MUST WATCH: Jeremy Lin + Madison Square Garden
This has got to be one of the Top 5 performances we’ll see all year long in the NBA.
Jeremy Lin is the the first Asian-American to play in the NBA since 1947. Of Taiwanese descent and a Harvard graduate, Lin was signed by the Golden State Warriors last year with much fanfare. After a rookie season with little chance to prove himself (he only played in 29 games), Lin was waived on the first day of training camp this past December.
The Houston Rockets promptly picked up Lin off waivers. Then promptly waived him too. The Knicks then claimed Lin, presumably as a roster spot. Head coach Mike D’Antoni, speaking about Lin, actually told reporters,
“If someone wakes up with a cold, he’s playing a lot. If not, then we’ll see.”
It wasn’t long before Lin earned the ignominious title as the “First Knick Ever Sent to the D-League.” There he played for the Erie Bayhawks, which isn’t exactly playing at MSG.
However, it wouldn’t be long before the Knicks needed some help at point guard, and with Mike D’Antoni on the hot seat to try something else, and the Knicks in a stretch of back-to-back games, Jeremy Lin got the call last night.
And what did he do with the opportunity? You have to watch the video.
Yes, it was one game. Yes, it was in Mike D’Antoni’s free-wheeling, point guard-driven offense that earned Steve Nash two league MVP awards (while never playing defense, ever). Yes, he was playing the New Jersey Nets, where Jordan Farmar has made a career out of making people look like Tiny Archibald. Yes, he’s Asian-American, and as a fellow Asian-American, I’m vicariously living through him. Yes, as a New York resident, I have a soft spot in my heart for Madison Square Garden and anyone who has the guts to perform there.
But c’mon. Listen to that place. MSG is the BEST. A lot of people shrivel under those lights. This kid came alive. Look at his face. That’s motion picture material. One game ago, the new Big Three Knicks fell apart against the Elderly Three Celtics. Their parts looked discombobulated. One night later, Jeremy Lin gives Tyson Chandler a role in the offense. He keeps Amare happy. And he gets to the cup.
I’m so happy for Jeremy Lin. I’m glad he got another chance, and I’m glad it came at Madison Square Garden. Those fans will never forget it.
And neither will Jeremy Lin.