After coming off the bench to score 25 points in last weekend's game, setting a personal record and leading the New York Knicks to a victory against the New Jersey Nets, hopes were high that Jeremy Lin would help the Knicks defeat the Utah Jazz in Monday night's game. Lin delivered, the 23-year old Asian sensation started for the first time in his career, and set a new personal best with 28 points, providing an additional eight assists and a rebound.
There's no doubt Lin fever is starting to spread. On Monday night at Madison Square Garden (where I was lucky to be in attendance), fans chanted M.V.P.! as Lin prepared for a free throw, while at the same time fans took to Twitter to proclaim their support and excitement. Kenny Hamilton (Justin Bieber's bodyguard) wrote Jeremy Lin is the most amazing story in the NBA thus far. #Knicks, and was retweeted over 600 times as his message spread like wildfire.
If you haven't already caught Linsanity get ready because it's coming, as the Knicks pin their championship hopes on the rising star. For the time being freshen up on some Jeremy Lin facts, and scroll down to the bottom for video highlights from Monday night's game:
1. He's smart. Before graduating from high school in Palo Alto, Jeremy Lin sent his resume and a DVD of basketball highlights to all the Ivy League schools. He only got into Harvard and Brown, and he chose Harvard, rejecting UCLA's offer to let him play on their team as a walk-on.
2. He's the first American player in the NBA of Chinese or Taiwanese descent. Lin was born in the U.S. and his family is Asian. Despite not being born in China, Lin has co-opted Yao Ming's old fan base of Asian-American's who see him as a powerful role model for Asian males, giving him a strong fan following.
3.He wasn't drafted. After graduating from Harvard, Lin wasn't drafted by any NBA team, which would have made him the first Ivy League alumni to be drafted since 1955.
4. He started off on the Golden State Warriors. Lin first signed with his hometown team, the Warriors for a first-year salary of $500,000 in July 2010. He had a built in fan base in the Asian-American population living in San Francisco, but he rarely played in games before the start of the fourth quarter. His first time on the court for the Warriors he scored seven points, three rebounds and two assistant in just 11 minutes.
5. He's a perfect fit for the Knicks. New York's team has been in need of a reliable point guard and we may have found one after Monday night's performance. Jeremy Lin started the game and played for a total of 45 minutes. Not only did he lead the Knicks in baskets, but he brought out the best in other players, and helped the seldom-used Steve Novak score 19 points, making him the game's second highest scorer.
Enjoy these highlights from the Knicks' victory over Utah: