Just as The Back Page wrote last week, Jeremy Lin ’10 is quickly jumping up the list of Harvard’s most notable alumni. But, just as every media outlet reminds its audience every article, broadcast, or interview, the path hasn’t always been easy for Lin. Therefore, we at TBP had the idea to make Lin’s journey from Crimson bench player to the next NBA human-highlight reel as accessible as possible. So here it is, a Lineage of the point guard’s road from number four to number 17, resident of Harvard Yard to owner of a Trump Tower apartment.
No Longer Golden
The NBA honeymoon was over for Lin barely a year after it began when Golden State announced its decision to part ways with the young point guard. Things did not look good for Lin, as the NBA lockout still loomed over a shortened season.
Lin Gets Refueled as a Rocket
After only two days without a team, the Houston Rockets decided to pick up Lin just in time for preseason play. His contract was not guaranteed, though, and he would have to fight for his spot on a roster laden with several other point guards. Regardless, it was a signing. And, for Lin, that was a pretty good place to start.
Crash Landing for the Newly-Ex-Rocket
On Dec. 24, less than two weeks after the Rockets picked Lin up off of waivers, the point guard found himself without a team once more. His energy and youth turned out not to be enough to earn him a spot on the team, and Lin was again on the free-agency market, searching for a place to prove himself. It was an unwelcome déjà vu all over again.
New [York] Beginning
Two days after the start of the 2011-12 NBA season, the New York Knicks decided to give Lin a shot, and the second-year NBA vet traveled back to the coast where he played his college days all those teams ago. As Lin’s third squad in about three weeks, there was no certainty whatsoever in whether he would remain in New York or if that would just be the latest pit stop on his sign-and-release journey. Right after the news was official, Lin tweeted: “Thankful to God for the opportunity to be a New York Knick!! Time to find my winter coats from college lol”.
Nightmares in the City That Never Sleeps
Adjustments are rough. Especially when they are played out in front of an NBA arena filled with approximately 20,000 people. To say that Lin struggled in his first few weeks as a Knick may be an understatement. He played like this, got sent down to the Development League, was brought back up, and then finally started playing mediocre basketball. It turns out that all this was just a warm-up for what was to come. But at the time, no one could possibly have known.
And It Begins.
You all know this story by now. Lin checked into the game against the New Jersey Nets, unknowing that the next couple of hours would literally be career-altering, life-changing, and twitter-trending. He tallied 25 points, seven rebounds, and five assists, giving the Knicks their first win in three tries. And so, he became the apple of the Big Apple’s eye. This was the Lintroduction to the ride of thrill and success for the Harvard alum—the beginning of Linsanity.