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Jeremy Lin speaks about playing in the shadow of Linsanity

Sep 22, 2013, 8:00 AM EDT

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No matter what happens from here, Jeremy Lin‘s unexpected rise to prominence with the New York Knicks two years ago will always be one the greatest stories in sports. Lin was the Vince Papale of hoops; the real life Rocky of the hardwood. It was impossible not to get caught up in Linsanity, just as it was impossible for Lin to meet the expectations that followed afterwards.

It’s an odd thing to continue your career after you’ve already had your greatest moment, isn’t it? Some guys might believe their own hype and fizzle out, and some will endlessly search for a way to recapture it. But part of what made Jeremy Lin’s story so wonderful is the humility he’s shown throughout it all.

Lin’s season last year was a letdown, but it kind of had to be. As Lin told Ian O’Conner of ESPN Radio, that required an adjustment.

“One thing I have to remind myself is I just turned 25 years old, and to be honest I really have only been playing consistent basketball in the NBA for a season and a half, if that, and so I’m very young in my career. And because the expectations of Linsanity are so big and the shadow is so large … sometimes I have to take a step back and remind myself the journey has just begun.

“I don’t have as much freedom or the usage rate that I had in New York. I have to learn how to play a little more off the ball, how to cut better, how to shoot better, how to defend better. There are a lot of holes in my game, and I’ll be the first one to admit that. … It’s just a matter of trying to become better and repair and improve. Teams know what my strengths and weaknesses are now, and I don’t have that element of surprise anymore.”


A lot has changed for Lin since those couch-surfing days in New York, and it very well could be true that he’ll never escape the shadow of Linsanity. Maybe that’s okay. After all, it’s hard to imagine that becoming a global phenomenon like Lin did was ever even fathomable enough to dream up in the first place. But you know what probably was always in Lin’s dreams? Sticking in the NBA, having a successful career, and having a shot at holding the trophy once the final buzzer of the season sounds. All that is still in play for Lin, even if Linsanity isn’t.

  1. basketballfan4life - Sep 22, 2013 at 9:21 AM

    Great Blog

  2. 950003cups - Sep 22, 2013 at 10:11 AM

    Coincidentally, I woke up and opened this page, realized: I’m reading this wearing a Lin Knicks jersey! I use them as PJs.

    LinSanity was a movement. He singlehandedly revitalized the NY Knicks fan base. He got paid huge bucks, and left. GOOD FOR HIM! Would anyone really wanna watch him tank in NY?

    Lin is still “The Man” as far as I’m concerned. He was rockstar status, and was humble about it.

  3. dysraw1 - Sep 22, 2013 at 10:38 AM

    forget Linsanity i want some Beno mania going right about now

  4. gilmorelogic - Sep 22, 2013 at 11:37 AM

    Jeremy Lin seems like a great guy and a good team player. Linsanity was the machination of the New York media. It’s run at Madison Square Garden has ended. Jeremy Lin marketing machine is the Houston version of Linsanity starring Yao Ming. As far as the basketball future of Jeremy Lin is concerned, the Rockets seem to have accumulated a lot of point guards other than Jeremy Lin. Just saying. #gilmorelogic

  5. raycharlesj - Sep 22, 2013 at 7:47 PM

    I wonder if one day Lin and D’Antoni might reunite??? he just might be D’Antoni’s future Steve Nash, but Lin is right, work on those holes in your game dude. Chalmers has a 2 rings head start on Nash and Lin!!!! and counting.

  6. adoombray - Sep 22, 2013 at 11:06 PM

    It was really easy to not get caught up in “Linsanity” because those of us not living in New York knew it was yet another overblown story by the NY Media and the national sportswriters/casters who predominantly live on the East Coast. Anyone born in the 80’s knows by now that anything happening in NYC gets way too much attention and we’ve learned to ignore it like any defender does when Lin goes left.

    He’s the same player in Houston, he’s just not as big a story because he’s not in NYC anymore.

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