After a surprisingly big season with the New York Knicks, Linsanity was born in early 2012. But unfortunately for Jeremy Lin, it was nearly impossible to meet the expectations set before him as he signed a big contract to play for the Rockets the next year.
Luckily, Lin had the humility to not get caught up in all the hype that surrounded him amid a lackluster first season in Houston.
“One thing I have to remind myself is I just turned 25 years old, and to be honest I really have only been playing consistent basketball in the NBA for a season and a half, if that; and so I’m very young in my career,” Lin said on ESPN Radio. “Because the expectations of Linsanity are so big and the shadow is so large… sometimes I have to take a step back and remind myself the journey has just begun.”
Stepping out of the shadow for Lin, of course, has been difficult as he heads into a second year with a new-look Rockets’ roster that features Dwight Howard as well as returning star James Harden.
With that spotlight being turned away from him, the pressure is off. However, the Harvard alum will still have to find new ways to improve himself to play in the NBA.
“There are a lot of holes in my game, and I’ll be the first one to admit that. . . . It’s just a matter of trying to become better and repair and improve,” Lin said. “Teams know what my strengths and weakness are now, and I don’t have that element of surprise anymore.”
Lin may never get to fully escape the shadow of Linsanity, and he may never experience the same success he had in New York. But he has come a long way since his couch-surfing days, before he became an international basketball star.