“Linsanity” took place over five years ago, but is still one of the most astonishing and remembered NBA breakouts. The event also follows Jeremy Lin wherever he goes, and the point guard reflected on the aftermath of his success, at the Brooklyn Tabernacle Church.
Before 2012, Jeremy Lin was relatively unknown in the NBA. His rise to fame — an elegant tale of an underrated player emerging on the NBA scene — shocked many, even the player himself.
“I reached a pinnacle of success beyond what I ever thought I could achieve,” Lin said, to an immense crowd of fans gathered at the Brooklyn Tabernacle Church event on Saturday. “I solidified myself as an NBA player. I secured my dream.”
Lin was among three speakers at the church for the “All Spheres of Life” event, which involved each speaker explaining his story and faith to God, to inspire spectators. Of course, as many are familiar with to this day, “inspiring” is one word that accurately depicts Lin’s NBA journey.
Prior to his NBA breakout, the 29-year-old had bounced around multiple NBA teams, unable to find a stable opportunity. The point guard went undrafted in the 2010 NBA Draft but was picked up by the Golden State Warriors after showcasing incredible shooting abilities in both guard roles with the Dallas Mavericks’ Summer League team. His time with the Warriors didn’t last long, as he only averaged 9.8 minutes in 29 games. Lin was also assigned to the Warriors’ G League affiliate, the Reno Bighorns, three times. Then, during the 2011 offseason, he was claimed off waivers by the Houston Rockets in December 2011 but was waived before the season even began.
All of these tribulations carried over to Lin’s dismay in his early days in New York, which immediately followed his pit stop in Houston. “There was so much fear… so much doubt… so much anxiety because I felt like my NBA dream was about to be over,” he said. At the time, he was even sleeping on his brother’s couch because he thought it’d be pointless to get his own apartment if he was just going to get cut by another NBA team.
But, he wasn’t cut, because the unthinkable episode, known popularly as “Linsanity,” happened. Lin was picked up by the Knicks in the first place because of the injury-riddled roster, and as a result, he earned playing time he’d never been able to get before. Even more extraordinarily, he was singlehandedly able to change New York’s playoff outlook through his sudden burst of scoring and playmaking. In 26 games (25 of which he started) from February 4, 2012, to March 24, 2012, Lin averaged 18.5 points and 7.7 assists in 34.1 minutes per game. “If I look around, I always knew there were miracles,” he said. He described “Linsanity” as both a “personal miracle” and “God’s miracle.”
As a player, it’d be nearly (if not completely) impossible for him to recreate such a phenomenon. In terms of circumstances, all of the right things were in place for the event to even occur. If Lin wasn’t waived by the Houston Rockets in the lockout-shortened 2011-12 season, or if Knicks guards Iman Shumpert and Baron Davis were not injured, then he might have never ended up playing worthwhile minutes in New York.