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Kobe Bryant not down with “Linsanity.” Not yet anyway.

Feb 10, 2012, 1:47 PM EDT

Kobe Bryant Getty Images

If you are going to impress Kobe Bryant, you’re going to have to do a lot more than have three good games in February. A lot more.

Jeremy Lin is a sensation, “Linsanity” is sweeping New York as Kobe Bryant and the Lakers come to town Friday night. Two weeks ago the Knicks looked lost, then Jeremy Lin — the twice cut Harvard grad — burst on the scene with a skill set that fits the Mike D’Antoni offense. Suddenly the Knicks have won three games with Amare Stoudemire and Carmelo Anthony out of action, and New York is fun to watch.

Kobe is still not impressed. Via WEEI in Boston.

“I know who he is, but I don’t really know what’s going on too much with him. I don’t even know what he’s done. Like, I have no idea what you guys are talking about. I’ll take a look at it tonight though.”

[Asked again about Lin] “I don’t even know what the [expletive] is going on. What the [expletive] is going on? Who is this kid? I’ve heard about him and stuff like that, but what’s he been doing? Is he getting like triple doubles or some [expletive]? He’s averaging 28 and eight? No [expletive]. If he’s playing well, I’ll just have to deal with him.”

[Would he consider guarding Lin?] “Jesus Christ. Let’s not get ahead of ourselves.”

First rule of Kobe — the more he cusses in a conversation the closer you get to the truth. That said, Kobe is a guy well aware of what is going on in the NBA — he knows who Lin is and what he’s done.

He’s just not impressed.

Friday night is going to be an interesting test for Lin and the Knicks. Lin is going to be able to dribble around Derek Fisher like he is an orange traffic cone. But When Lin comes off the high pick Friday he’s going to find the Laker big men — Andrew Bynum and Pau Gasol — are far more active in showing out and cutting off lanes than anything he has seen the last two games. The Lakers are not an elite defensive team (11th in league in points per possession) but they are tied for the best in opponent field goal percentage (allowing just 41.7 percent shooting).

The things the Knicks did right the last three games they are going to have to do better Friday to win.

Do that and you start to impress Kobe.

  1. tilllman40 - Feb 10, 2012 at 1:54 PM

    Bryant is a tool jus like laker fair-weather fans

    • stadix093 - Feb 10, 2012 at 3:06 PM

      You must be a Celtic fan, and still mad about last night. I always laugh when people say Lakers fans only stick around for the good times. Like the Wolves building was packed before Rubio came out. Staples is always packed, even when Smush Parker was running the point. You get it backwards homie, we don’t stick around when the times are good. We stick around because the times are almost always good. Our organization > than yours. Get over it and stop hating.

    • 808raiderinparadise - Feb 10, 2012 at 6:45 PM

      Can you imagine if LeBron said something this arrogant and ignorant and sour? Nobody cares about Kobe outisde the Laker fans … they don’t care about him at all, not what he says or does, with exception to when he plays against you.

      Everyone cares about Lebron …. and all LeBron is a big jovial kid that still acts like he is 21 and has fun with the game ….. he is slowly starting to mature.

      Jeremy Lin is a great story. For Kobe’s comments I hope Lin has a crucial impact on the end of the game against Kobe. Then when they stick the mic in his face and ask him about Linsanity he can explode with F-bombs and neglect his 2 daughters by cheating repeatedly on his wife.

      • cornersss - Feb 18, 2012 at 1:00 PM

        well, thats what happens when you have multiple rings, but the loudest guy out there doesn’t.

      • 808raiderinparadise - Feb 19, 2012 at 5:43 PM

        LeBron will have multiple rings. Maybe not 5,6,7 but he will get 3 in Miami

    • njsteeler - Feb 10, 2012 at 9:19 PM

      It’s cool. Everyone should know what Kobe was doing. Like the article stated, Kobe knows exactly what Lin has been doing. I’m sitting here watching them play, and Lin is doing his thing once again. Wonder what they will say after this game win, or lose. The kid is legit. He’s kind of basketball’s Tom Brady. We all know if Baron was healthy he’d be starting. I just hope that D’Antoni has the balls to keep him in the starting lineup once BDiddy is healthy. It’s halftime, and Jeremy has 18 points, and 5 assists. Kobe Bryant, please meet Jeremy Lin.

  2. cakemixa - Feb 10, 2012 at 2:05 PM

    C’mon, you’ve gotta pick up the pace. Only the 2nd Lin story of the day?

  3. bearsstillsuck - Feb 10, 2012 at 2:06 PM

    Reminds me of tebowmania. Once he plays a real defense, it’ll come to an end. But I’m sure the Knicks wouldn’t mind winning the first round of the playoffs.

    • 808raiderinparadise - Feb 10, 2012 at 6:49 PM

      Really Tim Tebow was a 1st round draft pick, hiesman winnner and national champion twice and SEC / NCAA record setter.

      Jeremy Lin couldnt get any scholarships to play NCAA D1 b-ball so he went HArvard and was undrafted, playing his heart out for a 10-day contract with any NBA team…. and ends up turning around a team that was playing terrible on the biggest basketball stage in the world: MADISON SQUARE GARDEN.

      How is this even remotely close to Tebow?

    • willardj - Feb 10, 2012 at 10:49 PM

      Also, Tebow didn’t even play that well. Lin is literally leading the Knicks in scoring right now and has one of the highest PER’s in the league.

      • leearmon - Feb 11, 2012 at 12:31 AM

        Sorry willardj, don’t bring up advanced stats on this site, most people (including the writers) dont know what you’re referring to…

  4. rodgersmvp - Feb 10, 2012 at 2:21 PM

    Tebow beat the #1 defense in the NFL in the playoffs, and he beat the Bears. He lost twice to one of the worst defenses in the NFL. Beating Tebow was about outscoring him, because defenses screwed up over and over again.

    As far as Lin, I hope he does well. He’s a good story and it’d be nice to have a good role model in the NBA. All of the top players right now have large personality flaws and it makes it hard to like any of them. (I expect him to come down from the high he’s on though once he’s figured out)

  5. cinnalocks - Feb 10, 2012 at 2:22 PM

    @tilllmsn40….1. learn how to type/spell 2. The weather is always fair in Southern California… we win a lot. Hater!

  6. losangelasbasketball - Feb 10, 2012 at 2:35 PM

    Is this the same jeremy lin that was cut by the purple and gold?

    • Kurt Helin - Feb 12, 2012 at 2:49 AM

      No, he was never a Laker.

  7. raheel - Feb 10, 2012 at 2:59 PM

    “The Lakers are not an elite defensive team (11th in league in points per possession) but they are tied for the best in opponent field goal percentage (allowing just 41.7 percent shooting).”

    Forgive me for misunderstanding your quote above but according to statistic, Lakers ranked #1 defensively, #4 for points allowed… how are they not an elite defensive team?

    • 808raiderinparadise - Feb 10, 2012 at 6:54 PM

      Yes they are very elite defensively.

      Just look at their overall record too.

      anymore stat junkies?

      When ice-cream sales peak, so does crime. Because ice-cream sells most when it is hot (the summer) and when its summer cirme is also highest becuase no bad weather prevents the streets from becoming quiet.

      The 2 has nothing to do with one another but share a common ground.

      The Laker D is not elite.

      SD chargers 2010 …. #1 offense and #1 defense, they went 8-8.

      STFU stat whore

  8. raheel - Feb 10, 2012 at 3:01 PM

    Actually, disregard my above comment. I was wrong.

    • goforthanddie - Feb 10, 2012 at 4:41 PM

      Wow, positive feedback for an erroneous statement, negative when you correct yourself. Lotsa brainiacs on this site.

  9. ihatecomingupwiththesenames - Feb 10, 2012 at 3:02 PM

    You gotta love Kobe. Knick fan all the way, pulling for them tonight, but you just gotta love Kobe.

    • 00maltliquor - Feb 10, 2012 at 11:17 PM

      That’s pretty cool of you to say that and not be such a blow hard hater like everyone else.
      Real talent is real talent, no matter where they play and your feelings about them personally or their team. Good stuff.

      • ihatecomingupwiththesenames - Feb 18, 2012 at 8:34 PM


  10. nickswish33 - Feb 10, 2012 at 3:36 PM

    Is it me or does Kobe hate every other NBA player other than himself-and yes that includes his teammates

  11. premiumpit - Feb 10, 2012 at 4:01 PM

    I rooting for Lin…Im a die hard knick fan…but kets be honest…Kobe is right…Why would Kobe care about Lin…hes playing good…but hes gotta show he can be a good player all the time and prove himself…That being said said i like lin and want him to help us win and hopefully become a star for us…LETS GOOOOOO KNICKS

  12. cubs103years - Feb 10, 2012 at 4:41 PM

    Hey cinnalocks just stop commenting on spelling that is the least of our worries. Jesus Christ man

  13. goforthanddie - Feb 10, 2012 at 4:49 PM

    Lin’s a nice story, but get real. He played a couple of admittedly great games, he did the work. But the Wiz and Nets are hardly the teams you base your career on. Let’s see his progress over the full season, and how well he does once it becomes Mr. Vasquez’ team again.

  14. metalhead65 - Feb 10, 2012 at 5:29 PM

    Why can’t the kid just the ride he is on without all questions and insults from the media.and when u say everyday that what he did was luck and he will come down to earth next game, i consider that insul

  15. dysraw1 - Feb 10, 2012 at 7:01 PM

    the poor mans Steve Nash is doing his thing and all the haters get started

  16. aceinthehole12 - Feb 10, 2012 at 7:24 PM

    Probably the first and only time I’ll ever agree with Kobe.

  17. bklynfatpants - Feb 10, 2012 at 9:57 PM

    J Lin with 22 pts. Knicks up 9 midway through the 3rd. Let’s put a deadeye shooting Hasid from Crown Heights at the 2 guard slot and a Vietnanmese slasher at the 3 spot. Knick fans just want a team with heart to root for.

    And Kobe can say what he wants. He’s earned the right to talk especially when he’s funny. Knick fans appreciate that too.

  18. willardj - Feb 10, 2012 at 10:52 PM

    Lin just dropped 38 against the Lakers. Yeah, obviously he’s not going to keep this up (currently he is a top 5 player in terms of PER). But he’s still a good player and is worth praising.

  19. thenoblefacehumper - Feb 10, 2012 at 11:09 PM

    Jesus. As a Knick fan, this is beyond my wildest dreams. Don’t cry too hard Kurt. I know that’s hard for you when anything positive happens to the NYK’s, let alone finding this diamond in the rough.

  20. majbobby - Feb 10, 2012 at 11:16 PM

    I Bet he is now. Kobe How did Lin look taking it to the Lakers in person? On TV looked pretty sweet or Lin-tastic.

  21. bknowledge - Feb 10, 2012 at 11:47 PM

    Once Carmelo and Amare get back, Lin is in trouble. Knicks have to trade either Carmelo or Amare.
    When your starting 5 has 3 guys who have an effective shooting range of 17 feet (Amare, Carmelo, Tyson), the defense will have 3 defenders within 15 feet of the basket. You know what happens on offense when a team has 3 players within 15 feet of the basket?
    1) No dribble penetration into the paint.
    2) No 2nd shots- when 3 defenders are in the paint, its almost impossible to get an offensive rebound…

    You can’t dribble penetrate if 3 defenders are within 15 feet of the basket. That means Lin, it means Carmelo, and it means Amare.
    I am a big fan of Carmelo and Amare, they just don’t complement each other.
    Carmelo is a great dribble penetrator- if his defender is smaller than him, he gives them the jab-step and shoots over them. If Carmelo’s defender is bigger than him, Carmelo’s gonna dribble by him for an open lay-up- if Tyson’s defender comes over to block the lay-up, Tyson will be right there for an easy offensive rebound. Its pretty much the same story with Amare.

    But, not if Carmelo, Amare, and Tyson are all on the floor at the same time. Because all three of their defenders are gonna be in the paint. Defense doesn’t have to respect the jab-step. Furthermore, defense can force the coverage toward the help, because help is close by…

    This experiment is not gonna work with Amare, Carmelo and Tyson on court. Of course it will work sometimes because teams play bad defense sometimes, and the Knicks have a ton of talent. But a month from now, when Knicks are playing 0.500 ball with Tyson, Amare, and Carmelo lets trade either Amare or Carmelo….

    • leearmon - Feb 11, 2012 at 12:42 AM

      Actually once Amar’e returns I believe it will make Lin and the rest of the Knicks much more dangerous. Over the past 20 years you could argue STAT is top 5 roll player in the pick and roll offense. And now he finally has someone who can run a P’nR. Second, I dont know why you think Carmelo can only shoot from inside 17 feet. There is no way that when Melo returns defenses will sag off of him if he’s around the arc. He’s not a great 3 point shooter but you have to respect his shot and they wont allow him to catch and shoot without a defender anywhere near him. And as for Tyson, he’s always among the league leaders in TS% and this year is no different, and he’s never had any range on his shot. Spacing will not be a problem because Tyson (or most likely Stat) will bring their defender with them once the screen is set. Lin obviously has shown the ability to get past his man or the defender making the switch. So the penetration will still be there as well as the spacing. Add the shooting of Novak and a returning Jorts and I dont see how the spacing will be a problem. Again its pick and roll. 3 defenders can’t clog the paint unless teams go to a zone defense, and I doubt that teams will do that with the mid-range game of Melo. But we shall see.

      • bknowledge - Feb 11, 2012 at 1:31 AM

        Carmelo has shot under 32% from 3 point range for his career. Defenses will sag off and then recover. His percentage will probably rise, but the Knicks would be better off starting Novak if all we’re gonna use Melo for is as a spot up 3 point shooter. Novak’s D isn’t much worse than Melo. I love Melo. I just don’t think he and Amare are a good fit.

      • leearmon - Feb 11, 2012 at 7:05 AM

        Yes like I said he’s not a very good 3 point shooter (even though the last few seasons prior to this year his numbers have been good to very good from behind the arc) however, much of his poor 3pt shooting can be attributed to being the focal point of the opposing team’s defense. Can you imagine Carmelo Anthony, who even though is having a “bad” season still has a TS% of .506 getting the ball when the defender is sagging off of him blocking the paint? Again, unless they’re running a zone his man has to at least show on defense or it will be a defensive 3 seconds. If they do run a zone, Carmelo will barry wide open mid-range looks, again thats what he’s best at. And please don’t buy into the “Melo can’t play defense” propaganda. To even say “Novak’s D isn’t much worse than Melo” is with all do respect foolish.This site specializes in that, but although he’s struggled on D for much of his career right now he currently boasts a 101 DRtg. You’re not gonna do too much better than that. Hmm maybe instead of writing 5 articles a day doubting Jeremy Lin, or talking about how he sleeps on his brother’s couch, this site would actually, you know, write an article stating FACTS.

    • connaniii - Feb 11, 2012 at 10:19 AM

      I´d keep Amare and get rid of Carmelo! for the Knickes to function the ball mast be in Lin´s hands!

      • bknowledge - Feb 11, 2012 at 1:00 PM

        If Knicks start:


        they have great chance to make NBA finals…that team can rebound, stretch the floor, and has two great wing defenders that also shoot 40% from the 3 (Landry and Walker)…

        particularly if they can trade Melo for scorer off bench and real back up center…and honestly we can probably get more than that for Melo…

  22. ezwriter69 - Feb 11, 2012 at 12:12 AM

    By later today, all the haters and doubters and self-proclaimed experts on here will be insisting they knew it all along… funny to go back and read what everyone’s been proclaiming for the last several days, and some of y’all will no doubt go Skip Bayless on us and keep insisting he’s terrible forever, no matter what he does. Wrong seems to be the hardest word…

  23. bobdabruin - Feb 11, 2012 at 1:26 AM

    Okay…Lin’s had 4 great games. Let’s see if he can do it for a month then we’ll discuss Jeremy Lin. The fact of the matter is the Lakers are still learning…new coach, new offense, new players, etc! #GoLakers

  24. africanballer - Feb 11, 2012 at 4:25 AM

    well after Lin dropped 38 last night I am sure he’s well aware of who Jeremy Lin is lol

  25. connaniii - Feb 11, 2012 at 10:12 AM

    It is true the NBA is considered not only tough but unachartered territory for players coming out of most American universities more so if they hail from the Ivy League, but after reading about Lin´s hoops college carreer on Wikipedia, and specifically about the recruiting process or lack there of I can only explain his going unnoticed for this long with only one word; “discrimination”!, I mean the kid was simply brushed aside because he didn´t fit the typical mold!

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