“Linsanity” is finally getting another run on the MSG Network, a spinoff of the US sports and entertainment giant Madison Square Garden Corp in New York City.
In search of content following league shutdowns amid the coronavirus pandemic, the network is turning to Jeremy Lin’s memorable NBA breakthrough, which once was ratings gold.
The network on Friday said that it would dedicate a week of programming to the 2012 stretch when Lin got his chance with the New York Knicks and took the league by storm, looking back at a feel-good story during a difficult time in New York City.
Undrafted out of Harvard University, the NBA’s first American-born player of Taiwanese decent outplayed Kobe Bryant in one game, dominated the defending champion Dallas Mavericks in another and created a buzz that late NBA commissioner David Stern said was unlike any that he had seen for one player in such a short time.
It was one of the biggest highlights of the past two decades for the Knicks, but it has been largely ignored by them.
Lin left as a free agent after that season and has received little acknowledgment from the team or the station since.
His decision that July to sign an offer sheet with the Houston Rockets that was structured in a way that was difficult for the Knicks to match might have angered MSG Networks chairman James Dolan.
So while the Lin-led victory over Bryant’s Los Angeles Lakers has been replayed on NBA TV, Lins’ achievements have not been aired again on the MSG Network.
This would be the first time that his dazzling stretch is being shown again in its entirety.
It begins tomorrow with the Knicks’ victory over the New Jersey Nets on Feb. 4, 2012, when the then little-known point guard came off the bench and scored 25 points.
That is followed by a victory two nights later over the Utah Jazz, when Lin made his first start and scored 28 points.
He went on to become the first player with at least 20 points and seven assists in each of his first five starts since the Elias Sports Bureau began charting starts in 1970.
On Wednesday, the MSG Network is to televise the Feb. 14, 2012, victory over Toronto, when Lin beat the buzzer with a tiebreaking three-pointer.
The nationally televised victory over Bryant and the Lakers is to air on Thursday and Lin’s 26-point performance against the Dallas Mavericks follows on Friday.
Lin hurt his knee that March and required season-ending surgery.
He signed the deal with the Rockets, which the Knicks refused to match, after the season. Lin now plays professionally in China.
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