'Lin-sanity' runs wild as Jeremy Lin makes it big in Big Apple
February 9, 2012, 12:06 am TWN
NEW YORK -- "Indescribable," that's Jeremy Lin's verdict on his sudden rise to sports stardom thanks to two outstanding performances for the New York Knicks.
Lin, making his first NBA start, poured in 28 points on Monday night as the Knicks battled to a 99-88 victory over the Utah Jazz.
Lin, an American whose parents hail from Taiwan, added eight assists against the Jazz, improving on the career highs of 25 points and seven assists he produced off the bench in a victory over New Jersey on Saturday.
"I'm not going to sit here and say I knew I was going to do this or whatever," said Lin, whose exploits were needed by a depleted Knicks team.
"I got an opportunity. I thank God for it. I just have nothing but gratitude right now. I don't think anyone, including myself, saw this coming."
Lin is the first U.S.-born player of Taiwanese descent to play in the NBA, and he's taken an unusual path to the league.
Without a scholarship to one of the big-time basketball universities, Lin attended the academically oriented Ivy League university Harvard, hardly a pipeline of NBA talent.
He was undrafted out of university, but eventually inked a deal with the Golden State Warriors for the 2010-11 season. The Warriors waived him in December.
But there he was on Monday, on the court at fabled Madison Square Garden with fans' chants of "M-V-P" ringing out around him.
Lin fought off fatigue to shine in the fourth quarter against the Jazz.
He drove for a flashy lay-up, making the shot despite a foul and completing the three-point play.
Knicks coach Mike D'Antoni raised his arms in approval when Lin drained a three-pointer with less than two minutes left.
"I'm riding him like Secretariat," said D'Antoni, whose team was hit Monday by the departure of Amare Stoudemire to be with family after the death of his brother, and by a first-quarter injury to Carmelo Anthony.
"It was fun," D'Antoni said. "You can actually draw a play up and go, 'This might work.' It's good. He's smart, he's good, a playmaker."
"He doesn't get rattled out there," added teammate Tyson Chandler. "He plays with a different confidence than I've seen from a young player."
Lin is having plenty of fun, too.
"Basketball's so fun when you play on a team where people want to work together and work through tough times and overcome them and have victories like this," he said.