In New York, the Giants are busy celebrating a Super Bowl title and yet it’s the New York Knicks who are the talk of the town. Despite having just an 11-15 record and being one of the most disappointing teams in the NBA this season, the Knicks have been put back in the national spotlight. Not because of Carmelo Anthony. Not because of Amar’e Stoudemire. Because of former D-Leaguer, Jeremy Lin.
Coming out of high school Lin was overlooked. He didn’t have a single scholarship offer and ended up going to Harvard. Then after being an All-Ivy league selection twice while at Harvard, Lin was overlooked once again and went undrafted. Even his hometown team, the Golden State Warriors cut him prior to this season. Lin hasn’t stopped working and he has persevered. Thanks to horrible point guard play and a few injuries, Lin is getting his shot in the NBA with the New York Knicks and he has made it impossible to overlook him again. The Knicks are on a three-game winning streak with Lin in the lineup. The former Ivy League standout is averaging over 25 points per game and over eight assists per game in those contests and has brought excitement back to New York. The Garden is rocking with chants of MVP once again. But nobody, not even Jeremy Lin, could’ve dreamed that those chants would be directed at him.
Jeremy Lin joined 95.7 the Game in San Francisco with the Rise Guys to talk about how it felt having Knicks fans chanting MVP at him, if he is surprised by the success he is having, on his contract getting picked up by the Knicks for the rest of the season, if he is going to look for a new place in New York, if he was surprised when he was released by the Warriors, and whether or not he takes inspiration from Tim Tebow.
On Knicks fans chanting MVP at him:
“That was a surreal moment for sure just because I never would’ve imagined in my wildest dreams that would’ve happened. Thankful for them obviously.”
On being surprised by the success he is having:
“Yeah definitely true. I can’t sit here and say I knew this would happen or something like that. I think it’s something that I’ve been working towards to try to kind of establish myself in the rotation but to have this happen so fast has been miraculous and I’m just so thankful to God, my teammates, and this organization for giving me this opportunity. It’s been an unbelievable week.”
On his contract getting picked up by New York for the remainder of the season:
“Yeah I actually found out yesterday when the General Manager told me after shoot around. That was a little bit of a sigh of relief.”
Whether or not he is going to get a place of his own now in New York:
“I’m not really sure. I don’t know if I want to shake things up just yet. I’m looking for a place.”
If he is getting bombarded by fans now:
“I mean I don’t really walk around the city too much. It’s been fine. I’ve actually just spent a lot of time in the apartment just relaxing and resting.”
If he was surprised that the Warriors released him:
“I definitely didn’t see it coming and got pulled out midway through the first practice. My agent and I had zero idea that was going to happen. It was really tough for me at the time but I just tried to hold on to a lot of the stuff in the Bible that God gives to trust, have joy in the sufferings, and trust in his perfect plan. That’s what I tried my best to do and I’m thankful the way things turned out.”
On Tim Tebow being an inspiration for him:
“Actually a lot of inspiration just because he’s such a polarizing figure but I think the things he says in interviews, his approach to the game is just unbelievable and I respect him so much. I want to be able to do some of the things that he does in terms of the amount of charity work and the non-profit work, and the way he impacts people off the field. I think that is what is most inspiring to me about him.”
On his dunk last night against the Wizards:
“That felt great. I haven’t dunked in a long time in a game so I’m just glad I was able to do that because I don’t know, I felt like I was due. I got a lot in college but it’s a lot harder in the pros to get open and get a dunk.”