Ginobli tweets about Jeremy Lin on Valentine's Day
Published: February 22, 2012
When Manu Ginobili took to Twitter on Valentine's night, he didn't tweet about the Spurs victory over the stalled Detroit Pistons. Nor did he tweet about his comfort on the court after missing 22 games with a fractured left hand. He didn't even tweet about his valentine. Like so much of the sports world, Manu was thinking about one thing: New York Knicks starting point guard Jeremy Lin. "#jeremylin keeps getting bigger," he tweeted. "Today 27 pts 11a & just saw the game winner. What a story!! Happy for him & for the game."
The ascension of Lin began on February 4 after an out-of-nowhere 25-point outburst against the neighboring New Jersey Nets. It didn't come easy. The Taiwanese-American and Harvard graduate was undrafted in 2010 before signing with his hometown Golden State Warriors where he played for mere minutes during his rookie campaign. Loaded in the backcourt, the Warriors handed Lin his walking papers. The Houston Rockets added Lin to their training camp roster, only to let him go on Christmas Eve — the eve of the NBA's dispute-stalled opening night. Within three days, the New York Knicks claimed Lin with no guarantee of a role. "If someone wakes up with a cold, he's playing a lot. If not, then we'll see," joked Knicks head Coach Mike D'Antoni. It took a few weeks, but cold shooting, injuries, and desperation eventually paved the way for Lin's dazzling February 4 Knicks debut.
Since, Lin's seemingly surreal basketball doings have become fantastical fodder for just about anyone who fiends on the internet or turns on a television set. The craze even has a name: "Linsanity." In just five games, Lin thrilled with a cumulative total of 136 points, eclipsing Shaq's 20-year-old NBA record for a player in their first five games. But our baller-in-chief President Obama is not the only one "very impressed." Madison Square Garden's stock rose 10 percent a week into the "Linsanity." Lin's jersey is not only the best-selling jersey in the NBA, but Knicks' merchandise sales are up 200 percent over last year. And, go ahead and call it smoke and mirrors, but Lin's presence has the Knicks winning games, captivating a fan base that's no stranger to disappointments. So what if the recent Team Marketing Report noted that the Knicks' average ticket price is more than 30-percent higher than it was just a year ago.
Such financial "Linutia" aside, Lin's greatest feat is possibly the impression he's made on his basketball brethren. Players present and past like bat-swatting Manu, Phoenix's Steve Nash, the Artest formerly known as Ron, Magic Johnson, Reggie Miller, and others appear in complete submission to "Linsanity." The first opportunity for Manu and San Antonio to see Lin up close comes when the Knicks visit on Wednesday, March 7. But, really. Did anyone really think a Harvard graduate would have a hard time finding a job?
Ryan Sachetta covers the Spurs with Manuel Solis for the Current. Follow them online at blogs.sacurrent.com and catch their print column here every other week.