PERSPECTIVE: Is Lin-sanity here to stay?

By Josh Brown, Sports Editor

“Lin-sanity” has swept the nation. If you do not know what “Lin-sanity” is by now, you likely have not watched SportsCenter at all the last few weeks. Here’s a brief recap.

In short, the New York Knicks were 8–15 and had lost 11 of their previous 13 games before Jeremy Lin came from nowhere and took over the starting point-guard spot. Now, the Knicks are 18–20 and creeping closer to a winning record since Lin first broke out against the New Jersey Nets Feb. 4.

Lin played basketball at Harvard and graduated in 2010 with hopes of pursuing a professional career. After he was waived by the Golden State Warriors and the Houston Rockets, the Knicks claimed Lin off waivers, and he was assigned to the lower-level Developmental League to work on his game.

Faced with limited options at point guard, Knicks head coach Mike D’Antoni gave Lin more minutes in the game against the Nets. Lin shined, outscoring Nets All-Star point guard Deron Williams.

Lin made his first start the next game against the Utah Jazz Feb. 6 and shocked Madison Square Garden with a 28-point, eight-assist performance that led the Knicks to a win without stars Carmelo Anthony and Amar’e Stoudemire. After the game D’Antoni was quoted as saying, “I’m riding (Lin) like … Secretariat.”

And so Lin-sanity was born.

To say that Lin has had a breakout year is a serious understatement. Lin has brought a winning impact to a team that looked to be in shambles, but crazier still is the fact that he has scored more points in his first five starts than any other player since the ABA merged with the NBA in 1976, according to basketball-reference.com.

Michael Jordan, Shaquille O’Neal, Kobe Bryant and Allen Iverson? Lin scored more points than any of those guys did in their first five starts. Ever heard of LeBron James or Steve Nash? Lin scored more points in his first five starts than James and Nash did in theirs — combined.

Lin’s success is absolutely unheard of.

Add to all of this that Lin is an Asian-American and a professing Christian, and you have the cherries on top of a sundae that is an already “Lincredible” and “Linspirational” story.

But what has been fun is simply watching Lin play. Even if you are not a Knicks fan, you cannot help but get excited and invested in the games that Lin plays. The guy plays with an intensity level of someone who knows he is blessed to be in this situation and is playing as hard as he can while savoring every minute of it.

Fans appreciate that level of play whether it is their team or not, and the NBA reaps the benefits of increased viewership and, for the Knicks, increased ticket sales.

Lin’s story is an inspirational one for athletes everywhere working to one day make it to the pros.

He provides a great example of how hard work and never giving up can pay off and, when finally given a shot, to make the best of it. Lin has done just that, and the league now knows he is for real.

Lin’s story inspires us to pursue our dreams and pursue them with everything we have.

Only time will tell if Lin can keep up this run and work the offense effectively in New York with superstars Anthony and Stoudemire, but for now he looks legit.

Opponents know they have more than just Melo to look out for in late-game, clutch situations. Just ask the Toronto Raptors how it felt when Lin hit the game-winning three-pointer against them Feb. 14. One fan’s poster said it all: “L-In Yo Face!”

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The Cardinal & Cream is a student publication of Union University in Jackson, Tennessee. Our staff ranges from freshmen to seniors and includes a variety of majors — including journalism, public relations, advertising, marketing, digital media studies, graphic design and art majors.