The Meteoric Rise of Jeremy Lin
Putting the entire world at his fingertips, Jeremy Lin established a name for himself during the 2012 NBA season.
While playing for the New York Knicks, one month of stellar basketball play skyrocketed him from an unknown to an NBA phenomenon. Lin did it by displaying an unbelievable shooting touch, scorching his opponents at will. His dribbling was dynamic and his game-winning three that defeated the Toronto Raptors was icing on the cake.
This was the beginning of a career in the making for a Harvard grad who was, at one point, sleeping on his friend's couch until he was called up from the D-League to hold down a temporary a spot as the Knicks' starting point guard.
His big break was actually a bit of marketing cleverness. Someone coined the nickname Linsanity once he got hot, and it stuck. Although the Knicks had two stalwarts in their own right -- Carmelo Anthony and Amare Stoudamire -- Lin seemed at the time to be a saving grace for a once dominating franchise, even though that once happened so long ago, a three-point basket was only a gleam in an ABA promoter's eye.
Add more marketing cleverness. Lin also opened up an entire market for the Knick organization to dive into with his Ivy League education and Asian ethnicity.
This is a classic example of Andy Warhol's principle about 15 minutes of fame. After that one spectacular month, Lin's balloon eventually was deflated. Although he was still productive from an offensive standpoint, Lin was a liability on defense, and his statistics eventually started to become mediocre at best.
Lin was eventually traded to the Houston Rockets, where he is now a complementary player to two of the league's mega-stars, James Harden and Dwight Howard. In the Rockets' system, Lin isn't needed to produce at the level that so pleasantly surprised the Knicks.
Frankly, besides being in the right place at the right time and delivering the goods, Lin has one skillset worth noting. He's an unbelivable shooter. When he gets hot, no one can defend him. This comes in handy on occasion for the Rockets, but again, he's limited defensively. This presents major issues against lightning-quick point guards like Russell Westbrook and Chris Paul.
I firmly believe that Lin has hit his ceiling. He's compiled enough of a body of work to indicate he is 'way too inconsistent in other aspects of the game, and he's been a horrorshow with turnovers.
He can live well in Houston, assuming he continues to work on his defensive deficiencies. With Chandler Parsons and James Harden patrolling the perimeter, Lin doesn't need to drop 30 points per game. Good thing, too. He can light it up in spurts, but I don't think he has the ability to consistently score at will.
So, his legacy and bankbook are secure with his impact in Asia. On this side of the Pacific, Jeremy Lin is simply a solid, complementary point guard who understands his role on this team.
Linsanity will continue, but in moderate and humble proportions.