The Jemery Lin dunk video that went viral Thursday afternoon has cemented the young guard as the New York Knicks' best hope for a good season.
Jeremy Lin wowed the crowd at the Verizon Center in Washington, D.C., Wednesday last night when he cut between a number of Washington Wizards defenders and slammed down the first dunk of his NBA career.
Though the right-handed dunk wasn't the fliest one you'll ever see from a team that has Carmelo Anthony, Amare' Stoudamire and Tyson Chandler, it has become the most popular jam since Jan. 30, when Blake Griffin of the Los Angeles Clippers posterized the Oklahoma City Thunder's Kendrick Perkins.
Apparently Chandler wasn't even aware that the 6'3 point guard could dunk, and the two body-bumped in mid-air shortly after the slam, which cemented Jeremy Lin as the Knicks' best hope for a deep playoff run.
Lin only just emerged as a major NBA threat last week, when he wowed the world in his first Knicks start by dropping a stunning 28 points during the Knicks' 99-92 win Feb. 4 over the New Jersey Nets. And he's been on a roll ever since, scoring more than 20 points in the two games since (he picked up 23 points and 10 assists last night), earning himself the catchphrases #Linning and #Linsanity on Twitter.
The Knicks have been looking at a dire future, as Amare' Stoudamire is out for now after his brother died earlier this week in a car crash, and Carmelo Anthony is sidelined with an injury. But Lin's contributions have earned him a major following and brought some energy back to a floundering Knicks team.
Lin, a 200-pound point guard from Palo Alto, Calif., was a star in college, when he led Harvard University to its all-time best basketball season in 2009 before graduating and going un-drafted in 2010. He proved himself in the NBA summer league, dominating John Wall in one particularly impressive game, and was then signed by the Golden State Warriors.
He played last year with the team, but during this season's NBA lockout, he ended up without a team. He went to the Houston Rockets for a short while, but was picked up by the Knicks in December.
And now, he is unexpectedly the hottest player in the NBA, and as only the fourth Asian-American ever to play in the league, he has emerged as an icon in that community as well. Over the past week he has gained more than 60,000 Twitter followers, and Knicks head coach Mike D'Antoni only expects him to continue to do well:
He just does everything easy and the rest of the guys around him are playing the way we want to play, D'Antoni told CBS News, adding the following about Lin: The things that are real are his vision, which won't change; his speed, which won't change; his knowledge of the game, which won't change. I think it can only get better.
As for the dunk heard 'round the world, Lin was pretty modest when discussing it with CBS after the game Wednesday night:
Just one of those in-a-moment things, Lin told CBS News. I think they messed up on their coverage, so I was able to get free.
Watch the video of Jeremy Lin's first NBA dunk below:
And for all the Lin highlights of his big game Wednesday night against the Wizards, watch the below video: