4 Reasons Why the New York Knicks Need to Re-Sign Jeremy Lin
"Lin puts it up...BANG!
I'm not really a huge NBA fan. Ever since the golden age of the 90s with Jordan, Malone, Reggie Miller, Shaq, Lil' Penny, NBA (and Space) Jam, things just didn't seem the same.
Maybe I grew out of it. Maybe I lost interest once traveling became legal. Maybe I just couldn't bear to watch another game once David "The Admiral" Robinson retired.
But something brought me and thousands (maybe millions) of fans back last season. Linsanity.
Jeremy Lin put the New York Knicks back on the world map. He was an undrafted Harvard graduate living on his brother's couch and on the brink of being released in mid-January of 2012. Just a month later, the Taiwanese-American point guard scored 38 points against the Los Angeles Lakers—hitting one amazing shot after another against Kobe Bryant and company.
It's a script filmmakers drool over. A feel-good story that makes the impossible seem attainable. It's Rudy-esque and LeBron-not.
Seeing Jeremy Lin on the Houston Rockets this year just wouldn't be right. Here are four reasons Lin needs to stay in New York next season.
Who Is Their Point Guard?
Sans Jeremy Lin, the Knicks would be in trouble at the point. Raymond Felton and Ramon Sessions are available, but are they really that much better than the Harvard alum? Felton put up 11 points and seven assists per game last year with the Trail Blazers while Sessions averaged 13 and six with the Lakers. Lin put up 15 and six. Granted, this was in a shorter time span.
Right now, the Knicks have Jason Kidd—a surefire Hall of Famer. But he's 39. Last year's tag team of Mike Bibby, 34, and Baron Davis, 33, would be an ancient duo (if re-signed) for one of the league's quickest positions.
The combination of Kidd, Bibby and Davis would probably amount to an Uncle Drew-caliber player (without Kyrie Irving in disguise).
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Jeremy Lin is the first Ivy League player to suit up in an NBA uniform since Matt Maloney and Chris Dudley back in the 2002-2003 season. Maloney attended Penn and Dudley was drafted out of Yale.
Ivy League players in the league have indeed been a rare occurrence, but when they do make it and play well (as in Lin's situation), their respective teams have also succeeded.
Bill Bradley, out of Princeton, was part of two New York Knicks championships. Jim McMillian graduated from Columbia and helped the Lakers win a title in 1972.
These scholars can be smart, competent leaders both on and off the court. Plus, they can probably help other players balance bank accounts, calculate salaries and tie shoes.
Numbers Don't Lie
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Lin had one of the best stretches ever for an NBA starter.
He was the first player to score at least 20 points and tally seven assists in each of his first five starts.
The Harvard sensation also scored 89, 109 and 136 points, respectively, through his first third, fourth and fifth starts. These were the most by any player since the NBA-ABA merger during the 1976-77 season.
Although Lin's amazing stats tailed off up until his knee injury in late March, he still showed the confidence and skills needed to carry a team past credible foes such as the LA Lakers and Dallas Mavericks. He turned the Knicks' season around and propelled them into their playoff run.
No matter what people may say about Lin's turnovers and inability to continue his superstar play after a torrid start, a 2012 playoffs for the Knicks would've been unthinkable without him.
Madison Square Garden Just Wouldn't Be the Same
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After years of neglect and little enthusiasm for Knicks teams, Lin brought thousands of New York and NBA fans out of the woodwork, as illustrated by USA Today. MSG TV ratings rose 70 percent during Lin's star-studded debut, Twitter followers increased by 12,000, and 125,000 new people "liked" the Knicks' official Facebook page. Traffic to NYKnicks.com also rose 550 percent.
Fans were everywhere. The city and country became flooded with Lin jerseys and Knicks gear.
And the arena...Noises inside Madison Square Garden were reminiscent of the days dating back to Patrick Ewing, Doc Rivers and John Starks. The city's great stadium echoed and boomed along to the surprisingly refreshing play of Jeremy Lin.
Let's keep the Garden shaking during the 2012-13 season. Lin for the win.