Outta’ Right Field: This is #Linsanity

By Nick LaRosa
February 14, 2012

New York Knicks point guard Jeremy Lin is not your typical Harvard graduate. While alumni from the Ivy League school are looking for top-notch jobs in fields like medicine and law, Lin is playing professional basketball at Madison Square Garden.

If this is the first you’re hearing of Lin or “Linsanity,” I’d recommend doing a quick Google search. Lin went undrafted after graduating from Harvard and was signed by the Golden State Warriors last season. He served as a reserve player and only averaged 2.6 points per game.

Enter the Knicks. New York signed Lin in the offseason but still saw him as a bench player, nothing special. All of that changed against the New Jersey Nets on Saturday, Feb. 4, when Lin was thrust into the team’s starting lineup because of injuries.

In his first NBA start, Lin scored 25 points and helped the Knicks defeat New Jersey by a score of 99-92. With 25 points in a game, Lin earned himself another start and, all of a sudden, is the talk of the sports world.

Just as Tim Tebow’s fourth quarter antics led to people hopping on the Denver Broncos bandwagon and “Tebowing” everywhere and anywhere, “Linsanity” is now the new trend in sports. On Twitter, the hashtag “Linsanity” leads to tweet after tweet of praise for the 23-year-old’s (brief) accomplishments. Sales are booming for his No. 17 Knicks jersey and the media can’t get enough of him. It’s also worth noting that Lin himself has acknowledged Tebow as someone who inspires him.

Back to basketball now. After posting three straight games with at least 23 points, Lin outscored Kobe Bryant and compiled a whopping 38 points to help the Knicks defeat the Los Angeles Lakers. After four games, his 109 total points had become the most for a basketball player in his first four NBA starts since the 1976 NBA-ABA merger. Nobody thought that a record would be broken when the Lakers visited Madison Square Garden but that’s exactly what happened.

In a world where Harvard graduates are more likely to become president than play professional basketball, Lin is a player worth watching. In addition to becoming the first Harvard grad to play in the NBA in over 50 years, he is also a Christian and the only United States-born Taiwanese or Chinese athlete in the NBA right now.

When a bench player suddenly becomes a starter and puts up at least 20 points a night, it’s definitely a story worth following. This is #Linsanity.

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Nick LaRosa

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