In less than one week New York Knicks guard Jeremy Lin went from sitting on the very end of the bench to outscoring future Hall of Famer Kobe Bryant in Madison Square Garden.
Last Friday Lin dropped 38 points on the Los Angeles Lakers en route to a 92-85 victory; while Bryant finished the game with 34 points.
And it’s not just that he outscored Bryant, because Kobe has been outscored before. But the big story here is that last Friday’s game against the Lakers proved that Lin is for real. After the first three games everyone was wondering if Lin could continue his impressive play.
Well, if you watched the game against the Lakers then you know that this kid is definitely for real.
Before Lin showed up the Knicks were struggling mightily. Missing both Carmelo Anthony and Amare Stoudemire, the Knicks were out of the playoff picture with a record of 8-15.
Jeremy has led them to five straight victories, improving their record to 13-15 and currently sitting in eighth in the East.
Lin has provided the spark that the team has needed this season. The Knicks came into the season with high expectations. But Anthony has faced injury issues all season long and has not been very effective.
Plus Stoudemire has been away from the team after the death of his older brother, so the entire franchise has been down as of late.
But now there is energy in the garden again. People are excited to watch the Knicks play, even without their two biggest stars.
The NBA needed Jeremy Lin, the league needed the guy that no one has ever heard of to step up and make an impact.
Sure, the NBA is popular thanks to superstars like Lebron James, Kobe Bryant, Kevin Durant, Blake Griffin, Kevin Rose, etc.
But now Lin has brought a new light on the league. Lin was not drafted out of high school. In fact, he wasn’t even drafted. Lin played his college ball at Harvard, and when he wasn’t drafted he still believed enough in himself to make the league.
The NBA needed that underdog to come out of nowhere. Lin answered the call.
The craziest thing is how close Lin was to being cut again. He was the next guy in line to be cut from the team, but he got his chance and stepped up.
He has scored at least 20 points in each of his first five games. Culminating, of course, last Friday when he outscored Kobe Bryant.
Having Lin playing well was great, but actually seeing the kid go head-to-head with one of the greatest basketball players of all time was a great sight to see.
It will be interesting to see how the Knicks will finish out. Once Anthony and Stoudemire come back, how much of an impact will Lin make then?
That is still yet to be determined, but one thing is for sure, Lin kept this team alive in this hard time for the franchise. Who needs Anthony and Stoudemire when you have Jeremy Lin?
Tyler Rollason is a Winder-Barrow High School graduate and mass communications major at the University of West Georgia. You can e-mail comments about this column to