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NEW YORK (WFAN) – It’s been a long, strange trip for Knicks phenomenon Jeremy Lin.
On Feb. 3, Lin was a relative unknown in the NBA. Already given up on by Golden State and Houston, the second-year guard was just another Ivy League basketball product buried on the bench. That night, he famously crashed on teammate Landry Fields’ sofa.
The following day Lin exploded for 25 points against the New Jersey Nets — and “Linsanity” was born.
“It’s unbelievable,” Lin told WFAN’s Boomer & Carton on Thursday morning. “I don’t really have words right now to explain it.”
LISTEN: Jeremy Lin with Boomer & Carton
Lin has gained more than 315,000 followers on Twitter since taking the world — and the “Linternet” — by storm.
And — surprise! — it might all be because of Carmelo Anthony.
Lin insisted any notion that Anthony is “selfish” and unable to share the spotlight should be thrown out the window. In fact, it was Anthony who convinced coach Mike D’Antoni to insert Lin against the Nets.
“I’m just confused, because he’s the one who vouched for me in the first place,” said Lin. “We want to play together and we want to work together and we’re buying into that. You know, some people are calling Melo selfish and (saying) ‘He doesn’t buy into the team.’ I mean, that’s just tough for anyone to hear. Especially when we don’t think it’s true.”
The question is whether the Knicks will continue to have success with Anthony in the mix. D’Antoni said Wednesday that the superstar, out since Feb. 7 with a strained groin, could return as early as Friday.
Lin said there won’t be any issues sharing the court.
“I don’t want to come out here and shoot 20 shots a game,” he said. “But if that’s what the defense gives me, on those nights that’s what I’m gonna have to do.”
There’s no doubt that Lin, like Anthony, has serious star power.
Tribute videos are all over YouTube. One former classmate was trying to sell an “authentic” Lin-signed yearbook for $4,800 on eBay. The catch? It was from seventh grade. The auction has since been ended by the seller.
“To live it and to be a part of it and for it to become real is definitely beyond my wildest dreams,” said Lin.
The sensation has spawned countless Lin-isms: “Lincredible.” “Lin your face!” “Va-LIN-tine’s Day.” While we’re on the subject, Thursday’s appearance was his first radio “Linterview.”
“There’s been times of doubt when there’s been a rough game or a rough stretch,” said Lin. “I knew I could play at this level, but I didn’t think it would happen like this, this fast.”
It’s no wonder some are hailing Lin as the new Tim Tebow. But his sudden success and unwavering Christian faith are just a small part of the story.
For starters, Lin has been proving his doubters wrong multiple times per week, not just on Sundays.
“I respect him a lot, I’m a fan of his,” Lin said. “I think our stories are very different. People see similarities because we talk about our faith or whatnot, but I think our stories are still very different.”
The peak of Lin-mania perhaps came Tuesday night in Toronto, when he drained a dramatic game-winning three pointer to stun the Raptors. And how about this stat: Lin scored 136 points in his first five starts. That’s not just good. It set a post-merger NBA record.
“It was crazy,” Lin said of Tuesday’s away game. “Half the crowd would go crazy when we scored, half the crowd would go crazy when they scored.”
On Wednesday, Lin led the Knicks to their seventh straight victory. He had only 10 points on six shots, but dished out a career-high 13 assists.
From sharp-shooter to floor general? That could prove to be the winning formula for New York.
“I look up to Melo,” said Lin. “He’s a leader on this team, he’s a captain. We need him out there and we’re excited to have him back. “
Consider the rest of the NBA on notice.
“There will be an adjustment process, but we’re committed and we’re gonna make this thing happen. We’re gonna find a way to become even more explosive offensively and I think that’s gonna be the exciting part.”
Are you “Linsane” for the Knicks sensation? Sound off below!