You are on page 1of 4

Jeremy Lin Has Burst From N.B.A. Novelty Act to Knicks Star - NYTimes.

com

Reprints This copy is for your personal, noncommercial use only. You can order presentation-ready copies for distribution to your colleagues, clients or customers here or use the "Reprints" tool that appears next to any article. Visit www.nytreprints.com for samples and additional information. Order a reprint of this article now.

February 7, 2012

From Ivy Halls to the Garden, Surprise Star Jolts the N.B.A.
By HOWARD BECK

New York’s newest basketball sensation spends most nights on a couch in a one-bedroom apartment on the Lower East Side. The housing choice is understandable once you get to know Jeremy Lin. He is a Harvard graduate playing in the National Basketball Association. He is an Asian-American in a league devoid of them, which makes him doubly anomalous. No team drafted Lin in 2010. Two teams cut him in December, before the Knicks picked him up. His contract, potentially worth nearly $800,000, was not even guaranteed until Tuesday afternoon. So for the past six weeks, Lin, 23, has been sleeping in his brother Josh’s living room, waiting for clarity and career security. “He has his own couch,” Josh Lin, a New York University dental student, said cheerfully. He should be able to reclaim his living room soon enough. Jeremy Lin’s utterly distinctive, mostly transient N.B.A. existence has taken a rather sudden turn over the past few days. On Saturday night, Lin came off the bench and powered the Knicks to a 99-92 victory over the Nets at Madison Square Garden, scoring a career-best 25 points with 7 assists. Two nights later, he made his first N.B.A. start and produced 28 points and 8 assists in a 99-88 win over the Utah Jazz. Knicks fans now serenade Lin with chants of “Je-re-my!” and “M.V.P.!” while the franchise uses his likeness to sell tickets and teammates and coaches gush with praise. With every game, every precision pass and every clever drive to the basket, Lin is raising expectations, altering the Knicks’ fate and redefining the word “unlikely.” On Twitter, fans and basketball pundits are using another term to describe the phenomenon: “Linsanity.” Two weeks ago, the 6-foot-3 Lin was not even part of the Knicks’ point-guard rotation, despite their lack of talent at the position. He played sparingly in a few games, showing just enough promise to keep getting another look— a few more minutes, another quarter. But there was never any hint of what was to come.

http://www.nytimes.com/.../02/08/sports/basketball/jeremy-lin-has-burst-from-nba-novelty-act-to-knicks-star.html?_r=2&pagewanted=print[2012/2/8 下午 10:46:53]

“There’s not that many Harvard players. They roar louder for his shifty layups in traffic than they do for Carmelo Anthony’s.Jeremy Lin Has Burst From N. But he works hard. because people don’t know him.A. not that many Asian-Americans. the success he is having.” said Carl Park. For an encore. Yet there was no escaping Lin’s unusual pedigree and the subtle sense that he did not fit a profile. Lin set the N. At draft time. 27. The Houston Rockets gave Lin a quick look and cut him. He was cut in December by the Golden State Warriors.B. His parents. “I think people are surprised. When the Knicks claimed Lin off waivers Dec. the Detroit Pistons’ Hall of Fame point guard.B. N. Shirley and Gie-Ming. That is.B. teams had their doubts — about his defense.NYTimes. in June 2010. Now he is No. after one season in which he rarely left the bench.” The qualities that make Lin unique. the story of Lin’s career. At Harvard. The Warriors were intrigued enough to sign him but not enough to keep him.nytimes. stunning opposing defenders and forcing reassessments with every daring burst into the lane. Novelty Act to Knicks Star .A. Lin received no college scholarship offers.com/.” Shirley Lin said.com With 25 points Saturday..A.A.B. He is more than a novelty now.html?_r=2&pagewanted=print[2012/2/8 下午 10:46:53] . but also more than just an underrated player finding success. from all sorts of programs and all sorts of backgrounds. despite leading his Palo Alto High School team to a 32-1 record and the California championship.” Lin said after the game Monday. “It’s just a real point of pride. Knicks fans were clamoring for Lin before he threw his first pass at the Garden. start. are now the qualities that make him a sensation. his hometown team. including myself. continuing a long pattern of low expectations and surprising results.B. or maybe he’s a pioneer. The last to do so was Isiah Thomas. a 35-year-old graduate student in http://www. about his ability to keep up with the league’s elite athletes. much of it from Asian-American fans who have been following him for years. he became the first player in more than 30 years to record at least 28 points and 8 assists in his first N. he was fourth on the depth chart at point guard. Lin was again overlooked. about his jump shot. emigrated from Taiwan to the United States in the 1970s. Social networks lighted up Saturday night and again Monday with excited chatter about Lin. he was twice named to the all-Ivy League first team and delivered a signature 30-point performance against 12th-ranked Connecticut. scoring record for a player from Harvard. who are engineers.. and seemingly held him back. He’s just kind of like underdog. Lin is the proud underdog defying scouts. Lin is the N.’s first American-born player of Taiwanese or Chinese descent and only the fourth AsianAmerican in league history. essentially. 1.A. saw this coming./02/08/sports/basketball/jeremy-lin-has-burst-from-nba-novelty-act-to-knicks-star. in October 1981. They were the kind of concerns scouts have every year about dozens of prospects. “I don’t think anyone.

he picked up nearly 10. “Yao. The stars. Park grew up a Milwaukee Bucks fan. we’ll be fine.html?_r=2&pagewanted=print[2012/2/8 下午 10:46:53] .A. It is perhaps too much to ask the undrafted player from Harvard to save the season. No demographic seems to love him as much as Knicks fans. “It’s nice there’s been some progress that way. “It represents a step for the Asian-American community as it becomes part of American culture more broadly. “Jackie Chan. have struggled. New Yorkers and anyone anywhere who loves an underdog. But the uncertainty is over. The Knicks are keeping him.” In 2000. in New York and in San Francisco. because he speaks openly of his faith.000 followers on his account. when the Knicks announced that Anthony would miss up to two weeks because of a groin injury.com Chicago and a first-generation Korean-American.” Park said. The last. Park posted a humorous “Timeline for what Asian-Americans get called in pickup basketball” on his Facebook page. a Lin-themed rap appeared on YouTube. “Jeremy. On Tuesday. who has a degree in economics. but he roots for Lin wherever he plays. it was “Bruce” (as in Lee). will ultimately settle into a more modest nightly role. The presumed starting point guard. In 1980. not a novelty act. It seems more likely that Lin. On Monday. In 2012. On Tuesday.” Park said.” Josh Lin said. dousing their championship hopes./02/08/sports/basketball/jeremy-lin-has-burst-from-nba-novelty-act-to-knicks-star.A.B. On Twitter. is recovering from a back injury. He resonates with devout Christians. @JLin7. Lin has cemented himself as a credible N. In 1995.” wrote @CareyWilbur. He taps into the passions of Harvard alumni. Anthony and Amar’e Stoudemire. who are suddenly counting on Lin to revive their flagging season. Baron Davis.Jeremy Lin Has Burst From N. Another setback came Tuesday. It seems safe to go apartment hunting.. Novelty Act to Knicks Star .NYTimes. To illustrate his point. he hopes to hear.B. “in that younger guys might actually get called the name of an actual basketball player. a sort of Taiwanese Tim Tebow. “Jeremy Lin” was a top trending topic on Twitter on Sunday. the fan response came swiftly: “As long as we have Jeremy Lin. http://www. The Knicks have lost 15 of their first 25 games.” Yet the Lin phenomenon transcends race or nationality.” The first examples came from Park’s own experience as a recreational player. his contract became guaranteed for the season.” for Yao Ming. Ivy Leaguers. “I think he’s looking forward to it. player.com/..nytimes.

. Novelty Act to Knicks Star .html?_r=2&pagewanted=print[2012/2/8 下午 10:46:53] .nytimes.A. http://www.B.NYTimes.com Michael Luo contributed reporting.com/..Jeremy Lin Has Burst From N./02/08/sports/basketball/jeremy-lin-has-burst-from-nba-novelty-act-to-knicks-star.