In the course of a week, Jeremy Lin has gone from little used role player to NBA phenomenon. He's done for the New York Knicks what Carmelo Anthony and Amare Stoudemire could not: energize a stagnant offense and give the fans something to get excited about.
When your name is used to coin a new phrase—"Linsanity"—you know you've struck a chord with people.
Most importantly, he's helping them win games. The Knicks are riding a four-game win streak since Lin was inserted into the starting lineup.
The legend of this Ivy League product grows with each unlikely start. His performance against Kobe Bryant and the Los Angeles Lakers—38 points, seven assists, four rebounds and two steals—was nothing short of amazing.
Lin's story is an inspiration to all. If he keeps playing at this level, he will undoubtedly become an NBA star on par with teammates Anthony and Stoudemire.
Being in New York definitely helps his chances of achieving such status. He plays in the hub of the nation and the biggest market the NBA has. Every great performance will be magnified and spotlighted on all major media outlets. The downside is, if his performance starts to slip, his mistakes will be spotlighted, too.
Lin has an edge that very few NBA stars have. He's of Asian descent, which makes him a potential mega star not only in the melting pot that is New York City, but world wide. He has the potential to become an international superstar like Yao Ming—except Lin plays in a market that matters.
I'm sure that David Stern is sitting alone in a dark room laughing maniacally thinking of all the possibilities.
The hype machine is roaring full steam ahead, but everyone should remember that Lin has only provided a small sample. NBA stardom isn't measured in four games. It's measured over several seasons of play at an elite level.
Is Lin simply the product of Mike D'Antoni's system, or is he a legitimate out-of-nowhere superstar? Those questions can only be answered with time. For now, he appears to be well on his way.
He might be the most surprising new star of this shortened NBA season, but Jeremy Lin isn't the only young player on the verge of superstardom. Here are five others that, in my opinion, have the best chance at achieving the highest level of success.