Mike D'Antoni Says 'Linsanity' with Jeremy Lin, Knicks Was 'Greatest Time Ever'

Tyler Conway@@jtylerconwayFeatured Columnist IVApril 12, 2022

FILE - In this Feb. 15, 2012, file photo, fans hold up New York Knicks' Jeremy Lin photos during the second half of an NBA basketball game against Sacramento in New York. Linsanity is finally getting another run on MSG Network. In search of content to fill with no games because of the coronavirus, the network is turning to Jeremy Lin’s memorable NBA breakthrough, which was once ratings gold. The network said Friday, April 24, 2020 it will dedicate a week of programming to the 2012 stretch when Lin got his chance with the New York Knicks and took the league by storm.(AP Photo/Frank Franklin II, File)
AP Photo/Frank Franklin II, File

Former New York Knicks coach Mike D'Antoni looks back on the Linsanity era as one of the greatest moments of his coaching career.

"The greatest 10 days, two weeks, month, whatever it was. Greatest time ever," D'Antoni said on The Old Man and The Three podcast (40:54 mark).

D'Antoni was the Knicks' coach when Jeremy Lin ascended to stardom seemingly out of nowhere during the 2011-12 season. Playing initially on a 10-day contract, Lin caught fire from Feb. 4 to Feb. 22, 2012, averaging 23.9 points and 9.2 assists in 11 games while bringing New York City together to cheer him on.

"That's what I love about New York. It caught fire so fast, so unexpected, you were just living in a dream. Everybody," D'Antoni said. "We would go to practice, and they had 80 media people there at practice. ... It was unbelievable. What he did was unreal. ... The whole team, the atmosphere, the Garden, there's nothing better than that, other than winning a championship."

Linsanity abruptly ended during a Feb. 23 dismantling by the Miami Heat, who held Lin to eight points on 1-of-11 shooting and forced him into eight turnovers. Lin played the remainder of the season with New York before leaving for the Houston Rockets in free agency, but he never returned to those heights of his initial run.

"When I was going through Linsanity, I didn't understand the weight of it," Lin told Kimmy Yam of NBC News in February. "I knew that the Asian community supported me and I knew that it was an inspiration to everybody, but I didn't understand the depths of it."

Lin carved out a nine-year NBA career with the Knicks, Rockets, Golden State Warriors, Los Angeles Lakers, Charlotte Hornets, Brooklyn Nets, Atlanta Hawks and Toronto Raptors. He currently plays for the Beijing Ducks of the Chinese Basketball Association.