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. Bob A. Booey

    Someone's going to blame Obama for this I just know it.

    March 16, 2012 at 2:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • brad

      more like bush, I mean the demoncrats and obama blame him and his administration for everything else that's wrong.. (just wondering if obama was white, and bush was a past black president, and all this blaming going on for 4 years, I wonder if the the "white" obama would be considered a racist?, ya know, like everyone that disagrees with obama is racist right?) just a thought

      March 16, 2012 at 2:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • Daddy2010

      Seriously? People still listen to Stern? You have to grow up someday Peter Pan.

      March 16, 2012 at 3:05 pm | Report abuse |
  2. ready

    Tebow is next.

    March 16, 2012 at 2:34 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Charlie

    Jeremy Lin, I introduce you to the media. They will make you and break you, when they want, how they want. Just do what you gotta do, and let the media be the giant turd it always has been and always will be. Congratulations for doing such a great job and paving such a great path for yourself and your family.

    March 16, 2012 at 2:35 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Unknown

    His fifteen minuets of fame is up!

    March 16, 2012 at 2:35 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Josh

    I dunno much about Linsanity, but I do know that New York got a smackdown from Malka-mania last night 😛

    March 16, 2012 at 2:36 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Charlie

    I think the whole Nueva York shirts are hilarious. I'm sure that doesn't sit well with the black players. Too bad. They have to wear the shirts that their owners give them.

    March 16, 2012 at 2:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • Terry

      Yeah....because no black people speak Spanish...."facePalm"

      March 16, 2012 at 2:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • ConfusedBlkDude

      I'm not sure what you mean. Why do you think that'd be a problem?

      March 16, 2012 at 2:43 pm | Report abuse |
  7. AG

    I live in NY, but I'm NOT a Knicks fan. This fad was overblown to the point that it could come crashing down all at once, and look what happened. If Melo hated the D'Antoni system so much, he got his wish now put up or shut up. You Knicks fans are sooo fickle and short-sighted. You think that throwing a boatload of $$$ to Phil will change everything, why would he want to come to NY. There's not enough $$$ he would take to risk tarnishing his legacy, plus add the talents of the whole team and they wouldn't equal a Jordan or even a Kobe. On that note, Go Bulls!!

    March 16, 2012 at 2:40 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Danny Sausagee

    It's all Obama's fault...damn

    March 16, 2012 at 2:52 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Anomic Office Drone

    The media sensationalizes everything. How long before the public thinks they're just crying wolf all the time?

    March 16, 2012 at 2:56 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Benjamin J. Douthett

    The best part of this story: Not a single mention of a certain Denver quarterback.

    March 16, 2012 at 3:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • cuzu

      you confused or dont know the different between foodball and basketball

      March 16, 2012 at 3:21 pm | Report abuse |
  11. sharky

    "Shiny New Toy Syndrome" I called that one.

    However, I feel sorry for Lin. When people go crazy with this kind of adulation it puts a lot of pressure on a person that did not ask for such pressure. They just wanted to play basketball. I hope this really doesn't affect him too much.

    March 16, 2012 at 3:09 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Tuan

    This will be a waste of talent, when the season ends and the Knick decides not to resign or trade Lin, and watch him come back and bite them later. I dare you Knicks to trade him to the Lakers!!! Woodson is just catering to the prisoners to keep his job, Amare is nobody w/o Nash...Nash made Amare and Shawn Marion. Lin moving the ball made Novak and Chandler look like All-Stars.

    March 16, 2012 at 3:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • laker fan714

      this is all Melo's fault. Troi oi

      March 16, 2012 at 3:17 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Sybaris

    Is he still thanking his god for his lackluster perfomance?

    March 16, 2012 at 3:13 pm | Report abuse |
  14. lancerlot

    Of course he was going to fail and burn out. He just got in the zone at the right time right place. The shots he was making were ridiculous–Jordan couldn't make those shot consistantly. Every should have known those miracle twisting over the shoulder blind 3 foot hooks would not keep dropping. that people were foaming at the mouth over his play and thought he could do that for a career were not basketball realists–they were looking for the next wave to ride and when it was over they turned their back.

    March 16, 2012 at 3:16 pm | Report abuse |
  15. laker fan714

    bring him to the lakers! we'll gladly take him.

    March 16, 2012 at 3:16 pm | Report abuse |
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