There was nothing quite like “Linsanity.”
For a few weeks in February of 2012, Jeremy Lin brought pure joy to the New York Knicks and the basketball world. A guy signed to a non-guaranteed injury replacement contract just after Christmas of 2011, Lin exploded on the scene — finding a perfect fit in Mike D’Antoni’s up-tempo system — became must-watch television as he lifted the Knicks up. Within a month, D’Antoni was out in New York, and as quickly as Linsanity rose it started to fall back down. By the next year, he was in Houston.
Lin, in an hour-long interview airing Friday with Mike Breen on MSG Network — which is re-showing the Linsanity games during this forced stoppage in play and life — Lin talked about what he remembered most from those days.
“The number one thing I would say is just the fan support. Since then I’ve gone through a lot of highs and lows. I’ve been fortunate enough to win an NBA Championship and go through the championship parade and things like that. And that was incredible, but what happened in New York during that stretch -it was just really not something that I’ll ever experience again. It’s not really anything that even an NBA player may experience. It was that unique. And it was all built around how the fans were on a different level in terms of the energy, the excitement. That’s really what I remember, and that’s what brings a huge smile to my face when I think back.”
Lin detailed his breakout game against Brooklyn — “I don’t remember it all. It was a blur.” — how he slept on Landry Fields’ couch through part of that stretch, and Lin talked about his regrets from that era.
“It was the most special, precious moment. And in the end to the previous question about regrets. My biggest regret is that I didn’t soak in every second of that experience. That’s my biggest regret. My biggest regret is that I was too immature and young to really learn how to not take that for granted. I was so set on the next season and rehabbing from my injury and what I wanted to happen next that I couldn’t stay in the moment and just appreciate that, and appreciate New York for who New York was and what New York did for me, who all those fans were, and what that meant. It was so special.”
It’s a nice touch by MSG to bring back Linsanity — one of the handful bright spots for the Knicks in the last decade — to remind us all how much fun basketball and the NBA can be. We miss the sport, and it brings joy to be reminded of the highs it can reach when everything comes together.