Who doesn’t love the story of Jeremy Lin, the New York Knicks player who has created a national mania in the past couple of weeks? Having averaged around 13 points a game (16 points a game as a senior) as an Ivy League player for Harvard, he bounced onto and off of a couple of NBA teams including his hometown Golden State Warriors. The Knicks picked him up — who saw what in him? — and he’s been burning down the house with absurdly exciting performances since he joined the lineup, setting the heretofore mediocre Knicks on a six-game winning streak.
He’s smart. He’s relatively short (he’s advertised as 6’3″, but I doubt it). He lifts his teammates to a higher level. He’s been inspired and inspiring. Whatever the future may hold, he has already joined the very short list of NBA players from Harvard.
Lin has not only inspired his teammates to a higher level of play, he has inspired an unending series of puns on his name in the stories about him, including one for the headline of Jason Gay’s Wall Street Journal column “Some Lin-iment for the NBA.” Gay was back yesterday with “What Linsanity says about New York.”
Seeking to capture the fairytale quality of Lin’s run, the Los Angeles Times puts it this way: “Waived by two NBA teams, Lin has materialized in Manhattan like something out of a comic book.” I’d say he’s arrived like a player out of the The Absent-Minded Professor, the old Disney film featuring the miracle substance flubber. In the clip below, the plucky boys from tiny Medfield College rally from a 46-3 halftime deficit to nip evil Rutland University 47-46 at the gun with a little help from the professor’s discovery.
Compare with this highlight reel from the Knicks game against the Raptors this week. Lin hit the three-point game winner with half a second on the clock.