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. so what

    so what is the big deal about the ben and gerrys bs????are people really that thin skinned????or just stupid.

    March 16, 2012 at 4:29 pm | Report abuse |
  2. bert f.

    Under Woodson's offensive strategy, Melo and Amar'e will have to score nearly 100 points between them for the Knicks to win games. Good luck with that. Hope Jeremy Lin gets an opportunity with another team if Woodson doesn't want to use him.

    March 16, 2012 at 4:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • Anthony Stark

      That makes no sense. He's the former Hawks coach and a good coach at that. The Hawks fired him unfairly. Lin won't get as much shine in his system though. He favors vets.

      March 16, 2012 at 6:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • He

      Lightning bug

      March 16, 2012 at 7:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • He

      Lin will do worse in other team....remember, linsanity only happens in knicks!

      March 16, 2012 at 7:18 pm | Report abuse |
  3. so what

    if you are so flippin weak that you will let someone badger you through a computer,you deserve what you get. the bully is not man "enuff" to face you or they would not use a computer..

    March 16, 2012 at 4:33 pm | Report abuse |
  4. howdy doo

    good or bad ,,JLIN sells out in EVERY arena across the country. melo, his goofy 18 mill$ smile, and woodson are all insignificant and are typical insecure black guys that feel empowered just because a white guy put them there.

    March 16, 2012 at 4:33 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Dave

    Lin won't be selling out crowds now. Nice try while it lasted.

    March 16, 2012 at 5:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • Larry

      Basc economic subject.. No production to revenue!!!
      A figured player being benched or about to, how can any NBA organzation attract spectatiors???

      March 16, 2012 at 10:47 pm | Report abuse |
  6. longshot

    No surprise, the big egos come back on the court and the knicks start losing – we knew this was going to happen.

    March 16, 2012 at 5:30 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Patrick

    Ok, emphasis your so called superstars to play freakin defense.
    While you are at it,thank Lin for the winning streak or else the team would have been 15 games under .500

    March 16, 2012 at 5:45 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Steve

    People need to realize teams win these games, not just certain players. The best teams in history in all sports were the best not because of 1 or 2 players but because the whole team was built to win and everyone contributed to its success. This is lost in the modern era with one or two players making up 30%+ of the payroll on many sports team. Teamwork will always beat talent...talent beats itself. Pride comes before the fall?

    March 16, 2012 at 5:52 pm | Report abuse |
  9. common sense

    To what I have seen, Lin plays with everything he got but Melo does not take some of the their games seriously...

    March 16, 2012 at 6:02 pm | Report abuse |
  10. rktman71

    Endless blather about he was the greatest thing ever and now the writers get to babble on about what went wrong. Babble babble blather blather...

    March 16, 2012 at 6:24 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Real direct

    Lin, is no more than a roll player.....Mayweather was right. Good call coach on sitting the kid.

    March 16, 2012 at 6:33 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Real direct

    Lin, OVERATED!!!!!

    March 16, 2012 at 6:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • Larry

      And you are underated or never will 🙂 🙂 :-)..

      March 16, 2012 at 10:50 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Darius

    He's only human leave him alone folks.

    March 16, 2012 at 7:11 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Ted Ryder

    Might as well have Melo pick up a welfare check for the little amount of work he does.

    March 16, 2012 at 7:45 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Talkic Social

    It was nice while it lasted.

    March 16, 2012 at 8:13 pm | Report abuse |
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