Jeremy Lin — not Carmelo Anthony — could be New York Knicks’ identity for years to come – ESPN New York

Updated: February 27, 2012, 11:06 PM ET

Sorry Melo, Knicks are Lin’s team now

Anthony is still their best player, but Lin could be Bockers’ identity for years to come

OConnor

By Ian O’Connor
ESPNNewYork.com
Archive

Turning The Corner
Mark Jones and Jon Barry discuss what the Knicks need to do to in the second half the season.Tags: New York Knicks

Turning The Corner

VIDEO PLAYLIST video

As they prepare for the second act of the most celebrated 17-18 season in NBA history, the New York Knicks should understand this about their identity: It belongs to Jeremy Lin now, and probably for years to come.

Chris Paul is on record saying these Knicks still start with Carmelo Anthony, and still end with Carmelo Anthony, and maybe it was the Clipper’s way of covering for a beleaguered buddy, or of offering some restitution on that unfulfilled toast at Melo’s wedding. Either way, Paul was wrong, dead wrong.

Jeremy Lin is the team’s quarterback, the face of the franchise, and that won’t change for who knows how long. Nobody saw this coming with 3:35 left in the first quarter of the Knicks’ game against the New Jersey Nets the night before the Super Bowl, when a rookie starter, Iman Shumpert, picked up his second foul and left the Madison Square Garden court in favor of a scrub from Harvard.

Linsanity on ESPNNewYork.com

When it comes to the Knicks’ newest sensation, ESPN New York is all-Lin.
Lin: Game By Game Photo Gallery  Latest
Vote: Can Melo and Lin coexist? Video
Video: FanSpeak Video   Nicknames Video–>

Only that was the moment the Knicks became Lin’s Knicks, just as surely as the 2001 New England Patriots became Tom Brady’s Patriots after Mo Lewis put the hit on Drew Bledsoe. I remember standing on the sideline — mere yards removed from the spot of the Lewis-Bledsoe impact — when the appearance of a scarecrow trotting onto the field compelled me to turn to a colleague and offer the following in-depth scouting report:

Tom Brady. This guy stinks.”

And if I wasn’t busy in Indianapolis covering Brady’s fifth Super Bowl, the Lin substitution against the Nets would’ve inspired a similar thought. Brady was the 199th pick, a sixth-rounder in a seven-round draft. Ignored in a two-round draft, Lin was a D-Leaguer on the verge of being fired by a third NBA team. He did stink, at least until he proved he didn’t.

Now Lin stands among the world’s most popular athletes, even after the Miami Heat made him look like, well, a D-Leaguer on the verge of being fired by a third NBA team. Lin was bone tired and overdue for a bad game, and so he was no match for a Heat defense that rushed the passer like the ’85 Bears.

The 1-for-11 from the field left many wondering if Lin’s charmed gig was up, as if other opponents hadn’t already decided the kid should be trapped high and early and forced to go left. One coach on the losing side of Linsanity conceded his team tried applying the same defensive strategy and simply wasn’t good enough to execute it. Miami had the talent and tenacity to make it work, that’s all.

But as the world’s best basketball team, for now anyway, the Heat only confirmed that the Knicks are Lin’s by building their entire gameplan around stopping him, not Anthony or anyone else. What was it again that Justin Tuck said of Brady before the Giants’ second Super Bowl victory over the Patriots? “The way to kill a snake is take off his head. The way to kill an offense as potent as that one is, is making sure you take care of Brady.”

Jeremy Lin, Carmelo Anthony

Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE/Getty ImagesMove over Melo, Jeremy Lin is the face of the franchise. And that won’t change for quite a while.

By giving Lin the Brady treatment, Miami paid him the ultimate compliment, and sent a not-so-subtle message to Melo, Amare Stoudemire, and the rest that the Knicks will live and die on their play at the point.

This doesn’t mean Lin is the Knicks’ best player (Anthony still holds that title). This doesn’t mean Lin should take the big Game 6 and Game 7 shots in the spring (Anthony still deserves those). This doesn’t mean Lin represents the Knicks’ most impressive physical talent (a declining Stoudemire and a rising Shumpert can arm-wrestle over that one).

But it does mean Lin needs to be his team’s dominant personality and voice. His energy and can-do aura need to drive the Knicks from here to the end of their championship drought, if it’s ever meant to end.

The 81-year-old Hall of Famer, Pete Carril, said it himself: A 23-year-old Lin is only going to get better; his speed, shooting touch, and work ethic suggest as much. Through film work and honest self-examination, Lin has shown a willingness to identify and attack his weaknesses. Chances are, he’ll soon be a stronger player going to his left.

The selfless approach? No, that isn’t about to be sacrificed at the altar of fame and (pending) fortune. Lin won’t morph into some conscience-free chucker, not when he burns to play the position like Jason Kidd plays it.

And that’s encouraging news for the superstars hired to score. At heart Lin is a pass-first quarterback who wants to make his playmakers happy. Better yet, if his receivers are covered and if his pocket is compromised, Lin has the athleticism to take off and get to the goal on his own.

Like Steve Nash before him, Lin is a perfect fit for Mike D’Antoni’s system, so perfect, in fact, that he might earn the coach a new contract. If the Knicks win at least one playoff round, would they be willing to gamble that someone other than Phil Jackson — and some offense other than the Triangle — could get what D’Antoni’s gotten out of Lin?

Of course, if the Knicks go deep in the tournament it could be a moot point. They have a star handling the ball, two stars at forward, a champion defender in the paint in Tyson Chandler, and a bench loaded with perimeter shooters. Chandler and D’Antoni’s aide, Mike Woodson, have also given the Knicks credibility on the defensive end of the floor.

“[Woodson] has done an amazing job there,” said one NBA coach who recently competed against the Knicks. “In the past you could run whatever you wanted to run against them because they were just trying to outscore you, but now they make you catch the ball out farther and just make you work harder. If they keep it up they have a chance to play Miami in the conference final.”

More than anyone, Lin gives the Knicks that chance. He’s been many things to many people — the feel-good story of the year, an unwitting global ambassador, a social media machine, and a vehicle for important dialogue on the language of race.

For New York he’s been a franchise quarterback out of left field, like Brady to New England at No. 199. Jeremy Lin could be the Knicks’ identity for years and years, and there’s no turning back from that now.

Ian O’Connor is the author of “The Captain: The Journey of Derek Jeter.” “Sunday Morning With Ian O’Connor” can be heard every Sunday from 9 to 11 a.m. ET on ESPN New York 1050.

Follow Ian O’Connor on Twitter: @Ian_OConnor

From Harvard to starting point guard of the New York Knicks. Great story. If you look at Lin’s past learning the game, the kid has always been pretty versatile as a player.

Jeremy Lin — not Carmelo Anthony — could be New York Knicks’ identity for years to come – ESPN New York

Updated: February 27, 2012, 11:06 PM ET

Sorry Melo, Knicks are Lin’s team now

Anthony is still their best player, but Lin could be Bockers’ identity for years to come

OConnor

By Ian O’Connor
ESPNNewYork.com
Archive

Turning The Corner
Mark Jones and Jon Barry discuss what the Knicks need to do to in the second half the season.Tags: New York Knicks

Turning The Corner

VIDEO PLAYLIST video

As they prepare for the second act of the most celebrated 17-18 season in NBA history, the New York Knicks should understand this about their identity: It belongs to Jeremy Lin now, and probably for years to come.

Chris Paul is on record saying these Knicks still start with Carmelo Anthony, and still end with Carmelo Anthony, and maybe it was the Clipper’s way of covering for a beleaguered buddy, or of offering some restitution on that unfulfilled toast at Melo’s wedding. Either way, Paul was wrong, dead wrong.

Jeremy Lin is the team’s quarterback, the face of the franchise, and that won’t change for who knows how long. Nobody saw this coming with 3:35 left in the first quarter of the Knicks’ game against the New Jersey Nets the night before the Super Bowl, when a rookie starter, Iman Shumpert, picked up his second foul and left the Madison Square Garden court in favor of a scrub from Harvard.

Linsanity on ESPNNewYork.com

When it comes to the Knicks’ newest sensation, ESPN New York is all-Lin.
Lin: Game By Game Photo Gallery  Latest
Vote: Can Melo and Lin coexist? Video
Video: FanSpeak Video   Nicknames Video–>

Only that was the moment the Knicks became Lin’s Knicks, just as surely as the 2001 New England Patriots became Tom Brady’s Patriots after Mo Lewis put the hit on Drew Bledsoe. I remember standing on the sideline — mere yards removed from the spot of the Lewis-Bledsoe impact — when the appearance of a scarecrow trotting onto the field compelled me to turn to a colleague and offer the following in-depth scouting report:

Tom Brady. This guy stinks.”

And if I wasn’t busy in Indianapolis covering Brady’s fifth Super Bowl, the Lin substitution against the Nets would’ve inspired a similar thought. Brady was the 199th pick, a sixth-rounder in a seven-round draft. Ignored in a two-round draft, Lin was a D-Leaguer on the verge of being fired by a third NBA team. He did stink, at least until he proved he didn’t.

Now Lin stands among the world’s most popular athletes, even after the Miami Heat made him look like, well, a D-Leaguer on the verge of being fired by a third NBA team. Lin was bone tired and overdue for a bad game, and so he was no match for a Heat defense that rushed the passer like the ’85 Bears.

The 1-for-11 from the field left many wondering if Lin’s charmed gig was up, as if other opponents hadn’t already decided the kid should be trapped high and early and forced to go left. One coach on the losing side of Linsanity conceded his team tried applying the same defensive strategy and simply wasn’t good enough to execute it. Miami had the talent and tenacity to make it work, that’s all.

But as the world’s best basketball team, for now anyway, the Heat only confirmed that the Knicks are Lin’s by building their entire gameplan around stopping him, not Anthony or anyone else. What was it again that Justin Tuck said of Brady before the Giants’ second Super Bowl victory over the Patriots? “The way to kill a snake is take off his head. The way to kill an offense as potent as that one is, is making sure you take care of Brady.”

Jeremy Lin, Carmelo Anthony

Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE/Getty ImagesMove over Melo, Jeremy Lin is the face of the franchise. And that won’t change for quite a while.

By giving Lin the Brady treatment, Miami paid him the ultimate compliment, and sent a not-so-subtle message to Melo, Amare Stoudemire, and the rest that the Knicks will live and die on their play at the point.

This doesn’t mean Lin is the Knicks’ best player (Anthony still holds that title). This doesn’t mean Lin should take the big Game 6 and Game 7 shots in the spring (Anthony still deserves those). This doesn’t mean Lin represents the Knicks’ most impressive physical talent (a declining Stoudemire and a rising Shumpert can arm-wrestle over that one).

But it does mean Lin needs to be his team’s dominant personality and voice. His energy and can-do aura need to drive the Knicks from here to the end of their championship drought, if it’s ever meant to end.

The 81-year-old Hall of Famer, Pete Carril, said it himself: A 23-year-old Lin is only going to get better; his speed, shooting touch, and work ethic suggest as much. Through film work and honest self-examination, Lin has shown a willingness to identify and attack his weaknesses. Chances are, he’ll soon be a stronger player going to his left.

The selfless approach? No, that isn’t about to be sacrificed at the altar of fame and (pending) fortune. Lin won’t morph into some conscience-free chucker, not when he burns to play the position like Jason Kidd plays it.

And that’s encouraging news for the superstars hired to score. At heart Lin is a pass-first quarterback who wants to make his playmakers happy. Better yet, if his receivers are covered and if his pocket is compromised, Lin has the athleticism to take off and get to the goal on his own.

Like Steve Nash before him, Lin is a perfect fit for Mike D’Antoni’s system, so perfect, in fact, that he might earn the coach a new contract. If the Knicks win at least one playoff round, would they be willing to gamble that someone other than Phil Jackson — and some offense other than the Triangle — could get what D’Antoni’s gotten out of Lin?

Of course, if the Knicks go deep in the tournament it could be a moot point. They have a star handling the ball, two stars at forward, a champion defender in the paint in Tyson Chandler, and a bench loaded with perimeter shooters. Chandler and D’Antoni’s aide, Mike Woodson, have also given the Knicks credibility on the defensive end of the floor.

“[Woodson] has done an amazing job there,” said one NBA coach who recently competed against the Knicks. “In the past you could run whatever you wanted to run against them because they were just trying to outscore you, but now they make you catch the ball out farther and just make you work harder. If they keep it up they have a chance to play Miami in the conference final.”

More than anyone, Lin gives the Knicks that chance. He’s been many things to many people — the feel-good story of the year, an unwitting global ambassador, a social media machine, and a vehicle for important dialogue on the language of race.

For New York he’s been a franchise quarterback out of left field, like Brady to New England at No. 199. Jeremy Lin could be the Knicks’ identity for years and years, and there’s no turning back from that now.

Ian O’Connor is the author of “The Captain: The Journey of Derek Jeter.” “Sunday Morning With Ian O’Connor” can be heard every Sunday from 9 to 11 a.m. ET on ESPN New York 1050.

Follow Ian O’Connor on Twitter: @Ian_OConnor

From Harvard to starting point guard of the New York Knicks. Great story. If you look at Lin’s past learning the game, the kid has always been pretty versatile as a player.

Japanese Box Office, February 11-12 – News – Anime News Network

Always: Sunset on Third Street ’64, the third live-action film based on Ryohei Saigan‘s nostalgic San-chōme no Yūhi – Yūyake no Uta manga directed by Takashi Yamazaki (live-action Space Battleship Yamato, Returner, Ballad) dropped from No. 1 to No. 2 during its fourth weekend. The original manga, a 1990-1991 television anime series adaptation, and the first two live-action films followed the lives of people in a Tokyo neighborhood as the iconic Tokyo Tower rises above them. The film earned US$2,882,329 on 473 screens for a new total of US$32,631,229.

Takashi Miike‘s live-action adaptation of CAPCOM‘s Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney (Gyakuten Saiban) video game franchise debuted at No. 5. The film takes place in a parallel Japan, where a large increase in harsh crimes has led to a new court system. Under this new system, the defense attorney and public prosecutor have three days to battle cases out in open court to determine guilt or innocence of the accused, placing priority on speed instead of thorough investigation. The film earned US$1,547,984 on 275 screens.

Kaizoku Sentai Gokaiger vs. Space Sheriff Gavan: The Movie, the newest live-action Super Sentai film, dropped from No. 6 to No. 7 during its fourth weekend. The film is related to the Kaizoku Sentai Gokaiger live-action television series, which Toei began airing as Super Sentai’s 35th anniversary show last February. The film differs from the previous three Super Sentai VS films because it is a crossover with the Space Sheriff Gavan live-action special effects series. The film ranked at No. 9 on Box Office Mojo’s chart and earned US$572,020 on 266 screens for a gross-to-date of US$5,877,284.

The live-action film adaptation of Hikaru Nakamura‘s Arakawa Under the Bridge manga fell from No. 8 to No. 11 in its second weekend. In the story, an upper-class young man named Ko “Riku” Ichinomiya (Kento Hayashi) meets a beautiful homeless girl named Nino (Mirei Kiritani) from the banks of Arakawa River, where many of Tokyo’s most unusual denizens live. The film earned US$488,118 on 172 screens for a new total of US$1,875,173.

The second documentary of the Akihabara based J-Pop group AKB48, titled Documentary of AKB48: Show Must Go On Shōjo-tachi wa Kizutsuki Nagara, Yume wo Miru, fell from No. 9 to No. 12 during its third weekend. The film follows the members of AKB48 through the year 2011. NEW PEOPLE Entertainment released the previous Documentary of AKB48 — To Be Continued on DVD in December. The film earned US$370,516 on 94 screens for a new total of US$3,451,856.

Berserk Ōgon Jidai-Hen I: Haō no Tamago (Berserk Golden Age Arc I: Egg of the Supreme Ruler), the first film in the three-part retelling of the Golden Age arc of Kentaro Miura’s manga fell from No. 11 to No. 13 during its second weekend. The film earned US$334,492 on 93 screens for a gross-to-date of US$1,348,352.

Kim Byung-Kon’s Korean live-action film adaptation of Yayoi Ogawa‘s Kimi wa Pet (Tramps Like Us) romantic comedy manga dropped off of Box Office Mojo’s chart during its fourth weekend, the anime adaptation of Mary Pope Osborne‘s American novel series Magic Tree House fell from Box Office Mojo’s chart during its sixth weekend, and Naoko Yamada and Kyoto Animation‘s K-ON! anime film fell from Box Office Mojo’s chart during its eleventh weekend.

Sources: Kogyo Tsushinsha, Box Office Mojo

Japanese Box Office, February 11-12 – News – Anime News Network

Always: Sunset on Third Street ’64, the third live-action film based on Ryohei Saigan‘s nostalgic San-ch??me no Y??hi – Y??yake no Uta manga directed by Takashi Yamazaki (live-action Space Battleship Yamato, Returner, Ballad) dropped from No. 1 to No. 2 during its fourth weekend. The original manga, a 1990-1991 television anime series adaptation, and the first two live-action films followed the lives of people in a Tokyo neighborhood as the iconic Tokyo Tower rises above them. The film earned US$2,882,329 on 473 screens for a new total of US$32,631,229.

Takashi Miike‘s live-action adaptation of CAPCOM‘s Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney (Gyakuten Saiban) video game franchise debuted at No. 5. The film takes place in a parallel Japan, where a large increase in harsh crimes has led to a new court system. Under this new system, the defense attorney and public prosecutor have three days to battle cases out in open court to determine guilt or innocence of the accused, placing priority on speed instead of thorough investigation. The film earned US$1,547,984 on 275 screens.

Kaizoku Sentai Gokaiger vs. Space Sheriff Gavan: The Movie, the newest live-action Super Sentai film, dropped from No. 6 to No. 7 during its fourth weekend. The film is related to the Kaizoku Sentai Gokaiger live-action television series, which Toei began airing as Super Sentai’s 35th anniversary show last February. The film differs from the previous three Super Sentai VS films because it is a crossover with the Space Sheriff Gavan live-action special effects series. The film ranked at No. 9 on Box Office Mojo’s chart and earned US$572,020 on 266 screens for a gross-to-date of US$5,877,284.

The live-action film adaptation of Hikaru Nakamura‘s Arakawa Under the Bridge manga fell from No. 8 to No. 11 in its second weekend. In the story, an upper-class young man named Ko “Riku” Ichinomiya (Kento Hayashi) meets a beautiful homeless girl named Nino (Mirei Kiritani) from the banks of Arakawa River, where many of Tokyo’s most unusual denizens live. The film earned US$488,118 on 172 screens for a new total of US$1,875,173.

The second documentary of the Akihabara based J-Pop group AKB48, titled Documentary of AKB48: Show Must Go On Sh??jo-tachi wa Kizutsuki Nagara, Yume wo Miru, fell from No. 9 to No. 12 during its third weekend. The film follows the members of AKB48 through the year 2011. NEW PEOPLE Entertainment released the previous Documentary of AKB48 — To Be Continued on DVD in December. The film earned US$370,516 on 94 screens for a new total of US$3,451,856.

Berserk ??gon Jidai-Hen I: Ha?? no Tamago (Berserk Golden Age Arc I: Egg of the Supreme Ruler), the first film in the three-part retelling of the Golden Age arc of Kentaro Miura’s manga fell from No. 11 to No. 13 during its second weekend. The film earned US$334,492 on 93 screens for a gross-to-date of US$1,348,352.

Kim Byung-Kon’s Korean live-action film adaptation of Yayoi Ogawa‘s Kimi wa Pet (Tramps Like Us) romantic comedy manga dropped off of Box Office Mojo’s chart during its fourth weekend, the anime adaptation of Mary Pope Osborne‘s American novel series Magic Tree House fell from Box Office Mojo’s chart during its sixth weekend, and Naoko Yamada and Kyoto Animation‘s K-ON! anime film fell from Box Office Mojo’s chart during its eleventh weekend.

Sources: Kogyo Tsushinsha, Box Office Mojo