Regardless of what happens from this point onwards, we can all say we witnessed the very brief era of Jeremy Lin.
In the most unprecedented start to a professional career we have ever seen, Linsanity swept all corners of the world.
Earning M-V-P chants upon his first start, shattering records, hitting buzzer beaters, becoming the man in New York, turning fans against Carmelo Anthony, saving Mike D’Antoni’s career, winning 8 straight games, hugely humbled by Miami, struggling to fit in with returning stars, losing 5 consecutive, losing Mike D’Antoni, new defensive coach, 5 game win streak, fading role and minutes, season ending injury.
That could be the biography of a career, but it’s just a brief summary of the most incredible three month introduction in the history of sport.
Disbelief is the best word to describe the era of Linsanity. When it all began, we could not believe the incredible confidence, charisma and unseen talent of a player in a package we are not used to. Throughout the crescendo of his mania, our jaws were permanently on the floor. The same can be said for the dramatic decline, culminating from the Heat’s targeting and destruction of the NBA’s greatest story. He never quite recovered.
The hysteria was never warranted or fair, but in the exaggerated, sport crazy and success desperate town of New York, there was never going to be any other result. At best Lin was a mid teens scorer and perhaps a 7-9 assist per game guard. He was not special athletically, he was not a gifted passer, his dribble was limited and his decision making at times was questionable. How he achieved what he did is not explainable, nor will I waste anyone’s time attempting to do so.
If disbelief is the theme of his short beginning to his NBA journey, the current situation is nothing but tragic. The Knicks roster, the organisation and the fans were convinced they had found a missing piece that would help them unlock their tremendous potential. If nothing else, Lin rejuvenated a frustrated franchise, and that had a greater resonance than anything he could produce on the court.
In tearing his meniscus, no.17 will not be seen again this season, barring a hugely unlikely Knicks playoff run. They now find themselves in a similar situation of lacking depth at the point guard position. Baron Davis has re-entered the fray and put serious pressure on Lin to hold his starting position, before he went down.
Whilst no one wanted it to end this way, and to be honest it almost feels as if someone has died or at least retired. The hopes of the great city of New York continue to waver and the optimism he brought to every second he was involved cannot be recovered.
Never before have we seen a player of average talent take control of a competition and catapult it into places of madness that may never be reciprocated.
We have lived the past three months of our lives in pure disbelief over what this man had achieved, so it should not come as any shock that it ends in similar dramatic fashion.
Whether or not we will ever see a return to Linsanity is unknown. Regardless of what may happen in the future, we will forever be able to tell stories of the fairytale that was and still is, Jeremy Lin.