Jeremy Lin started twenty-five games for the New York Knicks last winter, rising from fourth-stringer to local folk hero. And like the best folk heroes, he has departed the scene early, before the shine came off, leaving New Yorkers to tell tales and wonder what might have been.
For this week’s issue, Barry Blitt drew Knicks guard Jeremy Lin in a series of heroic scenarios. We’ll highlight these illustrations in some photosets over the next couple of days. If you can’t wait for the rest, visit: http://nyr.kr/ynqsY6
This moment is still Lin’s for as long as he can manage it, but there is an elephant set to rampage through the Garden again soon in the form of Carmelo Anthony. It perhaps says as much about Knicks fans as it does about Anthony that returning one of the five best scorers in the N.B.A. has become something to fear. But there is some reason for concern. The Knicks were also without Amare Stoudamire for four games, and in two games since his return, Stoudamire has taken more shots than any other Knick, and had the worst shooting percentage of any starter. Fans fear that Anthony, who could return from injury tonight, or during Sunday’s nationally televised game against the Mavericks, will only add to the problem. The Knicks are also adding J. R. Smith, a pure scorer who had been exiled to China for the season. The fear is that they will somehow screw up the team’s mojo. But note well: of these six Lin-led wins, only one, against the Lakers, has come against a team with a winning record. Eleven of the Knicks’ next fourteen games are against probable playoff teams. You don’t beat Miami and Chicago and San Antonio with Steve Novak and Jared Jeffries—even with Jeremy Lin. The Knicks need Carmelo, for better and worse.