NBA’s ‘Linderella’ sensation

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Jeremy Lin, who was virtually unknown before his Feb. 4 game winning performance has since become an NBA sensation, but his road to success was far from easy.

A Harvard graduate, Lin averaged 16.4 points and 4.4 rebounds his senior year. He was nominated for several awards, including the All Ivy League First Team and the John R. Wooden award.

Despite the impressive track record though, Lin was not selected in the 2010 NBA draft prior to which he had played with eight different teams. He was invited by the Dallas Mavericks to the team’s mini-camp and to its NBA summer league in Las Vegas.

In a matchup against first round draft pick John Wall, Lin scored 13 points against Wall’s 21, but did so on 6 -12 shooting in 28 minutes. Wall shot 4-19 in 33 minutes.

Finally in July 2010 it seemed as though he had made it. The Los Angeles Lakers, Dallas Mavericks and the Golden State Warriors each offered him a contract, and he signed with the Golden State Warriors, but things were less than perfect. Lin saw little playing time with the Warriors and was soon demoted to the team’s D-League before being traded to the New York Knicks in January 2012.

In a game against the New Jersey Nets, Lin had a game winning performance, finishing the night with 25 points and seven assists. Lin then made his first career start against the Utah Jazz, earning his first double-double against the Washington Wizards and would later set a career high 38 points against the Los Angeles Lakers.

“He continues to impress every night,” New York’s Jared Jeffries told CBS Sports. “Every game he plays better, he does more and more to help us win basketball games. You can’t ask any more of a kid coming into this situation.”

In only his fifth career start, Lin’s most stunning performance came Tuesday night against the Toronto Raptors. With less than a second to play, Lin hit a tie-breaking three point shot to give the Knicks a 90-87 victory. The NBA’s first Taiwanese American player finished the night with 27 points and a career high 11 assists.

Although Lin is standing in the spot light, he says that without his team, this wouldn’t have been possible.

“It’s not because of me, it’s because we’re coming together as a team,” Lin told CBS Sports. “We started making these steps earlier but we were still losing close games and so obviously it wasn’t fun. But when you win, that solves a lot of problems. We’ve been winning and we’ve been playing together.”

Lin is now averaging 12.9 points and 4.5 assists per game.

Linderella, Linsanity and Linsane are just a few of the names that have spawned from Lin’s NBA takeover. Rodeny McKissic of the Buffalo News said, “Not bad for a guy who just last week spent most nights on his brother’s couch in a one-bedroom apartment on Manhattan’s Lower East Side.”