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. star what?

    Lin outscored Anthony during the pacer game...enuf said.

    March 17, 2012 at 4:34 pm | Report abuse |
  2. RetiredVet

    Who cares CNN this isn't news, not everyone is into pro basketball.

    March 17, 2012 at 5:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mike

      Coach Woodson is eithier an idiot...or he's taking orders from above...but the point is...if it aint broken, dont fix it...Neve like Melo...overated crybaby...Amare cool...D'antoni...he the right offense!!

      March 18, 2012 at 9:55 am | Report abuse |
  3. Hawaii Warrior Fan

    Lin needs to go to another team where they appreciate his talents / potential. All talk about his turnovers, he handles the ball 90% of the time, he's bound to get some. How does he compare w/other NBA point guards in terms of TO's? Pretty comparable I bet yet all focuses only on Lin. It'll be a shame if Woodson only focuses on the two headed individual Monsters, well Amare is more of a team player then Carmelo. if it wasn't for Lin, wouldn't be following the KnickerBockers, "Boring Ball". It looks like the Knicks are entrenched and committed to Carmelo. Trade Lin next season so the millions of fans that follow Lin can continue to do so on a team that will ultilize his talents instead of trying to fit him into a round hole. Good Luck w/Amare and Carmelo, and of course; Dolan.

    March 17, 2012 at 5:57 pm | Report abuse |
  4. youdontknowbball

    lin scored only six? but didn't the team win by 40? you can't judge what's happening by one blow-out win. can someone who watches sports write the sports articles please?

    March 17, 2012 at 7:11 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Chuck

    Lindifference ...

    March 17, 2012 at 7:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • Thomas

      Nominate for best reply.

      March 18, 2012 at 8:38 am | Report abuse |
  6. MoeL

    Hey, this guy is just human. Is America/sports fans so desperate for a hero? Not taking away from his talent, he is good at what he does, but come on people.

    March 17, 2012 at 9:00 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Toro

    I see the money symbol slowing down for the NY Knicks franchise. The interim coach is done after the season and Melo may be traded. It seems Melo may not be able to share the spotlight with Lin. JR Smith compliments Lin's game, Amare can play with either leading the team. Think about it...sell 100,000 Lin jerseys worldwide or 10,000 Melo worldwide....I know Melo is popular but he's not as popular as Lin can be.

    March 17, 2012 at 9:44 pm | Report abuse |
  8. good journalism

    Now you can eat your own words, Brad Lendon.

    March 17, 2012 at 10:36 pm | Report abuse |
  9. good journalism

    Lin Lin outscored the Stars during the pacer game again. 19 points, 6 assists and 7 reb

    March 17, 2012 at 10:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • DaveK

      Lin has had 2 very good games in a row under Woodson. He clearly has the potential to be a very good point guard. Lin couldn't possibly live up to the hype and is not going to give you 30 points a game. But he can pass and score and has the potential to lead the Knicks to a lot of wins. He's only 23 and is still learning the game. The Knicks are much better with him than without him. Baron Davis can't play major minutes without getting injured. Although Mike Bibby is a useful roster player, he is very far past his prime.

      March 18, 2012 at 5:30 am | Report abuse |
  10. Roscoe

    this econ major certainly knows the probability of deeds versus words

    March 17, 2012 at 10:46 pm | Report abuse |
  11. mslman

    You guys publish dozens of articles talking this (or any) player up knowing full well that you'll have plenty of bull to publish x months later about how he didn't live up to all the hype YOU created.

    March 17, 2012 at 11:43 pm | Report abuse |
  12. tommy

    This comment from Anferco need to be deleted please. This Anferco person need to be removed from this world.

    March 18, 2012 at 1:55 am | Report abuse |
  13. NooYawkah

    On the bright side, no lame-o internet comedian has put up the comment "Who?" on this article. A sliver of hope for mankind.

    March 18, 2012 at 9:26 am | Report abuse |
  14. Whiplash

    This writer must have whiplash from all the Lin yo-yo-ing. As though people can't have bad games. Put his stats up to rest of nba starting point guards and he is more than holding his own.

    March 18, 2012 at 10:19 am | Report abuse |
  15. reviewer

    There really should be a way to report articles such as these.

    March 18, 2012 at 10:55 am | Report abuse |
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