Win Like Lin
On February 4, 2012, with the Knicks trailing by 12 points early in the second quarter of a game against the lowly New Jersey Nets at Madison Square Garden , point guard Jeremy Lin took the ball over the halfcourt line and passed to teammate Toney Douglas. Lin accelerated along the sideline near Douglas , took a return pass, and broke to the basket. As he did, Douglas picked Lin’s defender, allowing Lin to get to the rim as Nets center Jordan Williams came over to help defensively. Lin gave Williams a slight fake and laid the ball off the backboard and in. They were Lin’s first two points of the night, and just his 36th points of the season.
在2012年2月4日 ，尼克在麥迪遜花園廣場對紐澤西籃網隊，下半場落後12分時，控球後衛林書豪帶球過了半場，然後傳給隊友Toney Douglas。林書豪加速沿著邊緣接近Douglas，取得了回傳，突破到籃下。當籃網中鋒Jordan Williams回防時，林書豪給Williams一個假動作，然後把球放進籃框裡。這是林書豪今天晚上的前兩分，也只是他本季的第36分。
But they were two points that would set off some of the most exhilarating, bizarre, and tumultuous weeks in the long history of New York Knicks and the league in general, two points that altered the direction of the team, two points that would help inflame the enthusiasm of a city, two points that would mark the move of one player from fringe reserve journeyman to established NBA roster member finding his way in the league, that set off the amazing rise of an international star, and that would serve as a starting point in a cautionary tale about the vicissitudes of fame and big-time professional sports. The previous night, February 3, Knick coach Mike D'Antoni -who was already, at that point, facing pressure to keep his job amid missed expectations and mounting disappointment-had juggled his playing rotation and inserted Lin into a loss to the Celtics in Boston . Lin's appearance was unremarkable, as he finished with just two points in a little more than six minutes on the floor. It was a surprise that Lin got into the game so early, though, given that he had played so little all year, and afterward, D'Antoni explained that he was searching for a spark. “Just anything,”he said.“Just trying to find some kind of rhyme or season to things. Haven't quite found it yet.”
在歷史悠久的紐約尼克最混亂的一周，兩分掀起了一些令人振奮的離奇，兩分改變一隊的方向，兩分使一個城市，兩分使一個被標記在交易明單中的球員出現在NBA名冊中。那掀起了一個國際巨星的驚人崛起。先前的晚上，2月3日 ，尼克總教練Mike D'Antoni在這分上，保持他的期望，把林書豪插入對塞爾提克的比賽中。林書豪的出現是非凡的，它在六分鐘內完成了兩分。這是一個驚奇，林書豪這麼快就融入了比賽，不過整年給他打這麼少，之後，D'Antoni解釋，他是在尋找一個火花。「只是什麼?」他說:「只是試圖找到一個規律。」
Against the Nets, that spark was ignited. It was Lin, an unlikely source given that he had had just 38 games of experience at that point and had spent the previous six weeks buried deep on the Knicks bench. Lin finished the first half with six points. He scored seven more in the third quarter, matching his previous career high of 13 for a game. He took over in the fourth quarter, with 12 points, finishing with 25 on the night and leading the wayward Knicks to a much-needed win as the crowd chanted,“Jer-Em-Mee!” the scene was unbelievable, and fans and Knicks teammates cheered Lin on wildly. The scene was unbelievable, and fans and Knicks teammates cheered Lin on wildly. When Lin crashed through the defense and finished a difficult shot at the rim while drawing a foul in the second half of the game, Ian Eagle,, veteran Nets broadcaster on the YES network, yelled, “Where did this come from?... It feels like some bizarro version of Rudy.”
In the locker room afterward, Lin was having trouble processing his performance. Typically, reporters from local papers and broadcast media would crowd around the lockers of stars player like Amar'e Stoudemire, Carmelo Anthony, and Tyson Chandler for postgame interviews. Bet now it was Lin, tucked into the far side of the Knicks locker room, who was crowded with microphones, something he'd experienced before but never because of an actual in-game performance. “It hasn't really sunk in yet,” he said. “To be honest, I'm still kind of in shock about everything that happened. But I am just trying to soak it all in right now.”
後來在更衣室裡，林書豪遇到了麻煩。通常，當地的報紙和廣播媒體都圍繞著一群球星的儲物櫃做賽後採訪，像Amar'e Stoudemire，Carmelo Anthony，和Tyson Chandler。但現在是林書豪，尼克更衣室室的那一邊，擠滿了麥克風，一些他感受過，但從來不是因為在實際的比賽表現。「還沒有真正沉沒。」他說:「說真的，我還在震撼發生的那一切。但我只想浸泡在這一切。」
It started with two points, with a give-and-go play (one of the most basic plays in basketball) and a layup. There has been a lot to soak in since, both positive and negative. First up was Lin's desire to prove the Nets game was not a fluke. Two nights later, Lin scored 28 points to beat Utah , and followed that with 23 in a win over Washington . That led to a nationally televised game against Kobe Bryant and the Lakers, a team that figured to put Lin's little three-game run to the test. On the night before the game, Bryant was asked about Lin's recent play. Bryant said he didn't know anything about it.
He found out, firsthand. Lin notched 38 points against the Lakers for the Knicks fourth straight win, before the game was over, Lin had become an instant icon in New York, across the NBA, and even in China and Taiwan, where he has family. That week, he was featured on the cover of Sports Illustrated and then again the following week, just the 10th athlete to appear on SI's cover on consecutive weeks, joining the likes of Michael Jordan, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Steve Young, Mike Tyson, and Mark McGwire. His story went beyond the sports world. Just five games after that that Saturday against the Nets, he was on the cover of Time magazine, with the headline, "LINSANITY!" There was a feeling that it was all happening too fast, that Lin still had a long way to go and a lot to prove as a player. But the league, and especially the disappointing Knicks, was in need of a hero, and Lin seemed an unlikely one worth celebrating-with a doubly rare background in the NBA as an Asian American Harvard graduate. Once the cork pops, of course, there is no putting the champagne back in the bottle. By the time he had led the Knicks over the Lakers, he had topped 500,000 Twitter followers.
他發現的第一手資料。林書豪切口對湖人的比賽38分，尼克斯的四連勝，比賽結束前，林書豪已成為紐約的即時圖示，在整個NBA，甚至在中國大陸和在他有家庭的台灣。那個星期，他特色體育畫報的封面上，然後再接下來的一周，剛剛在10日的運動員出現在SI的封面連續兩個星期，加入Michael jordan，Kareem Abdul-Jabbar，Steve Young，Mike Tyson，Mark McGwire等。他的故事超越了體育界。星期六，對陣籃網後短短的五場比賽後，他成了時代雜誌的封面上的標題，「林來瘋!」有一種感覺，這一切發生的太快，林書豪仍然有很長的路去了很多，作為一名球員驗證。但聯賽，特別是令人失望的尼克斯，是需要一個英雄，林書豪似乎是一個值得慶賀與在NBA倍加難得的背景，作為亞洲的不大可能的美國哈佛大學畢業。一旦彈出瓶塞，當然，也沒有放入瓶中香檳。
Lin's story quickly became the stuff of legend and, almost as quickly, a tale of the slings and arrows that follow outrageous fortune in an era of accelerated media and micro-news cycles. The sequence of events before Lin's arrival on the international sports scene is a feel-good story that's almost too incredible to grasp. On the night before the Nets win, Lin revealed, he had slept on the couch of teammate Landry Fields, because the couch he had been sleeping on-at his brother's apartment in Manhattan -was occupied by visiting friends. He did not yet have his own apartment because he had already been cut by the Warriors and the Rockets, and because his contract was not yet guaranteed, he knew there was the possibility that the Knicks would do the same. From there, he found himself at the epicenter of the sports world, gaining rave reviews courtesy of fans ranging from Hall of Famer Magic Johnson, to film director and Knicks fan Spike Lee, to actress Bo Derek, to Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, to President Obama. He was a hit on the social media scene. According to one study, Lin's name was tweeted more than 2.6 million times in one week, and his number of followers on Twitter doubled to more than 380,000 in a matter of four days.
林書豪的故事迅速成為傳奇，幾乎一樣快，離譜的財富在加速媒體和微新聞週期的時代，按照槍暗箭的故事。林書豪的國際體育界的到來之前的事件序列是一個感覺良好的故事，這幾乎是太不可思議了，要把握。贏籃網隊的前一天晚上，林書豪透露，他已經睡隊友Landry Fields的沙發很久，因為他一直睡在沙發上，他哥哥的公寓被曼哈頓親訪友佔領。他仍沒有自己的公寓，因為他被勇士隊和火箭隊剔除名單，而且他與尼克隊的合約仍然沒有保證，他知道尼克隊有可能會做相同的事情。從那裡，他發現自己在體育界的中心，獲得極高的評價從霍爾的名人堂成員Magic Johnson，電影導演和尼克的球迷Spike Lee不等的禮遇，女星Bo Derek，Facebook創始人Mark Zuckerberg，總統Obama。他是一個社會媒體界的打擊。根據一項研究表明，林書豪的名字被點擊在一個星期超過260萬次，他在Twitter上的粉絲數量倍增，在四天就超過了38萬。在他帶領尼克隊對湖人時，他已突破50萬Twitter的粉絲。
At the time, one of Lin's newest teammates, guard J.R. Smith, was in China , finishing a stint on a pro contract there. Fans in China and Taiwan had latched onto Lin, too, to the point where Lin's family in Taiwan had left their homes, prompting Lin to make a public plea to Taiwanese media members to respect his family's privacy. Smith said that, on the other side of the globe, he was able to pick up on the effect Lin was having on the Knicks, and on fans. “I saw a lot of YouTube highlights and stuff like that,” Smith said. “Just watching him play was crazy. He really inspires a lot of people around here, and around the world. He is a definitely a person people can look up to. When you hear his story, it gives you hope for anything.”
Hope for anything is, of course, a board sentiment, and too often positive stories in the sports world are spun into recognizable clichés. The underdog story-the bizarro Rudy- is the most common, going back to David playing slingshots against Goliath, and the rise of Lin's star does fit the bill for that kind of narrative. But there is more to the Lin tale than platitudes, and the early focus on his newfound fame and success ignored the more important aspects of his story, almost like celebrating a lottery winner for his riches rather than someone who worked hard to earn the same. By the same token, the struggles of the Knicks that followed his whirlwind emergence, struggles that would eventually lead to D'Antoni's departure from the team, don't diminish what Lin did to make himself an NBA player in the past two years and beyond. Lin did not rise out of nowhere. The conventional wisdom that he was a hidden gem on the bench of three teams in the past year, that all he need was for some forward-thinking coach to see that he belonged on the floor and that stardom would ensued is oversimplified.
Lost in the underdog narrative, and the Knicks' eventual overhaul, are the real lessons to be gleaned from the rise of Lin, the ones that can be taken from his acceptance of his unusual route to the NBA, the ones that can be taken from his off-season work, the ones that can be taken from his ability to remain prepared for opportunities and the necessity of coping with both sudden success and just as sudden adversity. Things can change, and they can change fast. It was only one week, after all, between the time D'Antoni put Lin into the Boston game out of desperation and the time Lin torched the Lakers and sealed his celebrity. It was only about a month after that, though, that D'Antoni was gone. What should matter to most of us is not the sudden fame and what will be sure to be an increase in fortune when Lin signs a new contract this summer. What should matter is what happened before the change, the work and preparation that Lin put in before that breakout game against the Nets, when virtually no NBA fans knew who he was and his career was hanging by a very tenuous thread. What should matter is how Lin handled himself and his teammates in those weeks in which he was the never-ending highlight on SportsCenter.
And what should matter, too, is what happens from here. Lin is only 23 years old and he came into the season hoping merely to establish himself as a legitimate NBA player. He didn't expect or ask for stardom, nor did he expect the rigors that came once that stardom was thrust upon him. The so-called Linsanity has waned into daily routine, which can only help Lin because, though he handled the flood of attention with grace, it was entirely new to him and he never really seemed comfortable with it. Now that he has garnered this level of attention, things have changed. Opponents are figuring out how to defend him, players are gearing up to put forth their best effort against him, the Knicks have had trouble with chemistry, and the Knicks' replacing of D'Antoni with assistant Mike Woodson has hanged the team's offensive system in a way that marginalizes what Lin does best. This is all new territory for Lin, but having shown what sorts of skills he can bring to an NBA team, he now needs to build on those skills, eliminate the flaws in his game, and confirm his place in the league.
But this story is only in the very early going, and improvement has always been part of the plan of Lin. Put aside the facile out-of-nowhere storyline, and you'll see that Lin actually worked very hard to get to the NBA, and will have to work just as hard to maintain the level if play he showed in his first few weeks as a starter. The magazine covers and cultural-icon status were a shock. No one had envisioned his strange path to stardom-at best, he seemed to be a player who could carve out a reasonably long career in pro basketball, with a degree from Harvard as a fallback. Now, he can shrug off the Linsanity distraction that came with his initial play in New York , because his goal was much more modest when the season began. "I always told myself, for this year, coming into this year, I wanted to establish myself in the rotation and not be the 12th to 15th guy on the team," Lin said. "Obviously, that's what I wanted to do, and that's what I felt like I could do. But the reality of the situation was that I was the 12th to 15th guy, and that's why I got waived a couple of times. I'm just thankful to God that I am here with New York ."
He is striving to stay in New York now. As new obstacles present themselves, Lin is finding that he is, at least, what he had hoped he would be at this point in life all long: an established second-year NBA basketball player trying to improve his game and help his team win.
From the long and very unusual path Lin took to get there, there are plenty of lessons to be learned.