When Jeremy Lin burst onto the NBA scene in 2012, it looked like the league might have gotten a new star player.
Lin was inserted into the New York Knicks starting lineup after one impressive performance, and helped the team go on an immediate seven-game winning streak. At the height of “Linsanity,” the point guard was playing as well as the top All-Stars in the game.
Eventually, Lin’s play leveled off, and he has yet to return to his incredibly high level of performance. He signed with the Houston Rockets in the offseason, but has been inconsistent at times.
In his first year with the club, Lin may still be adjusting to playing alongside James Harden and his new teammates. Houston general manager Daryl Morey, though, seems to have accepted that Lin will never be one of the NBA’s best.
"We haven't done anything yet," Morey told Grantland’s Zach Lowe about the Rockets. "We are still on pace to be a no. 6–no. 10 seed. We still have a long way to go, but we definitely like our position better. We probably got the hardest part done, but now we have to get a second star to go with James. Until we become a real contender, it's fair for the critics to sit back and say, 'What have they really done?'"
In the summer, Houston signed Lin to a three-year contract worth $25 million. Lin will be paid like a star player in the final year of the deal, earning approximately $15 million. The Knicks decided not to match the offer because of what Lin is scheduled to make in 2014-2015.
It would be hard to argue with Morey’s claim that Lin isn’t a star. In 58 games with Houston, the 24-year-old is averaging 12.7 points and 6.2 assists per game on 43.3 percent shooting. Compared to the rest of the players at his position, Lin is having a very average season.
Considering how Lin started his NBA career, going undrafted and being cut from multiple teams, he would certainly be considered a success. Lin wasn’t expected to make it in the pros, and will likely be a starter for the next several years. He is currently the third-leading scorer on a team that will probably make the playoffs.
However, over a year after “Linsanity,” it may be clear that the point guard will never again reach the heights that he did in New York.