• Brian L. Barefield

Former Knicks Assistant, Dan D'Antoni Shares What Brought "Linsanity" To A Halt

If you bet 20 NBA fans $10 that they could not name you two guards from Harvard University that played in the NBA, you would be a rich person. After you take their money, let them go double or nothing and ask them when the last time one actually drafted.

Harvard is one of America’s best and oldest institution for higher learning. The Ivy League school that opened its doors back in 1638 has produced some of the finest people in the United States, but it has lacked in developing talent to play on the NBA level. Yet no one can forget that brilliant run one Harvard alumnus had back in early 2012 that had every Knicks fan shouting, “Linsanity!”

NBA point guard Jeremy Lin had an amazing stretch of 13 games from February to March in 2012. He was inserted into the lineup due to the injuries of Carmelo Anthony Amar’e Stoudamire, and Iman Shumpert. Head Coach of the Knicks, Mike D’Antoni, decided to give Lin an opportunity to play which turned out to be one of the best decisions he ever made. New York’s season started to turn around once Lin was inserted into the starting lineup, but things changed once Anthony came back from injury.

Former Knicks assistant coach, Dan D’Antoni who is the brother of current Houston Rockets coach and former Knicks head coach, Mike D’Antoni, talked about what led to demise of “Linsanity.”

“We had won 10 of 13 games and Jeremy was the main propeller of the boat,’’ Dan D’Antoni said in an interview with the New York Post. “But you can’t run Mike’s system – and I’m not blaming Carmelo. It was the way Carmelo’s game was at that time. He got his rep as a mid-range jump shooter.

“It was hard to blend everything,” said D’Antoni. “You have to have spacing. [Anthony] wanted to get back to that spot where he’d ask for the ball in a certain area. The offense Jeremy was running is more free flow, attacking off the pick and roll and kicking out to shooters. Two different styles. Mike had a hard time with it … It wasn’t Melo’s fault because Amar’e’s there.”

New York would go on to win two of its next eight games and that would lead to the resignation of Mike D’Antoni on March 14. His assistant Mike Woodson would finish out the season as the Knicks made the playoffs but would eventually lose to the LeBron James led Miami Heat.

Lin was unable to play in the playoff series as he was sidelined with a knee injury that required surgery. The following year he would sign a free agent deal with the Houston Rockets and started over 115 games in his two-year stint. Lin became an NBA Champion on last year when the Toronto Raptors defeated the Golden State Warriors.

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