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. TvNyC

    Linsanity will be back....

    March 16, 2012 at 8:16 pm | Report abuse |
  2. TvNyC

    Pacers 98 vs Knicks 104

    March 16, 2012 at 8:17 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Donald in CA

    Anybody pro player can have a couple of good games. The media played this up as though Lin had become michael jordan after a few good games. Now we are back to normal.

    March 16, 2012 at 9:14 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Metron

    Carmelo Anthony is such a drain for any team. That guy deserves to play in China.

    March 16, 2012 at 9:59 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Ken Rothey

    I am ashamed of the majority of you who do not wonder why Anthony couldn't play for D'Antonni, but in the first game after the coaches departure, Anthony played like Lin did when Anthony was "hurt" What gross elitism and reverse discrimination on the part of "discriminating discriminatees" who play on all black teams while complaining that there are not enough black coaches in the NBA.

    March 16, 2012 at 10:00 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Lin

    🙂 🙂 Well said Michael...

    March 16, 2012 at 10:43 pm | Report abuse |
  7. NYC6968

    "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.
    For Melo and Amar’e, however good they were, it was in the past I believe. Wake up to the present, Mr. Woodson. Do you see that today ? At best, they are just playing at the level of Novak, Lin, Smith. They are no longer superstars except their paycheck, maybe.

    March 16, 2012 at 10:53 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Ed

    Sell your MSG stock, the party is over.

    March 16, 2012 at 11:23 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Jeff

    That's what happens to the Chinese when you don't work them 15 hours a day.

    March 16, 2012 at 11:57 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Ching Chong

    Send him to Foxconn to make Ipads for us.

    March 17, 2012 at 1:51 am | Report abuse |
  11. sonbo

    now marked down to $99
    oh, never mid, just forget it, who wants these things for free?

    March 17, 2012 at 3:05 am | Report abuse |
  12. michael

    I'm appalled at the rampant racism on this board. Shame on you guys.

    March 17, 2012 at 3:09 am | Report abuse |
  13. Bob

    Linsanity may be over, but that doesn't mean Lin won't eventually be a great player in the NBA, the Knicks would be stupid to let him go. He needs a few more years to develop with this team.

    March 17, 2012 at 3:18 am | Report abuse |
  14. enkephalin07

    Oh, the media infatuation is over, he's been used up for all the drama you could get.

    Still seems like someone I'd want on my team. Someone I could rely on to have my back under any conditions at all. Unlike certain reporters.

    March 17, 2012 at 7:02 am | Report abuse |
  15. Jersey Jay

    We are taught team when growing up and then you see PROS crying with ego. Ever wonder why so many stars never get a ring? The open man should shoot the ball. They don't deserve to win if they don't play as a team to win. I don't care about how much money they make, the contract they have or how great he is. Sorry players that play as a team will do better. I'm a FAN and coaches, management need to listen to us! I don't want to see just Melo or Staudi play. I want to see the KNICKS play and WIN!

    March 17, 2012 at 8:08 am | Report abuse |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10