What Jeremy Lin was able to accomplish during Linsanity is one of the most amazing things to happen to the NBA in a decade. The New York Knicks were absolutely unwatchable that season. Mike D’Antoni’s firing was inevitable, Carmelo Anthony was hurt, and the roleplayers surrounding him and Amar’e Stoudemire were so awful that you literally cringed every time some of them were on the floor.
For one month two years ago, Lin brought some excitement back to the basketball Mecca. It didn’t matter whether the victories were coming against teams like the Toronto Raptors or teams like the Los Angeles Lakers, all that mattered was that Knicks games were fun again.
Frankly, Linsanity wasn’t just great for the guy who introduced it to the world – it was great for basketball as a whole.
Which begs the question: If Linsanity was so great, then why is Lin’s goal right now to make everyone forget about it?
Well, because there are two major problems with Linsanity: 1.) it ended abruptly, and 2.) it happened two years ago.
For all the fun and hoopla, Lin’s magical run ended with Anthony’s return and then his (Lin’s) subsequent injury. When faced with the prospect of returning for New York’s postseason run, his people famously expressed that he wasn’t at a hundred percent. That summer he left the Knicks for the Houston Rockets, and in his inaugural campaign with that team, he disappointed. Now, it’s worth noting – he disappointed because of factors outside his control.
The James Harden trade, his injures, etc all contributed to Lin’s dip in production, but nobody will remember that. All anyone remembers is the final product.
Finally healthy, Lin is now on a mission to make everyone forget about Linsanity. That was a great experience and something everyone could enjoy – but it’s like a one hit wonder. Nobody is remembered as a great musician if all they’re known for is one song. Similarly, nobody will remember Lin for being a great basketball player if all he’s known for is that one great month.
How will Lin measure his performance this year? By looking back on his play at the end of this season, and seeing whether folks are talking about it or something he did in New York a lifetime ago.