On April 25, the New York Knicks announced via Twitter that they would be replaying historic games on MSG Network featuring Jeremy Lin and the phenomenon known as “Linsanity.”
During a segment on MSG 150, Lin and a couple of his former teammates, including Landry Fields and Amar’e Stoudemire, got together over a group video call to discuss what the atmosphere was like during Linsanity along with their current endeavors amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. Lin also participated in a virtual interview with Mike Breen, a color commentator for the ABC network and the Knicks, and appeared on ESPN’s “The Jump” with Rachel Nichols.
Lin inspired many because he was the embodiment of an underdog throughout his career. Despite leading his high school Mater Dei to the Division II State Championship, Lin was not offered any athletic scholarships to play basketball at the NCAA Division I level. He ended up at Harvard, in which he played as a combo guard all four years and ended his tenure with averages of 12.9 points per game and 3.5 assists per game. Lin went undrafted in the 2010 NBA draft and bounced around with the Dallas Mavericks, Golden State Warriors and Houston Rockets before landing with the Knicks.
Although Linsanity was short lived, it was a magical moment for New York and the entirety of the sports world. Lin ignited the struggling Knicks to win after win and posted the highest scoring total any player has ever had in their first four starts, including NBA legends Michael Jordan and Allen Iverson. He battled with the likes of Kobe Bryant on the biggest stage and even hit a game-winning shot against the Toronto Raptors.
After New York, Lin’s career fluctuated with highs and lows as he bounced from team to team before landing with the Raptors in 2019. With the Raptors, Lin became the first Asian American basketball player to win the NBA Championship. Though Lin’s time in the NBA might be over after playing the 2019-20 season in China with the Beijing Ducks, the NBA world will always remember ‘Linsanity’ as a magical run that inspired a myriad of fans.
Here are my top five moments during the time of Linsanity:
38 points in the Garden vs. Kobe and the Lakers
Although many would say the peak of ‘Linsanity’ was Lin’s game-winning shot against the Raptors, the battle against Kobe Bryant was the game that propelled Lin to the national spotlight. Kobe had a great game of his own with 34 points and 10 rebounds but Lin topped Kobe’s performance with 38 points and seven assists during the nationally televised game. The Knicks also defeated the Lakers 92-85.
Game-winner against the Raptors
The Knicks were in the midst of a five-game winning streak and Lin propelled the Knicks to their sixth straight victory. On the road against the Raptors, the Knicks were tied at 87 points a piece in the final minutes of the game. After a Tyson Chandler offensive rebound, the ball found its way back to Lin at the top of the key. Waving off his teammates, Lin pulled up for a long range jumper against Raptors guard Jose Calderon and knocked down his first ever NBA game-winning three.
The first game of ‘Linsanity’
On the verge of being waived, Lin played the game of a lifetime to save his NBA career. Lin scored 25 points against the New Jersey Nets and dished out seven assists as he lifted the struggling Knicks to a 99-92 victory. He battled against All-Star point guard Deron Williams, who had a solid game of his own with 21 points and 11 assists.
Dunk and dual with John Wall
On the road in Washington, D.C., Lin led the Knicks to their third straight win with another dazzling performance. Although Lin faced 2010’s No. 1 overall pick John Wall, he still finished the game with a 23 point, 10 assist double-double. Lin even threw down a thunderous one-handed jam down the lane, the first in-game dunk of his NBA career.
Battle against Dirk and the 2011 NBA Champions
In a clash with the 2011 defending champions, Lin led his team to a victory against Dirk Nowitzki and the Mavericks. With the home crowd cheering him on, Lin scored 28 points and dished out 14 assists in 45 minutes of action.