It's not a football tale, it's a basketball one, but the sudden rise of Knicks point guard Jeremy Lin has drawn obvious comparisons to You Know Who.
Dear NBA: You've found your Tim Tebow.
In this case, not a Florida icon with a bronze statue raised in his honor, but an undrafted kid out of Harvard, previously kicked to the curb by the Golden State Warriors and Houston Rockets, only to be picked up by the Knickerbockers just days after Christmas.
|Jeremy Lin's unlikely rise with the Knicks has been Tebowesque, and the 23-year-old point guard doesn't mind the comparisons. (Debby Wong/US Presswire)|
From there, the 6-foot-3 Lin toiled in D-League oblivion before emerging from the wilderness to set fire to a Knicks fan base that hasn't had much to cheer for since John Starks and Patrick Ewing roamed MSG.
Over the past week, the 23-year-old Lin has led the Knicks to five straight heart-pounding victories, a streak highlighted Friday night by a 38-point outburst in New York's 92-85 win over Kobe Bryant and the Los Angeles Lakers.
(Somewhere in the shadows a bewildered Carmelo Anthony is speed-dialing Kyle Orton for answers.)
Naturally, Twitter is on fire -- #AllHeDoesIsLin #Linsanity #SuperLintendo -- and while it's awkward to label anyone "The Next Tebow" when the Broncos quarterback is just beginning his NFL career, Lin can't escape the parallels -- and he isn't trying to.
"I've drawn a lot of inspiration," Lin, a devout Christian, told San Francisco's KGMZ-FM this week, per SB Nation Bay Area. "Just because (Tebow's) a polarizing figure and the things he says in interviews and his approach to the game is just unbelievable and I respect him so much and I actually want to be able to do some of the things he does in terms of the amount of charity work and nonprofit work and the way he impacts people off the field. That is what is most inspiring to me about him.
"... I can't sit here and say I knew this would happen. It's something that I've been working towards. To have this happen so fast has been miraculous. I'm just so thankful to God and my teammates and the organization for giving me these opportunities. It's been an unbelievable week."
Lin's early success will generate the same questions Tebow faced: Is it real? Will it last? Is he here to stay or just a colorful, surreal footnote in a season soon to belong to the usual suspects? If Tebow taught us anything, it was this: Just enjoy the ride.