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.

Post by:
Filed under: Basketball • NBA • Sports
soundoff (182 Responses)
  1. Square

    I am still cheering for Jeremy Lin. He's a good guy.

    March 16, 2012 at 3:19 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Gerry

    Jason Lin is a good basketball player, let him rest, and use Carmelo Anthony for the next two games, and then bring back in Lin and let him play two games, choose wisely.

    March 16, 2012 at 3:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • Seth

      Jason is a good player but Jeremy sucks!!

      March 16, 2012 at 3:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • stvnkrs10

      who is Jason Lin?

      March 16, 2012 at 4:07 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Ching Chong

    Send him back to China where he belongs.

    March 16, 2012 at 3:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • Kurtis

      With a name like Ching Chong maybe you should lead the way.

      March 16, 2012 at 3:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • 1Progressive

      Are you seriously that ignorant?

      March 16, 2012 at 3:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • AL In Palm Beach County, FL

      I'd call you smarty pants, but I'd be lying.

      HE IS NOT FROM CHINA....then again you failed Geography.

      March 16, 2012 at 3:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • matt houston

      Hey Genius, he's from Taiwan...China's thorn in its side.

      March 16, 2012 at 4:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • Solex

      He was born in Palo Alto, California. How about we send YOU back to whatever country your surname identifies?

      March 16, 2012 at 4:00 pm | Report abuse |
  4. chaz

    and yet LeBron is still matching on towards the crown... (a little down week I know)

    March 16, 2012 at 3:30 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Jo

    I hope Lin can still shine. If the team and coach don't work for him, he should go to a better-suite team that actually favors team-work. I think Knicks are going back to their losing streaks with the new philosophy.

    March 16, 2012 at 3:30 pm | Report abuse |
  6. jrice46

    The guy is really a rookie, putting up close to 18 a game since he got any playing time with over 8 assists.... I don't quite think his "time is up"...

    March 16, 2012 at 3:31 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Andy Daniel

    What's being missed here is that Lin seems to do his best when the pressure is on him alone. It's true, he is not scoring like he did when Anthony was out. But he's still dishing out alot of assists. You can argue that Anthony is back scoring 20 while Lin is scoring 6, or you can argue that the Knicks win with Lin only but lose with Lin & Anthony. Only time will tell.

    March 16, 2012 at 3:33 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Ted Striker

    Woodson is making a dumb move here riding Carmelo

    On paper Carmelo is one of the top players in the game, yet his teams just don't well. Lin on paper shouldn't even be in the league, yet he won games.

    The numbers speak for themselves.

    March 16, 2012 at 3:39 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Pancho

    Linsanity isn't over......Linsanity is proof that a dedicated individual can lift himself to anoher level against the odds and succeed.

    Linsanity is isn't some computer generated movie about a zebra that could race stallions. Jeremy actually lived it!

    In fact, Lin already has an many NBA Championship rings as Amare & Carmelo put together.

    March 16, 2012 at 3:48 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Greg

    I'm a Bulls fan. I was at the game on Monday. Glad for the Bulls win. As to Jeremy Lin – he's not the problem. He produced a solid 15 point while, for the most part, standing on the offensive end watch Carmelo Anthony. Anthony was a selfish player at Syracuse and he's a selfish player in NY. I'd like to see what happens if Anthony is out a game. I bet you see Lin break out again. For the Knicks sake perhaps the new coach can achieve more offensive balance.

    March 16, 2012 at 3:49 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Scrumps

    How is this any different from Tebow mania?

    March 16, 2012 at 3:56 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Seth

    Its the fans that make Lin suck. He is an average player but the fans have blown him up so much that he will never meet that expectation.

    March 16, 2012 at 4:00 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Ted Ryder

    Everyone knew when Carmelo Anthony came back he'd cry like a baby and slow Lin down. That's exactly what happened. Now that the new black coach is in, it's time to feed the ball to the non-productive black players. Looks like good old fashioned cronyism and racism to me.

    March 16, 2012 at 4:11 pm | Report abuse |
  14. ELH

    Lin and Tebow should have a chat–Tim has been there, done that.

    March 16, 2012 at 4:24 pm | Report abuse |
  15. jesse

    how do chinese name their kids?? they throw silverware down the staircase!!! 🙂 i always liked that one

    March 16, 2012 at 4:29 pm | Report abuse |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10