On a night supposed to be filled with holiday cheer, Jeremy Lin ’10 and his Houston Rockets played the role of Grinch to the Chicago Bulls Tuesday in Chicago. Lin and co. defeated the Bulls, 120-97, marking the team’s fourth straight double-digit win.
Four players scored at least 20 points as Houston shot 50 percent from the field. Lin, one of those four, also notched a double-double with a game-leading 11 assists. The Harvard alum shot 75 percent from the field while recording only two turnovers.
Although Lin’s play impressed on the court on Tuesday evening, one of the game’s most interesting match-ups took place off the hardwood. Lin was not the only person connected to Harvard in the contest—Tom Thibodeau, the head coach of the Bulls, was an assistant coach for the Harvard men’s basketball team from 1985-1989. It seems that, on Tuesday night at least, the player topped the coach as the Rockets took the lead at the 8:40 mark in the first quarter, on the second of Lin’s dimes, and never looked back.
The game’s sentimentality for Lin, though, may have stretched beyond the opposition. On Dec. 25, 2011, one year prior to Tuesday night’s contest, this same Rockets team released Lin from its roster—a present that no one wants to receive on Christmas day.
“I knew it was exactly a year ago on this day I got cut,” Lin explained. “It’s only been a year, man. It’s crazy. It’s ridiculous. It’s so different now. I’m so blessed to be here. A year ago, I thought, this could be it for me.”
While 365 days may not be many in the long run, it only takes 48 minutes to change a life in the NBA. And, thankfully for Lin, this past year has contained many such minutes, puns, and match-ups for the former Crimson player, enabling him to play the Grinch on Christmas, and not receive coal in his stocking once again this year.