In a world in which drama and controversy get center stage, the Knicks, as we all know, have gone 3-0 in Jeremy Lin’s absence. I’m sure that we Knicks fans are all surprised and shockingly thrilled with this start. This summer, the average Knick die hard, questioned whether or not letting Lin go elsewhere was the right move. So far, we’ve been thoroughly satisfied with the torrential downpour of the three ball, the unrelenting killer instinct that the Knicks have displayed in it's spanking of two very talented teams, and the success that “the old guys” are having coming off the bench. As a result, Knicks fans can once again support the teams’ ownership without having to reminisce on the Lin days. But I still feel, and I think we can all agree, that the Lin hype is better than this new LeBron-like attention that Carmelo Anthony is getting. Whatever happened to modesty? Is it a once, long gone, admirable trait of an all-star? Needless to say, Lin’s aura has been greatly missed.
Before I delve any further, in case you weren’t currently updated on Lin’s life, well then I’d be more than glad to remind you he’s not doing so badly himself…. The Houston Rockets, led by Lin, are 2-1 with a high-powered offense and stifling defense. Oh, and if you truly lived under a rock, he has a new teammate—maybe you’ve heard of him—James Harden. In the first two games of the season, Harden had 37 and 45 points respectively, making dishing assists for Lin easier than at any point last year with the Knicks.
Now, Knickerbocker nation, let’s look back on what was. Lin was more than a player; he became an instant icon in New York. He was a beacon of light at the end of a dark, gloomy tunnel that the Knicks organization and its fan base had been trying to escape for the last decade. Sure, we had a couple big names along the way like Stephon Marbury, Steve Francis, David Lee, and Eddy Curry, to name a few. However, what these guys had in common was that they were all mediocre at best. In fact, they were SO mediocre that in our hunger for a Knicks championship run, we propelled them to stardom without requiring them to show qualifications and a resume. We made all of those guys better than they actually were. I remember when I said, “Eddy Curry is going to lead the team to the playoffs next year by averaging a double-double for the season.” Yes, it had been a brash statement, one I try to forget every time I go to bed…. Lin, against all our initial desires, epitomized hope—the underdog overcoming adversity—and the over achiever, all in one. So, why did we let him go? He reinvigorated New York Knick basketball when it seemed it was heading back into its sign a couple stars and watch them fail to launch.
Lin, in many ways, resembled the Roger Federer of tennis, the Derek Jeter of baseball, and Tom Brady of football. Lin shared many of their common attributes both on and off the court. Off the court, his classiness, genuine humor, and most importantly, his innocent modesty kept his ego in check without rubbing off on you. His presence, eerily similar to that of a kid caught in the flashing lights of a big city for the first time, urged you to give him positive feedback. On the court, he spewed success, defying all his naysayers time and time again. On top of that, in the Knicks time of need in which a few bad injuries and a slew of losses to mediocre teams had the Knicks wobbling on unsteady legs, Lin demonstrated great perseverance, escalating his game multiple times to help the Knicks win. Lin would’ve done anything to win; he was that kind of a guy.
So, I ask again, why did we let him go? Lin wasn’t cocky, but rather appreciative—a guy you could get behind. He was someone we all wanted to follow, someone we wanted to ascend to glory with. Jeremy Lin brought about my passion again as a Knick fan, not the slogan “You, Us, We, Now!" And in spite of the 3-0 start, I can’t seem to see the same vigor, body language, and genuine enthusiasm in the team now, as I did when Lin was around. So, why do we still wonder if it was the right move or not? It clearly couldn't have been the right one...