The New York Knicks may have found their missing link in an unforeseen place.
His name is Jeremy Lin, and just weeks ago he was playing for the Erie Bay Hawks. Last season, Lin bounced back and forth between D-League stints and the Golden State Warriors' bench. He was then waived prior to this season, and claimed by the Houston Rockets, but cut from the team in December—a move the team's general manager now regrets.
Hey, some of the greatest discoveries are merely glorified accidents.
The name Christopher Columbus may ring a bell. Or maybe you've heard of a place called America.
Injuries to Baron Davis compounded by the ineffectiveness of Toney Douglas and Mike Bibby thrust Lin into the starting lineup, on February 4th. In the three games since the unexpected promotion, he has averaged 26 points and 8.3 assists per game.
All Knicks wins, equaling their longest streak in what has been a disappointing season thus far.
Not too many expected this sort of success from Lin, especially in just his second pro season. Lin, of Chinese/Taiwanese descent, was brought in to be nothing more than a reserve player—somebody to keep the bench warm in chilly New York.
Well, Columbus didn't expect to stumble upon America, either. He was, after all, just looking for a trade route to the East Indies.
New York was, after all, just looking for a temporary stopgap, as Davis recovers from a herniated disk. In the meantime, Lin is making the most of his opportunities. Three games and three outstanding performances later, the stopgap may have just earned the starting nod.
How about them big apples?
Lin is ostensibly the glass slipper to coach Mike D'Antoni's system, one that heavily relies on the pick-and-roll. He has shown the ability to hit open jumpers, drive to the basket and find open shooters.
At one point during Wednesday night's victory, there was even a dunk. The sheer athleticism caught everyone by surprise, including his own teammates.
“I didn’t know he could dunk,” Tyson Chandler said of the play. “When he was going in for a dunk I was like ‘No Jeremy, just lay the ball up’ and all of sudden he dunks it. I probably was just as excited as the crowd was.
“I was thinking after he dunked,” he added, “for at least 20 seconds I was thinking, ‘Did I know he could dunk?’ I don’t remember him dunking.”
Another unexpected discovery on the surprise journey.
In 1492, Columbus sailed the ocean blue.
In 2012, the Knicks found gold on the bottom shelf.
The rest could be history.