Lin's star fading as Knicks falter
Jeremy Lin talks with New York Knicks interim coach Mike Woodson during Wednesday night's game in New York.
March 16th, 2012
12:36 PM ET

Lin's star fading as Knicks falter

"Linsanity," the worldwide craze over the exploits of New York Knicks point guard Jeremy Lin, has flamed out quicker than the lifespan of a firefly.

"R.I.P. Linsanity" read a headline emblazoned on a tombstone pictured on the back page of the New York Post on Friday. "Briefly beloved Broadway smash hit, February 4, 2012, to March 14, 2012," the remaining inscription said.

The sports cover of Friday's New York Post

Lin, a 23-year-old Harvard graduate, burst onto the basketball scene in early February when then-Knicks coach Mike D'Antoni called him off the bench as the Knicks struggled against the New Jersey Nets. Lin responded with 25 points, leading the Knicks to victory. A seven-game winning streak, including a victory over All-Star Kobe Bryant and the Los Angeles Lakers, followed, with Lin coming up with clutch plays to lead the way.

The winning streak lifted the Knicks from also-rans to playoff contenders. Lin jerseys sold out in sporting goods stores. Lin got a special invite to participate in an All-Star weekend game for the league's future stars. International attention spiked, and Lin had to ask that reporters in Taiwan leave his grandmother alone. Even President Obama took notice.

And everywhere were the puns using the Asian-American's last name: Linsational. Linspiration. Linderella. And, of course, Linsanity.

But like a Wall Street stock, it's performance over time that establishes equity, and that's where Lin's value has withered.

The Knicks have lost eight of their past 11 games, and Wednesday, D'Antoni resigned, replaced in the interim by NBA veteran coach Mike Woodson.

Woodson emphasizes defense and ball control on the court, the opposite of the fast-paced style that was favored by D'Antoni and suited to Lin's game, according to New York media reports.

"Lin said Woodson’s offense will be 'challenging' for him, saying D’Antoni’s system was 'perfect for me,' " Knicks writer Marc Berman said in the "tombstone" article in Friday's New York Post.

Lin scored only six points and had six turnovers in his first game under Woodson this week.

Additionally, Woodson likes the ball to be in the hands of veteran players, according the New York media, and the Knicks have two of the league's biggest veteran stars in Carmelo Anthony and Amar'e Stoudemire.

"I want everyone to know that when it comes [crunch] time and I got to get a big shot, I’m going to Melo and Amar’e and guys who have done it," Woodson told the Post.

“His best players get the most shots,” a former associate of Woodson's told The New York Times. “Melo’s going to love it. Amar’e’s going to love it. And the other 12 guys are not going to like it so much.”

“He’s going to utilize his leading scorers, myself and Carmelo Anthony, make sure he takes advantage of every opportunity on the court,’’ the Post quoted Stoudemire as saying. “We’ve been profound scorers all our careers. He wants to make sure we take advantage of that.’’

It must be noted that Anthony was out with an injury when Lin led the Knicks on that February winning streak, and there were always questions about how Anthony, who takes more than 20 shots a game, would get along in an offense led by Lin.

During the peak of Linsanity, Newark Star-Ledger sports columnist Steve Politi wrote for CNN that Lin had fans thinking of the Knicks teams of the '70s, coached by Red Holzman.

"The championship Knicks of 1970 and 1973 had plenty of talent - there were a combined six Hall of Famers on their rosters ... but they put aside their egos for the betterment of the team," Politi wrote.

Woodson, too, harkened back to Holzman, whom Woodson also played for, when discussing the 2012 Knicks on Thursday.

"He taught me that rookies were to sit and listen and learn," Woodson is quoted as saying in the New York Daily News. "That taught me a valuable lesson, I think, way back when."

The papers reported that Lin, who is really a second-year player, remains a starter for now, but they also point out that if Woodson wants the younger Lin to sit, he has a veteran in former All-Star Baron Davis to whom he can turn. Or Mike Bibby, who played for Woodson when he coached the Atlanta Hawks.

Howard Beck, writing in the Times, points out that Woodson may not have time to figure out if Lin is a good fit for the new Knicks.

"With D’Antoni gone and Anthony back in the forefront, Lin may never get the same opportunities to shine," Beck writes. "The Knicks have no room for error, nor does Woodson, who is coaching for a contract and the permanent job."

The firefly, or lightning bug, has a lifespan of two months, according National Geographic. It seems highly questionable whether Jeremy Lin can shine that long.

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Filed under: Basketball • NBA • Sports
soundoff (182 Responses)
  1. "R.I.P. Linsanity" read a headline emblazoned on a tombstone

    Project X > teen DARWIN > finally the worlds largest prison country finds the best solution !!!!

    HEY BAMA.... how much you pay tfor the spouses and children of AFGHANS? just a few BASETBALLS?
    Looks more and more like a NAZI nation out of control BAMA.......

    March 16, 2012 at 1:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • Drew

      They're getting a kuran with a cartoon of mooohamed in it and a free burkha for the fat missus. And even that's too much for 'em. Let them take care of their own country.

      March 16, 2012 at 1:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • The Lord

      Sir, what you've just said is one of the most insanely idiotic things I have ever heard. At no point in your rambling, incoherent response were you even close to anything that could be considered a rational thought. Everyone in this comments section is now dumber for having read it.

      March 16, 2012 at 1:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • Glenn

      The only thing that is insane is wanting to go back to the pre-Lin losing ways. With Lin they were exciting, fun to watch and playing like the old Knicks championship teams vs. an all-stars stars hog the ball, dull and losing team. I guess the management would rather lose than be embarrassed that money doesn't win games – now that is Knicknuts.

      March 16, 2012 at 2:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • Joseph B

      Alabama (BAMA) has nothing to do with Jeremy Lin. If you happen to think the Republicans in Alabama look like a bunch of Nazis, well, you are welcome to your opinion. You also have a lot of free time on your hands to post this on article about a sports star. Perhaps you could be doing something for the USA rather than complaining on message boards.

      March 16, 2012 at 3:11 pm | Report abuse |
  2. TST

    It's MELO's fault.
    LIN was doing great, and LIN makes everybody be their best until MELO comes back. If Knicks does not want LIN, it's fine. Many other teams are waiting for LIN.

    March 16, 2012 at 1:17 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Brian

    Giving Woodson the permanent job would just be another Dolan error. Woodson did very little with a very talented Atlanta team. He had Various combinations of good players, including Johnson, Horford and Smith at the same time ( two All Stars and a notable snub in the same voting.) Yet his teams pretty much plateaued at 45 to 50 wins, and a second round playoff exit. Woodson is a terrible in game coach. Woodson has no idea about team oriented passing basketball. I was a season ticket holder for his entire tenure – it was incredibly boring basketball. Woodson is a great assistant, with strogn defensive inclinations. Then again, if his influence was strong over Melo and Stat, why have they been such poor defenders for every game they have played as a Knick? Dolan should have begged D'Antoni to stay around until he could tie up Jerry Sloan or maybe even bring back JVG.

    March 16, 2012 at 1:22 pm | Report abuse |
  4. derp

    I guess jesus lost interest.

    March 16, 2012 at 1:23 pm | Report abuse |
  5. citizenUSA

    The poor guy gets all this attention and pressure dumped on him, now when he's in a slump, you dump on him another way. Whatever happened to, "team effort"? The article says "THE KNICKS" lost 8 of last 11 games. He's no Michael Jordan. Never was but who knows what he'll accomplish. Speaking of Jordan, remember his famous speech that tells about all the bad he did, missed more game-winning shots than made, and such.

    March 16, 2012 at 1:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • Charlie

      The media just needs someone to pick on. Jeremy Lin seems like an easy target. Agreed. Send him to my Detroit Pistons. We'll gladly take him.

      March 16, 2012 at 2:37 pm | Report abuse |
  6. aj

    who cares about basketball, I mean really. People were just trying to make money off that poor guy.
    I bet he never see's a dime of it.

    March 16, 2012 at 1:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • ParaSalin

      well its hard enough seeing money with those slopey eyes of his.

      March 18, 2012 at 12:35 am | Report abuse |
  7. zizou

    not sure if it is a coincidence that the knicks started loosing again when Melo came back. as a suggestion and seat melo out for the next 2 games and let Lin do what he needs to do and see if they can win again.

    March 16, 2012 at 1:24 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Movie Star Human

    Lin already has shown he has the patience to size a situation up. Don't worry, you can't keep a good man down

    March 16, 2012 at 1:24 pm | Report abuse |
  9. MC23

    Another typical Knick move in discouraging a young player from improving. Knicks will not even make the playoffs with this new approach and Woodson will end up out of the job at season's end. The spirit had gone as soon as Anthony came back.

    March 16, 2012 at 1:30 pm | Report abuse |
  10. braisin

    Trade carmelo and get amare to play defence. I cannot beleive it's acceptable to not play defence in the league. I don't like the knicks but the linsanity stopped when carmelo came back. he's a ball hog who just wants the new york spotlight and celebrity status but does not want to put in the work.

    March 16, 2012 at 1:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bill

      Who would trade for that contract? Knicks are stuck with him and mediocrity

      March 16, 2012 at 1:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • Michael Vick

      Actually Melo for DWill swap was suggest by D'Antoni to the management, but Dolan flatly rejected. That's the reason D'Antoni was gone. They were not winning with Melo, why do they think benching Lin to play Melo will help? D'Antoni wanted to get rid of Melo so Knicks can be back on winning ways they were without Melo. Record supported that D'Antoni was right.

      People say it won't work. But I actually thought the Melo for DWill swap would work. NJ will not be able to keep DWill. Get something for him right now and let NY worry about DWill's contract. Melo is about as good you can get for nothing at this point. NJ was a front runner to get Melo last year, and Melo didn't mind playing for NJ either. If NJ loses DWill, there is very little chance Dwight Howard would come to NJ. But Melo/Dwight combo makes a pretty good team, with Howard's superior defense making up for Melo's lack of. NY would be better off with DWill/Amare/Lin. If you don't put it on the table you will never know.

      March 16, 2012 at 2:36 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Bill

    I am not sure why anyone truly believes this Knicks team has a chance. Melo has been unable to win games his entire career, because he a one-dimensional shooter, and that is all he is. He takes to many shots, and since he is primarily just a shooter, can be covered during crunch time. And his defense........... Stoudemire has been up and down his entire career, with his best performances early on. His D is right up there with Carmelo's. And Lin? Did anyone really believe an undrafted point guard from Harvard was going to really be a game changer? This team is just about were their talent level dictates them being: A .500 team, which will continue for years to come considering contract issues.

    March 16, 2012 at 1:45 pm | Report abuse |
  12. fastball

    No, he's doing just fine. It's just that his 15 minutes were up.
    It's the dysfunctional Knicks that decided they would rather sit Lin (who they were winning with) in favor of Carmelo Anthony, who they don't want to sit on the bench because they're paying him a boatload of money to play ball.'s win with Lin (who's cheap, a fan favorite, and who gets wins)...or lose with Carmelo.
    The Dolan's have made their choice.

    March 16, 2012 at 1:57 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Claufan

    Mike D'Antoni's coaching style brought the very best of Lin's abilities. Move the ball. And this did not sit well with some players who did not want to listen to D'Antoni in the huddle. Stoudemire did well under D'Antoni in PHX so it should have played that way here

    March 16, 2012 at 2:05 pm | Report abuse |
  14. nsmithline

    It's too early for Woodson to talk about his "system" after a win on a team like portland lest he embarrasses himself if the Knicks loses another 6 games in a row.

    March 16, 2012 at 2:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • Michael Vick

      Not only would Knicks miss the playoff, but they might lose 16 in a row and Woodson would be gone trying out his new stupid system.

      March 16, 2012 at 2:40 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Dustincredible

    I really do think Lin is going to be a great player after a couple seasons. In many of his interviews he always said the perfect thing "I'm learning". Pro ball is a whole different monster than college ball. He is a natural leader and will eventually earn the spotlight again regardless of what team he's on.

    March 16, 2012 at 2:22 pm | Report abuse |
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