If you’re a New York Knicks fan you probably remember the hype that was surrounding Jeremy Lin during the “Linsanity” phase that lasted for a couple of weeks.
During that stretch, Jeremy Lin, who at that time was pretty much unknown and served as a back up to the second point guard on that Knicks team put up All-Star numbers and lead the Knicks to the playoffs.
Linsanity took the world by storm and it was one of the rare moments in Knicks recent history that could be considered positive. Everybody bought Knicks jerseys that had the name Lin on the back and he was the main topic of discussion across the league.
That breakthrough was a crucial moment in his career because Lin was able to prove he belongs in the NBA. Lin remembers how supportive was the Knicks head coach Mike D’Antoni at that time and Lin remembers the influence he had over him.
The Ringers podcast “Winging It” featured Jeremy Lin who gave a brief explanation of why he will always support D’Antoni and his style of coaching in which he empowers players.
“I remember I had one game where I had 9 turnovers and we lost. I got a call from him after the game and he’s like ‘You alright?’ I’m like ‘Yeah.’ It was actually our first loss during the Linsanity stretch. So we had won seven straight and this was our first loss. And he was like, ‘Hey I just wanna call and let you know, next game, go ahead and get 20 turnovers.’ He’s like, ‘I want you to get 20 turnovers next game.’ He’s like, ‘Because if you get 20 turnovers, you’ll probably get 40 assists. I just want you going downhill all day, all night. Do not think once about your turnovers or stopping to attack. Just play through all of them.'”
Even though he was almost averaging 25 points and 10 assists during his epic run, turnovers were a big problem for Jeremy Lin. In average he was turning over the ball almost 6 times per game which can be a problem for the entire team, however, D’Antoni encouraged him to continue playing the same way as he was before.
“Again, that’s why I played so well. I had this coach that was empowering me, constantly in my ear telling me ‘Go, go, go. Trust your instincts.’ A big part of Linsanity was just being in that environment, being in a pick-and-roll system that’s suited my style, and having coaches around just being like, ‘Look, we trust you, we know that you’re gonna make the right play more times than you won’t. Let it fly.'”
Unfortunately, Linsanity didn’t bring him another multi-year contract with the New York Knicks, however, it definitely saved his career and he is still playing in the NBA even though he was afraid that his career will end after that 2011/12 season.
Lin bounced around the NBA a bit and is now playing for the Atlanta Hawks providing them with solid minutes and veteran experience from the bench.