What happend to “Linsanity” ?
Born in Palo Alto, California, in 1988, Jeremy Lin excelled at basketball in high school and in college at Harvard University. He signed with the Golden State Warriors for the 2010–2011 season after being undrafted. After two rejections, Lin ended up with the New York Knicks for the next season. There he quickly became a basketball phenomenon, helping the team secure a string of wins in February 2012.
NEW YORK KNICKS (2011–2012)
After spending several games as little more than a benchwarmer, he proved he deserved a place in the starting line-up when he scored 25 points against the New Jersey Nets, helping his team to victory. He quickly became an instrumental part of seven-game winning streak, earning more points than the legendary Kobe Bryant in a match-up against the Los Angeles Lakers. In the course of roughly two weeks, Lin went from unknown athlete to an international basketball star. He appeared on the covers of numerous magazines, and replicas of his №17 jersey soon became a top seller. That April, however, Lin was benched for the rest of the regular season because of a knee injury. He had to undergo surgery to fix the problem.
HOUSTON ROCKETS (2012–2014)
Once in danger of being cut from the team, Lin has become one of the sport’s most sought-after stars. His original contract was only for $762,195, but the Rockets offered a $28.8 million contract over four years with the fourth year of that deal being at the team’s option, which put the true commitment at $19.5 million. Mike Woodson (head coach of the Knicks at that time) said the Knicks would match Houston’s offer and that Lin would be his starting point guard. The Rockets then offered a revised three-year, $25 million deal, which Anthony called “ridiculous”. The Knicks did not match the deal, and Lin deduced the team’s decision when they signed Raymond Felton instead. Coming off his “Linsanity” performance in New York, Houston coach Kevin McHale said the expectations of Lin were undue. McHale said the public believed Lin would “average 28 [points] and 11 [assists]”, but he had never played a whole 82-game season before.
Shortly before their regular-season opener in October, the Rockets acquired James Harden, who supplanted Lin as the face of the team. Throughout the season, though, Lin still placed pressure on himself to live up to the expectations from Linsanity. However, Harden was a ball-dominant, pick-and-roll player like Lin, and McHale chose to have the offense run through the more-proven Harden. Lin continued to struggle, and he began losing playing time to backup Toney Douglas. With Harden sitting out injured on December 10, Lin scored 38 points in a 134–126 overtime loss to the San Antonio Spurs.
His scoring, shooting percentage, and 3-point percentage improved after the All-Star break, and he finished with season averages of 13.4 points and 6.1 assists.
In 2013–14, Lin was replaced in the Rockets’ starting lineup by Patrick Beverley, and Lin became the second unit’s primary ball handler and scoring option as the team’s sixth man. Houston liked beginning games with Beverley’s defensive pressure, but also preferred increasing Lin’s playing time without Harden also on the court. Lin and Harden were both attacking players offensively, but each struggled defensively.
On February 1, 2014, Lin recorded 15 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists — his first career triple-double — in 29 minutes off the bench in a 106–92 home victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers.
He finished the season with 33 starts and averages of 12.5 points and 4.1 assists a game along with career highs in field goal percentage (44.6%), three-point percentage (35.8%), and free throw percentage (82.3%).
LOS ANGELES LAKERS (2014–2015)
On July 13, 2014, Lin was traded, along with a 2015 first and second round pick, to the Los Angeles Lakers in exchange for the rights to Sergei Lishouk. he Lakers owed Lin $15 million for 2014–15, the final year of his contract, but only $8.3 million counted against their salary cap. His role was undefined with the Lakers, who were just 21–61 in his only season with the team. Lin moved into the starting lineup late in the preseason after an injury to Ronnie Price, and he started the first 20 games of the season. However, he struggled in coach Byron Scott’s offense, which was based on the methodical player and ball movement of the Princeton offense, while Lin was most comfortable dominating the ball while attacking off the pick-and-roll as he did in New York and Houston. On March 24, Lin and teammate Jordan Clarkson, who is part Filipino, became the first Asian Americans to start together in the backcourt in NBA history. Lin finished the season with 11,2 points, 4,6 assists, 2,6 rebounds and 1,1 steals per game.
CHARLOTTE HORNETS (2015–2016)
On July 9, 2015, Lin signed a two-year, $4.3 million contract with the Charlotte Hornets, who used their bi-annual exception in the deal. e had been open to re-joining New York, but they were not interested, having drafted guard Jerian Grant to pair with veteran José Calderón at point guard. Lin was projected to back up Hornets point guard Kemba Walker, and coach Steve Clifford envisioned that the two pick-and-roll players would sometimes play together. On December 17, he scored a season-high 35 points in a 109–99 overtime win over the Toronto Raptors. On March 21, 2016, he scored 15 of his 29 points in the fourth quarter to help Charlotte rally from a 30–7 deficit in the second quarter for a 91–88 comeback victory over San Antonio, snapping the Spurs’ six-game winning streak. After declining his $2.2 million player option for the 2016–17 season, Lin became an unrestricted free agent on July 1, 2016.
BROOKLYN NETS (2016-present)
On July 7, 2016, Lin signed a three-year, $36 million contract with the Brooklyn Nets. He made his debut for the Nets in their season opener on October 26, 2016, in an away game against the Boston Celtics. In 27 minutes as a starter, he scored 18 points in a 122–117 loss. Two days later, he recorded a near triple-double with 21 points, nine rebounds, and nine assists in a 103–94 home-opener win over the Indiana Pacers. On December 12, 2016, he returned to action for Brooklyn for the first time since November 2 when he suffered a strained left hamstring. He played 20 minutes off the bench and scored 10 points in a 122–118 loss to the Houston Rockets.On January 23, 2017, after nearly a month on the sidelines, Lin was ruled out for a further three to five weeks after re-aggravating his strained left hamstring.
Apart from being a capable passer, Lin has established himself as a strong, fast-paced offensive player who attacks the basket and excels at the pick-and-roll. He improved his outside shooting from early in his career, and became a threat from three-point range. He has also been considered difficult to defend at times because of his ability to get to the free-throw line. An admitted risk taker, he has been criticized for his tendency to commit turnovers, as well as his mediocre defense.
It seems that his “Linsanity” days are behind him, as he couldn’t find a constant home with any team for more than two years. His inconsistency on the offensive end and not being a solid defender on the defensive end on the floor, made him a trade asset for every team he has played for. Also the problems with the injuries made it harder for him to be once again exciting player to watch.
We would be glad if he could regain his old “Linsanity” form, but it seems he has a long way to go to be the player he once was.