Is New York's Jeremy Lin the real deal? [poll]
After his 38-point performance against the Lakers on Friday night, it would be hard to convince any New Yorker that Knicks sensation Jeremy Lin isn't a budding NBA star.
Lin was practically a one-man highlight show against the Lakers, burning Kobe Bryant & Co. with fancy spin moves in the paint and pinpoint perimeter shooting.
It was quite the breakout performance for a player who a little more than a week ago was a relative unknown among most NBA fans.
Until Lin saw the first significant playing time of his career in a 25-point effort against New Jersey on Feb. 4, he was just another NBA bench warmer -- a guy used more as a general manager's roster play chip than a bona fide contributor on the floor. Even the Lakers looked into the possibility of acquiring Lin for a reserve role at the start of the season.
But can Lin keep this up? A lot of upset Lakers fans would like to think he can't, but "Lin-sanity" has certainly affected the Knicks' courtside contingent. Here's what filmmaker and longtime Knicks fan Spike Lee tweeted after the game:
"Jeremy 'Kobe Wuz Smokin' But I Wasn't Joke-'Lin. Tonight Was NO FLUKE. I Seen It Wit' My Own 4 EYES. JLin Is LEGIT.NBA DEAL WITH IT."
Usually a player has made it when he has his own celebrity trash talker but what do you think? Is Lin a here-today-gone-tomorrow talent carried by Tim Tebow-like sensationalism or is he poised to become one of the biggest surprises of the season?
-- Austin Knoblauch
Photo: New York guard Jeremy Lin, left, celebrates with teammate Jared Jeffries after making a basket during the Knicks' 92-85 victory over the Lakers on Friday. Credit: Frank Franklin II / Associated Press