Dahntay Jones is not the first person to say this. Heck, Mark Cuban said it.
But the Mavericks swingman is the latest to say new cross-state rival Jeremy Lin would not have had the same hype last season if he hadn’t been playing in New York City. That the fire of “Linsanity” spread because the New York Media was the gasoline dumped on the blaze.
Via Dwain Price of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram (on Sulia).
“I think he had a very good month (last year), but when anything goes down in New York City it’s a write-up about it,’’ Mavs guard Dahntay Jones said Sunday. “If it would have happened in Indiana I don’t think it would have been the same type of buzz, but he had a great string of games.
“If you do that in New York – New York wants to put somebody out there and to be proud of someone. It’s the media hub, so he did it at the right place at the right time.’’
As I’ve said before, the hype did get more intense more quickly because he was in New York, but he would have been a story and a draw anywhere. Part of that is his Asian heritage. It was the perfect storm of the Knicks were dreadful, then in comes Lin attacking on the pick-and-roll and finding shooters — and it worked, the Knicks were winning games. He was entertaining to watch. Mike D’Antoni was showing why you might want to give him a quality point guard to run his offense.
But really, the biggest reason Lin would still have been a big story is because he is an archetype. We love the underdog, and Lin was that — the overlooked, twice-cut guy who wouldn’t give up, kept pursuing his dream and once he got a chance exploded on the biggest stage. That’s a movie script. We eat that stuff up.
Plus, Lin put up better numbers in his first four starts — 28 points per game — than any first four games for a starter in NBA history. That would make noise in any market.
But yes, him being in New York helped start the legend. Now it is the next few years in Houston where that legacy will be defined. That is when we see if the Rockets made a good move with the poison pill offer sheet they gave (and Lin signed). Or if Lin’s fame is gone in a New York minute.