The rise, fall and future of Jeremy Lin

It was more than a year ago when it all started. With the shot clock winding down and the score tied at 87, Jeremy Lin pulled up and nailed the game winning three for the New York Knicks against the Toronto Raptors. Even in Toronto, the crowd cheered as the Knicks pulled off a win over the Raptors with 0.5 seconds remaining on the clock after the final shot. “Linsanity” was at the height of its magic and Lin became the first NBA player to average over 25 points and 7 assists in his first 5 starts, leading the Knicks back to playoff contention in the East. His population soared up to the point where the first Taiwanese-American player got named by Sports Illustrated as “The Second Most Famous Knick of All-Time.”  Some called him the next breakout star while others labeled him a fluke but one thing was clear, Lin had grabbed the attention of the basketball world.

It would never last. On February 20, 2012, Carmelo Anthony returned to the Knick’s starting lineup and Linsanity started its downward descent. The Knicks wobbled along with a 2-6 record after going 8-1 in the previous nine games. The resignation of Mike D’ Antoni left Lin without the offensive system he was used to. The Harvard product struggled in his last nine games before ultimately tearing his meniscus on his left knee. With the start of April, it looked as if Lin would not see another game that season. The future for Linsanity was looking grim.

The playoffs flew by as the Miami Heat slaughtered the Knicks in five games during the first round. Lin’s days in New York were over as the Knicks would ultimately lose him to the Houston Rocket’s three year poison pill offer, which had his salary jump up from $5 million the first two years to $15 million in the third year. The Knicks ended up signing point guard Raymond Felton instead. Linsanity was moving to Houston, supposedly.

The Rockets were supposed to be in rebuilding mode and Lin was supposed to be the one to lead it. That all changed when Houston swung a deal that allowed them to obtain James Harden from the Oklahoma City Thunders.     Once again, Lin had to play behind a superstar; one who had a breakout year. Lin struggled the entire 2012-13 season, leading up to many trade rumors throughout the year. He was frequently benched during fourth quarters and was called on for his below-average defense. During his first playoff series, he averaged 4 points, 2 rebounds, and 2 assists. Throughout the world, Linsanity had become a distant memory.

Going into the new season, Lin is one of the biggest questions on a revamped Rockets team that is bound to compete for a championship. Should Lin be traded? Should he start? Is he the right point guard on the champion-bound team? The new season will be Lin’s chance to prove himself worthy of his contract. With pressures residing solely on Howard and Harden, Lin is free to concentrate on his play alone. With a year of experience, chemistry, and improved team, Lin is bound to make huge strides and show the world that Linsanity isn’t dead. At the age of 25, his career has just begun. Sooner or later, he will average 18 and eight.