We love the fighter who never gives up on his dream. This is why we love sports, and why “Linsanity” inspired the toughest critics. The NBA’s Jeremy Lin meteoric rise from obscurity in 2012 with the New York Knicks was stranger than science fiction, yet his career setbacks were even more remarkable.
A new documentary will detail this journey, and other nail-biting moments in “Linsanity.” From his favorite “Lion King” blanket, family, sleeping on his brother’s couch, to playing the piano, the film explores the life of a kid fighting for his dream.
“God has called me to this specific journey and this is what I am called to do and I think that’s what gives me the motivation to be the person and player I want to be,” Lin said via phone.
Lin posted 89 points in his first three starts with the Knicks after clocking 55 minutes in 23 games. It was the most points recorded by a player in first three pro starts since the ABA-NBA merger in 1976.
In 2010 Lin signed a two-year deal with the Golden State Warriors to become the first American from Taiwanese decent to play for the NBA. He amassed a huge fan base in the San Francisco Bay area due to the large Asian population. But Golden State cut Lin to create salary cap space in 2011. He played seven minutes in two preseason games for the Houston Rockets and was waived again before Christmas.
The New York Knicks claimed Lin three days later.
Five games go by and the kid born of Taiwanese immigrants couldn’t get practice time with New York and asked “Why am I here then?” to cameras. In the midst of his sea of disappointment, racist remarks—director Evan Jackson Leong was filming his documentary “Linsanity” and the timing couldn’t have been worse.
“At first I was really scared of the cameras and really didn’t want anything to do with it. After I warmed up to the idea and things were not going well,” said the Harvard graduate. “Then I’m like I don’t want to film right now I just got cut. They forced me to do it and looking back it was the best things ever because we have unbelievable footage.”
For the fourth time in his career Lin was sent to the D-League and the Knicks called him up. Lin was looking at another waiver or just quitting all together, but Lin trusted in God’s plan.
New York was sinking fast and needed a point guard to distribute the ball. Knicks coach Mike D’Antoni was desperate and gave Lin a shot. Against the New Jersey Nets, Lin collected 25 points and five rebounds. During the Utah Jazz game, Lin scored 28 points in a Knicks win. He also outscored Kobe Bryant by posting 18 points by half time; tallying 38 points in a 92-85 Knicks win on Feb. 10th in 2012.
Lin became a restricted free agent and to the surprise of many, was not resigned by New York in the 2012 off season and inked a three-year, 25-million deal with the Houston Rockets. In Houston, expectations were high and Lin said people need to realize he’s still growing as a player. He averaged 13 points per game (82) last season.
“I just turned 25 and I haven’t played that many games in the NBA ,” Lin said. “I have a lot of growing and improving to do and I think the expectation was so high, it was kind of tough.”
Receiving and studying God’s Word during an 82-game campaign is mandatory.
“If you don’t have a community, you’re not going to make it. You’re not going to be strong enough to go on. For me God has blessed me with a tremendous family, friends and a support network. You have to be more proactive about it. I’m not at the same place or the same city all the time, so I need to be proactive about it whether it’s listening to sermons or reading on the road. Things like that are really important.”
“Linsanity” will be released in selected theaters starting Oct. 4.