NEW YORK — Bigger than Shaq? Larger than LeBron? The Knicks as NBA champions?
(Don’t laugh too hard at that last one. The odds are getting better, according to one online sports book.)
Nothing seems too Lin-conceivable now after Jeremy Lin’s incredible first week as an NBA starter, and the story keeps getting better.
The undrafted player from Harvard made a 3-pointer with half a second left Tuesday night to give the Knicks a 90-87 victory at Toronto.
The Knicks returned home Wednesday to play host to Sacramento, looking for their seventh consecutive victory.
Lin has started the last five games, so hold off on making him a Michael Jordan, Shaquille O’Neal or LeBron James just yet. But the Knicks have seen enough to believe this ride might last a while longer.
“I don’t know when there’s an ending. Maybe there won’t,” coach Mike D’Antoni said.
Lin’s story has blown straight past the New York sports pages and all their cute headlines like “Va-Lin-tine’s Day,” all the way to a basketball-crazed continent on the other side of the world, where he’s been “kind of like the great Asian hope,” said Orin Starn, professor and chair of Cultural Anthropology at Duke.
And Linsanity has reached America’s most powerful basketball fan, with President Obama talking about Lin’s winner Wednesday.
White House spokesman Jay Carney said Lin was “just a great story, and the president was saying as much this morning.”
Lin, whose parents left Taiwan in the 1970s, arrived in New York in December with no guarantee he would last more than a few weeks. Already cut by Golden State and Houston this season, he was so hesitant to get comfortable in his new home that he refused to even get his own.
Lin is certain to cool off. It’s one thing to beat teams such as the Nets and Wizards when they’ve barely had time to learn your name.
It’s another when NBA defenses are prepared to stop you.
“He’s a marked man now. He’s not going to sneak up on anybody, and every night’s going to be tough,” D’Antoni said.