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. Jt_flyer

    We build them up and tear them down.

    March 18, 2012 at 11:25 am | Report abuse |
  2. Brian

    Maybe it's just a simpler thing about the attention span with the media in general. People tend to lose linterest.

    March 18, 2012 at 11:55 am | Report abuse |
  3. Andy

    Only thing worse then normal media is the sports media.

    March 18, 2012 at 11:55 am | Report abuse |
  4. Brad

    This article is now obsolete due to the Knicks' three-game winning streak under Woodson and Lin's continued strong play. Both this article and a majority of the responses/comments have jumped the gun and reek of opportunism and negativity (not to mention unnecessary political commentary on a "Page 12"-level sports story.

    March 18, 2012 at 12:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • Vancouver Gabe

      Eat your heart out...Howard Beck, are such an amateur sport critic...after watching a few games, without going into what Lin has done in the already predict he is gonna. you have a crystal ball or something? get a new need it!

      March 18, 2012 at 2:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • john

      Exactly....they built up Lin now its time to tear him down....

      March 18, 2012 at 4:44 pm | Report abuse |
  5. You'reDumb

    To show you how on the ball the writer is, he first reported on Linsanity just last week. So it's no surprise this article is also already out of date.

    March 18, 2012 at 2:09 pm | Report abuse |
  6. josh rogen

    I would have to agree with the "short attention span of the media" and of the casual sports fan. its hard to remember who even won the NBA championship last year, or the world series, the super bowl was more recent but even that is a starting to fad.

    March 18, 2012 at 2:11 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Ted M

    The whole Linsanity phenomenon was unfair to Lin from the beginning, and nothing he asked for. Lin did what was needed to save the Knicks' season when they were 8-15 (score lots of points, create good shots for 2nd-stringers like Novak, spark the team and the crowd). Now that they are settling into a more balanced offense, small-minded reactionary sportswriters like the one who wrote this article want to declare him some kind of "flash in the pan" or, worse, a failure. Lin is a solid PG who knows how to play the game, and his teammates and opponents know it. He won't play a great game every night, but what PG does? The Knicks don't need him to score like he did during the "Linsanity" days now that Anthony, Stoudemire, JR Smith, and Chandler are on the court. Look at his line yesterday– 19 pts, 6 assts, 7 boards, only 2 TOs. Any PG outside of Magic Johnson would consider that a good game, plus they won!! (and against a good team, on the road.)

    March 18, 2012 at 2:25 pm | Report abuse |
  8. M Lin

    Who is the sage (NOT!) who wrote this blog again? A newly born baby has a longer attention span than some news media journalist.

    March 18, 2012 at 2:53 pm | Report abuse |
  9. jdoe

    The article is misleading. People are led to believe that Lin faltered, when it is really the coaching style. If Lin's is not happy about his play time, I'm sure there are many other teams who want to pick him up.

    March 18, 2012 at 3:07 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Lawrence

    I could care less about "Linsanity". As long as the Knicks can continue winning under Woodson and Lin continues to be a serviceable point guard I'm happy. Linsanity was a media creation that wore the kid down. Now we can focus on knicks basketball again.

    March 18, 2012 at 4:20 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Justin

    The Knicks just won their third game in a row, with Lin scoring a team-high 19 points. Lin is a good player-certainly good enough for the NBA-and is not going anywhere.

    Hilarious and completely obsolete article. I can't believe CNN didn't take it down.

    March 18, 2012 at 4:25 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Lawrence

    Secondly, the knicks are in the midst of a 3 game winning streak, beating the number 5 seed twice and the knicks are now the number 8 seed. Enough with this doom and gloom crap. 19 points 7 rebounds 6 assists. Enough said.

    March 18, 2012 at 4:26 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Lawrence

    Leave the sports reporting to ESPN.

    March 18, 2012 at 4:27 pm | Report abuse |
  14. enkephalin07

    "He taught me that rookies were to sit and listen and learn" - right, sounds like Woodson is just there to take Lin down a few notches. "Sit down, shut up, we've got two stars here, two baskets to put all our eggs in, and you aren't either of them." And it's back to how the game has been played lately.

    March 18, 2012 at 4:43 pm | Report abuse |
  15. db

    Dog dragon, dragon dog dog dog dragon dog. Dog dragon Lin dragon Dog.

    March 18, 2012 at 5:21 pm | Report abuse |
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