Jeremy Lin is the subject of a new documentary about his 15 minutes of fame


Former New York Knick Jeremy Lin's "Insanity" is the subject of a new HBO documentary

Jeremy Lin is the subject of a new HBO documentary
Image: Getty Images

The 2011-12 NBA lockout season was really 11 years ago.

Remember the LeBron James vs. Kevin Durant Flag Football Game and the barnstorming tour that NBA stars have gone on to perform at various gyms across the country? (I’m still upset I missed them in Atlanta.)

Lockouts that were inevitable for both the NBA and NFL led to the former’s second work stoppage in less than 15 years, resulting in missed games. The NBA returned on Christmas Day with one of the best sports promotions never done. That season, all eyes interested in the NBA were on the Big Three Miami Heat. They were upset by the Dallas Mavericks in the 2011 NBA Finals, and had the Heat not won the following season, they would have been the biggest and most satisfying disappointment in NBA history.

The game this season will forever be remembered is LeBron James’ 45-point, 15-rebound performance in a do-or-die Road Game 6 against the Boston Celtics in the Eastern Conference Finals. . However, there was one story during this regular season that for a time took the Heat off the cover of the national sports page. For most of February 2012, the biggest story in sports was Jeremy Lin.

His star got so hot that month that a offensive title forced America to take inventory of how it spoke about Asian Americans in the mainstream media — back when rejecting or embracing decency didn’t decide so many elections. For those of us who remember Linsanity, it might not feel like it was that long ago, but over 10 years later there are now adults who don’t know only vaguely February 2012. For their introduction — and for the rest of us, a ride in the Delorean — HBO is releasing a documentary about Linsanity called “38 in the Garden.” The title comes from Lin’s 38 points in a New York Knicks victory over the Los Angeles Lakers on February 10, 2012.

I was working my second job out of college when Linsanity began to engulf America. One of my coworkers was from New York, and another was a Harvard grad. They had a lot to say about Lin at work, but I had no interest in news about the Knicks — especially with Carmelo Anthony recovering from injury. Linsanity didn’t hook me until four days after the Lakers game, when he buried that top-of-the-key 3-pointer with 0.5 seconds left on the road against the Toronto Raptors, and the crowd erupted as if the play was made by Demar DeRozan.

Linsanity has come for everyone. For a brief period, the Knicks had the most recognizable player in the sport, and he was a player who was dropped by Monta Ellis’ Golden State Warriors and Kyle Lowry’s Houston Rockets. With the premiere of ESPN’s 30 for 30 series in 2009, I knew a documentary would one day be made about that moment. I was also worried that a department store would make one too quickly, especially if Lin didn’t become an NBA star, which he didn’t.

There were only a few years between the airing of “Press Play,” “Run Ricky Run,” and “Four Octobers” and when those events unfolded in real life, and those were very entertaining. . However, the top 30 films out of 30 from this initial group were “The Two Escobars”, “The U”, “Pony Express”, and “The Best That Never Was”. More than a decade had passed before each of these documentaries aired.

There was a documentary released in 2013 called “Linsanity” which received mixed reviews. Critics didn’t hate it, but 2013 was way too early to try to sum up everything that made Lin balling with the Knicks so enthralling and important both sportingly and culturally.

America is a much different place in the fall of 2022 than it was in early 2012. Cable TV was unstoppable and ESPN was just beginning to challenge HBO in the sports documentary market. Now, there are major sporting events only on streaming networks and sports documentaries are released more often than new Air Jordan colorways. Also, Lin is out of the NBA, and the Knicks… well, some things never change. They are still far from claiming the title.

With these turbulent times, including a recent surge in attacks on Asians in America, it’s time to take a deep dive into one of the Knicks’ most exciting runs since appearing in the 1999 NBA Finals.

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