Sunday, February 12, 2012
Nets, Spurs notice 'Linsanity,' too
By Mike Mazzeo
All the recent "Linsanity" over Knicks point guard Jeremy Lin? Blame it on the Big Apple, ex-Net Richard Jefferson says.
"It's New York, it's New York. It's New York City. You do it in the Garden, in New York City against the Lakers, you're doing it for the Knicks," the Spurs small forward said prior to his team's 103-89 victory over the Nets on Saturday night at Prudential Center.
"He'd be getting a lot of attention if he was doing it any place, but doing it in the Garden, doing it for the Knicks makes it that much more special."
Lin went off again on Saturday night in Minnesota, as the Knicks extended their winning streak to five. He needed 24 shots to score 20 points, but drained the go-ahead free throw late. The legend of Lin continues.
Nets coach Avery Johnson has been impressed with what the undrafted Harvard grad has accomplished -- seemingly out of nowhere.
"I think it's great," Johnson said. "I think it's great for the NBA, any time a guy is an underdog and basically is about to get cut, again, and makes it."
Spurs coach Greg Popovich feels the same way.
"It seems strange, it seems out of the blue where all of the sudden this guy's kicking everybody's butt and no one can stop him," Popovich said. "He's helping a team to win with some of its stars that are out, and it just seems improbable, and that's why the story is so great and everyone is in enjoying it."
Povovich claims he isn't surprised. He's probably the only one. Could you really have seen this one coming? Lin has been living on his brother's couch, after all.
"No. In today's world, are you serious?" Popovich said to a reporter, laughing. "There's gazillions of your type everywhere, just waiting for a story. And when something like that happens, its upbeat, it's a win-win for everybody. Everybody's jumping on it. It's an international story. … It's great."
Jefferson is happy for Lin. The two became friendly after they met during pregame chapel sessions.
"It couldn't happen to a better person," Jefferson said. "He's a firm believer that god puts you where you need to be when you need to be there. Like I said, he's a good kid and I'm happy for him."
Johnson thinks Lin is the perfect role model for everyone -- including his son, Avery Jr., who is currently a sophomore in high school.
"For me it's a good argument because I've been trying to encourage my son to go play basketball at an Ivy League school," Johnson said. "My daughter attends an Ivy League school, but he thought you can't go to the NBA from an Ivy League school."
Yes, Jeremy Lin is the American Dream. Most Americans dream of graduating Harvard. But starring in the NBA, too? C’mon now! That's Linsanity!