NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – It was one year ago that “Linsanity” was born.
After being inserted into the lineup on February 4, 2012, during a sluggish Knicks effort against the New Jersey Nets, Jeremy Lin acted as a catalyst to an unforgettable seven-game winning streak that saved the team from another indifferent year. No matter how much the critics doubted him, Lin kept moving the storyline forward and captivated the world’s attention.
“(Monday), everyone was like ‘Oh, congrats, it’s been one year,’” Lin told the Houston Chronicle. ”I didn’t even realize it until I got a text. It’s crazy. God’s been really good to me. It’s only been one year, but it seemed like so long ago … It was definitely a whirlwind (and) I definitely enjoyed it. I definitely learned and grew a lot as a person, (and) I got exposed to a lot more than I’ll probably be exposed to the rest of my life as far as how fast everything happens.”
In the time before “Linsanity”, the former Harvard guard believed that his job was in jeopardy, and that it was only a matter of time before he would have to find another way to make it.
“Every time I think back I’m thankful, because I still remember like yesterday what it was like to be fighting for my spot and coming to work every day unsure if it would be my last,” he told the Chronicle. “I’m just trying to stay thankful and grateful, and keep that memory of where I used to be fresh in my mind so I don’t take things for granted.”
The Knicks decided to part ways with Lin in the offseason, electing to give veteran guards Jason Kidd, Raymond Felton and Pablo Prigioni a chance to run the backcourt. And while the team is off to its best start in years (31-15), it’s important to remember who breathed life into a stagnate Madison Square Garden last year.
“I don’t think we will see that again for a long time, how much that took off,” Carmelo Anthony said of Lin’s time in New York.
Tyson Chandler agrees, but he stressed that this year’s team — without Lin — is far more equipped to make a title run.
“That was an exciting year and it was an exciting moment, but we didn’t have the type of cast that we have now,” Chandler said. “That was just like a period in time. This team has the chance to do something special, the chance to do something that hasn’t been done in a long time. That’s the biggest difference.”
In his first year with the Rockets, the 24-year-old is averaging 12.5 points, 6.2 assists and 3.6 rebounds in 32.9 minutes per game.
Knicks fans — Despite New York’s brilliant season thus far, do you miss Lin at all? Sound off with your thoughts and comments below…