanted his name and even broke out the “M-V-P” chant.

    Isola did go on to say how Lin is trying to avoid all the attention. However, it will become increasingly difficult to do that if he keeps playing at such a high level. Given the Knicks current roster, New York needs him to keep dominating so the team doesn't slip further in the standings. 

    Isola also mentions that Lin's next opponents are Derek Fisher of the Lakers and Ricky Rubio of the Timberwolves

    It will definitely be fun to watch Lin against other skilled point guards. He took to John Wall last night, so he is certainly capable of hanging with the best of the best. 

Unlikely Hero Counted on Big Time

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    Charles Curtis of FOX Sports writes about how Lin has become an unlikely hero, having bounced around the league in his first year, but finding a home in New York. 

    [Fans] sported black T-shirts that read “The Jeremy Lin Show” on the front. Printed on the back? “We Believe.”

    Lin even had a stint in the D-League, but now he is loved by all of New York. Curtis writes how Lin's father taught him and his brothers the game of basketball, and they've loved it ever since.

    Now, he's a star in the Big Apple, and his head coach needs him a lot.

    When asked about keeping Lin in for 45 minutes Monday after playing him for 36 two nights ago, D'Antoni laughed after his answer. But he might not be kidding.

    “I’m riding him like freakin’ Secretariat,” he said.

    Lin is saving his head coach in a big way, and is being counted on to keep playing at such a high level. If he doesn't, the Knicks will begin to fade away while their stars are injured and out. Unless, of course, somebody else steps up, but there's no guarantee that happens. 

Lin and Harvard Stars

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    With Lin's surprise emergence, it's given Knicks fans a reason to smile. It also made others think about which players from Harvard have done big things. 

    The folks at Sports Illustrated put together a slideshow of the best sports figure to come from Harvard, and it's definitely a list to check out. 

    It's uncertain how long Lin's fame will last, but his great performance has earned him a spot as notable player coming from an Ivy League school.