Fri, Feb 24, 2012 - Page 19 News List

Jeremy Lin makes his second consecutive ‘SI’ cover

AP and CNA, NEW YORK and Washington

Covering Jeremy Lin has been easy for Sports Illustrated.

The high-scoring Knicks newcomer is on the cover of SI for the second week in a row. He is the first New York-based team athlete to be given such treatment since the magazine started in 1954 — not even Mickey Mantle, Joe Namath or Eli Manning made two straight.

Lin became a global star after getting a chance to start for the Knicks. The unheralded point guard from Harvard is playing with a flair that has revitalized the team and the fans.

Lin is the 12th athlete to appear on the Sports Illustrated cover at least two weeks in a row since 1990. Dirk Nowitzki did it during last season’s NBA finals. Michael Jordan holds the Sports Illustrated cover record with three in row.

A book on Lin’s rise from basketball obscurity to the NBA’s newest sensation will hit bookstores in May.

Hachette Book Group announced on Wednesday that it was scheduled to release the book, titled Jeremy Lin: The Reason for the Linsanity, in May.

The book, authored by Timothy Dalrymple, will chronicle Lin’s high school, college and early career in the NBA, while highlighting the media explosion ignited by his stellar success as a starting guard with the Knicks.

Lin, a Harvard economics graduate, became a phenomenon after he led the bottom-feeding Knicks to a spate of victories since early this month. The first American-born NBA player of Taiwanese descent scored more points in his first five starts — 136 — than any other player since the NBA-ABA merger in 1976.

With his popularity through the roof and Knicks owner Madison Square Garden Co’s stock at an all-time high as a result of his play, many companies, including some from Taiwan and China, are offering to work out endorsement deals with him, said his agent, Roger Montgomery.

The New York Post quoted Montgomery as saying that he had received “over 1,000 e-mails” on such offers.

“There’s been so much interest, and so many people reaching out, it is overwhelming,” Montgomery said.

Lin has been hesitant to strike agreements, however. He has reportedly turned down offers from a wireless telephone company as well as a watchmaker — deals that would be worth “millions,” industry sources said.

“Every NBA player wants a contract with a luxury watch brand right now,” one branding guru said.

“LeBron James is Audemars Piguet, Dwyane Wade is Hublot ... but Jeremy is Harvard-educated, and he’s not going to do something flashy that’s just for the money,” the expert said.

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