One of the great story lines of the NBA last season was that of Jeremy Lin, the Harvard-graduate who became an NBA free agent and an overnight sensation with the New York Knicks. Lin arose as an unnoticed D-League starter into one of the most popular athletes of 2012.
Lin's 12 starts for the Knicks before last season's All-Star break were special for both the NBA and basketball as a whole worldwide. As a starter, Lin propelled the Knicks to a 9-3 record before the break, averaging 22.5 points and 8.7 assists in star Carmelo Anthony's absence.
When Yao Ming announced his retirement from basketball on July 20, 2011, the NBA officially lost one of the most important players in its history. Ming was able to bridge the popularity of NBA basketball between China and America. He was the national face of Chinese athletics, and he was as good of a basketball player as he was a humanitarian.
What better time for the first American in the NBA of Chinese or Taiwanese decent in Lin to pull off the historic performance that he did. Linsanity was born across the country, especially in New York City, one of America's most densely Chinese populated cities. Ming fans were now Lin fans, and the Knicks were one of the most sought after teams to watch in the NBA.
All didn't end well for Lin's 2011-12 campaign, however. An unfortunate knee injury after the All-Star break forced Lin to the sidelines for the remainder of the season. The Knicks were facing a tough decision of whether or not to re-sign the guard who became a restricted free agent at the end of the season.
Obviously he had shown his value in his play, merchandise sales and ticket sales. But the Knicks were cash-strapped with salaries and weren't able to give Lin the offer he deserved.
In came the Houston Rockets. The team Yao Ming had made relevant during his eight-year run in the NBA offered Lin a three-year, $25 million contract which Lin gladly accepted, and the Knicks weren't able to match it.
What's going to be hard for Lin this season is trying to fill the shoes of the once-great Ming who had made his way up and down the court in Houston for the last decade. Lin is going to have the 1.3 billion people of China watching his every move, as well as American sports networks on a nightly basis. That's a ton of pressure for a player, especially one coming off of a minor knee surgery.
The Rockets are expecting Lin to continue his success of last season, as he's currently the second-highest paid player on their roster.
This raises the question: What are the five things Jeremy Lin should avoid doing in the 2012-13 season?
The best way to answer this is to use examples of players from the past who were put into similar situations to the ones facing Lin this season.