On Feb. 14, 2012, Jeremy Lin hit the game-winning shot against the Toronto Raptors and with that single shot, Linsanity had hit its peak. So how has Lin’s career gone since leaving the mecca of New York and what’s in store for him this upcoming NBA season?
Since the NBA ended with the San Antonio Spurs winning the championship in June, the competitive balance and landscape of the league has undergone a dramatic shift. Most notably, LeBron James left the Miami Heat and returned home to the Cleveland Cavaliers.
But during the entire LeBron Decision 2.0, the Houston Rockets were actively pursuing Chris Bosh to supplement James Harden and Dwight Howard to form their own Big 3, even if that meant sacrificing Jeremy Lin.
On July 13, 2014, Houston traded Lin and two draft picks, one future first rounder and one second round pick in 2015, to the Los Angeles Lakers for the mere Sergei Lishchuk. Houston traded these players for Lishchuk just so the team could get cap room (the limit for a team’s salary) for the potential Chris Bosh signing.
So here we are, two-and-a-half years removed from Linsanity in New York, with Lin finally getting a fresh start and chance to shine in Los Angeles.
In Los Angeles, Lin will have more of an opportunity to handle the ball and dictate the offense, as opposed to Houston, where James Harden was best with the ball in his hand and Dwight Howard needed his touches in the post. Yes, the Lakers have Kobe Bryant, but Kobe is 36 years old and past his prime.
The chances of Lin capturing that magical stretch of games he experienced in New York is slim to none, but if he succeeds in Los Angeles, he’ll have the support of Laker Nation.
One of the major contributing factors that made Lin such a sensation was the fact that he was an Asian American who went to Harvard, went undrafted in the 2010 NBA draft and then tore up the league with his play in New York City, the city with the largest Chinese population in the United States.
He wasn’t just another NBA player who was on a hot streak, no, he was the first visible Asian American NBA player to have a major impact in the social media age and gave older Asian generations someone to cheer for post-Yao Ming retirement.
Lin now has an opportunity to succeed on the court as well as off the court: He’s playing in Los Angeles, the 3rd largest city in the United States with Chinese Americans. Lin’s game on the court might not have lived up to the expectations he set as a Knick, but his personality shined off the court.
From his viral videos pranking his mom, to his most recent “Lindorsements,” Lin is primed for a rise in his popularity again. If his game can match his off the court personality and presence, be prepared for Linsanity 2014. Are you ready?
Photo courtesy of Elma.