Assistant Sports Editor
By now I’m sure you are all quite aware of who Jeremy Lin is. For those of you still unfamiliar, Lin is the new point guard of the New York Knicks and has been playing quite well as of late.
After yet another dominating performance on Tuesday night against the Raptors, Lin made it six consecutive games with at least 20 points and seven assists, something that had previously only been done by two people: Walt Frazier (twice) and Micheal Ray Richardson.
Also, his 136 points are more than any other player has scored in their first five starts since the ABA-NBA merger. That means not even Michael Jeffrey Jordan, Magic Johnson or Wilt Chamberlain had this immediate of an impact.
However, what people need to realize is that things like this happen in every sport all the time. Flash-in-the-pan outbursts like this are nothing new.
Remember Aaron Brooks? The New Orleans Saints’ stand-in quarterback who took the league by storm for seven weeks in 2000?
No? Well, that is because after leading the Saints to a 3-2 record in the last five games en route to the NFC West title and a first-round upset of the defending Super Bowl champion Rams, Brooks went 35-50 as a starter.
The way sports work in this day and age is that once teams get film on someone, they know exactly how to stop them. Every player at that level is capable of taking over if nobody is expecting them; it is a matter of succeeding when they see you coming.
Basketball players have a way of falling into this category more than most. Here are some other examples of players that will make you say, “Oh yeah, what ever happened to him?”
Ronald “Flip” Murray: Started 18 games for the Seattle Supersonics in 2003-04 and averaged 12.4 points per game. He was popular because he looked like a young Ray Allen, when in reality, he shot 29.3 percent from three-point range and has not played an NBA game in two years.
Fred Jones: Everyone remembers that epic dunk contest when J.R. Smith went around his back, right? Well, Fred Jones is the guy who beat him. He had the best season of his career in 2004-05 when the Indiana Pacer players in front of him all got suspended for going into the stands.
Greg Oden: I’m calling it now. He will come back healthy at some point and be dominant for 10 to 12 games before we remember he has the durability of a 50-year-old man and his legs fall off. Remember this.
Jeremy Lin is not Victor Cruz. He is not Tim Tebow. He is a Harvard point guard living on Landry Fields’ couch.
My point is this: do not go buy your Jeremy Lin jersey unless you are doing it ironically. His ceiling is as high as Jason Williams’ during the Orlando Magic years. He will have his flashes of brilliance, and we will all remember this stretch…as he is giving Jabari Parker high fives after introductions in five years.
Jimmy Kelley may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org