On February 04, 2012, I was in New York to see the Broadway musical How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying. As I watched headliner Nick Jonas perform the opening number, I wondered if the New York Knicks were succeeding in basketball just a few blocks away.
It turns out they were, but the headliner was not who you would expect. The Madison Square Garden crowd was treated to a performance of How to Succeed in Basketball With Jeremy Lin. You read that right. Jeremy Lin. As they say in show business, a star is born.
On this night, Amar'e Stoudemire and Carmelo Anthony were not the draw. It was Lin who turned in the memorable performance. He put the Knicks on his shoulders and powered them to a 99-92 victory against the New Jersey Nets. Lin posted career-highs in points (25), assists (seven) and minutes played (35). But it was his closing number that really earned a standing ovation.
The Knicks entered the fourth quarter trailing by two points, hoping to avoid another late-game letdown. Lin made sure of it. His 12 points and two assists in the period won the game for the Knicks. It was a brilliant performance that inspired the Garden crowd to chant "MVP! MVP!"
The Knicks have been desperately searching for a point guard this season. They auditioned Toney Douglas, Mike Bibby and Iman Shumpert. None of them seemed fully capable in the role. But the Knicks may finally have found their point guard in Lin. His ability to penetrate the lane and find his teammates is what the Knicks have been missing all season. The Knicks claimed Lin off waivers last December, but used him sparingly. That changed on this night, and Lin made the most of his opportunity.
Lin may have earned himself a promotion from understudy to lead role. It will be interesting to see how he will figure into the rotation now. But for one night, Lin was the headliner. He was the one who carried the team. He was the one who made the show. And the show must go on for the Knicks, starring Jeremy Lin.
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Edwin Torres was born in New York City. He has been a Knicks fan since the early 1980s. He has visited Madison Square Garden on many occasions to watch the Knicks and his favorite player, Patrick Ewing. For more articles, follow him on Twitter @FlipPoker.