If it hasn’t already started, it will only be a matter of time until feats once thought only accomplishable by Chuck Norris will seem like child’s play to the NBA’s overnight sensation, Jeremy Lin.
Is there anything Jeremy Lin can’t do? OK, so he couldn’t help the Knicks beat the lowly New Orleans Hornets on Friday night.
But he played great Sunday, and I have my suspicions.
If it hasn’t already started, it will only be a matter of time until feats once thought only accomplishable by Chuck Norris will seem like child’s play to the NBA’s overnight sensation. With that said, I suspect a few of Lin’s careless turnovers against the Hornets were committed out of pity for one of the league’s worst teams.
So we’ll wink twice, give Lin a mulligan on the Hornets’ game and once again ponder – in regard to Lin – what Homer Jay Simpson famously asked about doughnuts.
Is there anything he can’t do?
Apparently, it wasn’t enough that Lin emerged from complete obscurity and single-handedly resuscitated a floundering New York Knicks team as their two marquee players – Carmelo Anthony and Amar’e Stoudemire – were out of the lineup.
It wasn’t enough that in the process, Lin has aroused the interest of even the most casual of pro basketball fans (count me in that demographic) to the point of willingly bringing him up in conversation among friends and in newspaper copy – in February, no less.
And mind you, in these conversations, I speak of a specific aspect of the NBA in glowing terms, devoid of the typical negativity.
By now, you’re probably familiar with Lin’s story and why his accomplishments over the past fortnight are so awe-inspiring.
The NBA’s answer to Kurt Warner (and Tim Tebow in terms of the hype), Lin was virtually ignored coming out of high school and college.
Three weeks ago, I can’t imagine even many diehard Knicks fans knew who he was.
Yet Jeremy Lin’s 89 points were the most points for any player in his first three starts since the NBA merged with the ABA in the mid-1970s. He enjoyed the same elite distinction through his fourth (109 points) and fifth (136 points) NBA starts. Lin also became the first player in league history to put up at least 20 points and seven assists in his first four starts.
Of course, personal accolades don’t mean all that much without the wins.
Prior to getting quality minutes with the Knicks, New York was in a tailspin and Lin was on the verge of being let go.
Consider that on Feb. 3, the Knicks were 8-15 and losers of 11 of their last 13 games.
Enter Lin. Eight games and seven wins later, Lin-sanity is approaching a national frenzy comparable to Tebow-mania at its peak, in a league not nearly as behemoth as the one that helped shape the craze over the Denver Broncos’ former Heisman-winning quarterback.
But perhaps most staggering – more so than what Lin has accomplished individually, for his team and for the league – is what Lin’s skyrocketing persona pulled off Friday.
Since Jan. 1 of this year, more than 2 million Time Warner Cable subscribers had been without the MSG Network, which broadcasts Knicks games, along with the New York Rangers, Buffalo Sabres, New York Islanders and New Jersey Devils of the NHL.
Until Friday, that is, when the Madison Square Garden Co. reached a tentative deal to put Knicks games back on television for Time Warner Cable subscribers in New York.
The Associated Press reported New York state officials and the NBA pressured the companies to settle.
For the first 40-some days of this blackout, the formerly disappointing Knicks didn’t inspire anyone from the outside to intervene in an attempt to end the dispute. Lord knows, four regional hockey teams don’t have that sort of pull, even if one of them – the Rangers – have been one the NHL’s elite teams thus far.
But the Jeremy Lin phenomenon reportedly prompted NBA Commissioner David Stern and New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo to get the companies to iron out their differences. And within days of Stern and Cuomo’s Lin-inspired intervention, a deal was struck.
Which makes you wonder that if Lin himself had stepped in and asked that the two companies iron out their differences, a deal would have been in place in mere minutes.
Now if only Lin could work his magic in the MSG-Dish Network dispute, which has been lingering for nearly two years, then I could finally reconnect with Lindy (who’s not doing so well) and get better acquainted with Lin at my home in Lindley.
Contact Bob Benz at email@example.com.