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. bill

    Guess what. He is not sitting on the bench any more. Lin is not New York's problem, they had a problem before him and they will have a problem as long as their star player is not a star.

    March 18, 2012 at 7:26 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Neal

    Lin himself said very clearly during the "linsanity" days that the fact that he was making so many baskets as a PG was a concern. He said so himself and made it quite clear that that should not last.

    March 18, 2012 at 8:03 pm | Report abuse |
  3. sonbo

    who want buy mye Lin Jerzey...I sel cheep
    Mrs. Suzi Tanaka

    March 18, 2012 at 8:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • craig

      racist little man aren't we?

      March 18, 2012 at 9:02 pm | Report abuse |
  4. eddie53

    Time to move to another team who will let him play.

    March 18, 2012 at 9:08 pm | Report abuse |
  5. ss

    The headline and article is so premature. After this post went up, Lin scored 19 and had 7 rebounds and 7 assists. The hype surrounding him was too much, but he is a solid player and his star is still shining.

    March 18, 2012 at 9:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • Howard

      A one week wonder like Tebow

      March 20, 2012 at 1:37 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Neal

    The writer of that NY Post article is the buy high sell low type.. that's why he worked for the NY Post.

    March 18, 2012 at 11:57 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Barry Allen

    Another reason why CNN is so irrelevant. this story should have been down encore it went up on Friday. Three straight wins and 3 solid games from Lin. stick to your lame coverage of politics

    March 19, 2012 at 12:08 am | Report abuse |
  8. CK

    Terrible post. In their big win over Indiana yesterday he lead the team with 19 points 7 rebounds and 6 assists. The game before that he also played very well. Way to jump ship after a couple bad games.

    March 19, 2012 at 12:11 am | Report abuse |
  9. OCCent

    This story is a bit dated? Knicks has won 3 in a row, with Lin being the highest scorer for the Knicks in the last game.

    March 19, 2012 at 1:54 am | Report abuse |
  10. jimmy

    They should really update there articles on cnn. Come on now, the knicks have won 3 in a row and Lin is shinning once again.

    March 19, 2012 at 3:15 am | Report abuse |
  11. Jim

    CNN not sure what world you guys are living in. The last time I checked Lin played very well and was pivotal to the Knick's win.

    March 19, 2012 at 6:28 am | Report abuse |
  12. jowl

    Linsanity is Linished. It was Linevitable.

    March 19, 2012 at 9:48 am | Report abuse |
  13. Tyler

    Update your stuff CNN! Jeremy Lin is not Chris Paul, but if you watched the 4th quarter from Saturday's game you might have noticed that the guy is still a big time part of this team's success. Linsanity, although well deserved for what he did over that 8 game span, was overdone. Let the kid just play basketball. He's still growing and developing.

    March 19, 2012 at 10:17 am | Report abuse |
  14. Wow

    Has any noticed that the Knicks have won 2 straight against good teams since they replaced the coach. Lin will become a true point guard not side show highlight.

    March 19, 2012 at 10:21 am | Report abuse |
  15. Woop Woop

    d'Antoni gets fired...Lin getsridiculed...and the real culprit...Carmelo the ball-hog...gets more touches...and furthers this team's to decent back into the basement.

    March 19, 2012 at 11:01 am | Report abuse |
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