Jeremy Lin put on a show on Friday night, scoring a career-high 38 points in a seven-point Knicks win over the Lakers, and Linsanity has hit a fever pitch. Friday's matchup at The Garden was Lin's first real test as the Knicks' starting point guard, and he passed with flying colors.
Now is probably a good time to recall this quote from Kobe Bryant on Thursday night, the day before the Lakers played the Knicks.
"What? No idea," Bryant said last night after the Lakers' 88-87 overtime win over the Celtics. "I know who he is but I don't really know what's going on too much with them ... I don't even know what he's done. Like, I have no idea what you guys are talking about. I'll take a look at [the tape] tonight though."
All Bryant could do was laugh when asked if he would cover Lin if need be - "I appreciate the question, though," he said before walking off to the shower.
It was understandable at the time: the question came after a win over the Celtics and kind of came out of nowhere. The quote was also an easy point of ridicule directed at Kobe after the events of Friday night.
But Kobe had plenty of kind words to say and took everything in stride after the Lakers' loss, thanks in large part to Lin's performance. He praised Lin for his ability to knock down shots and break the Lakers' gameplan, then spoke about the Knicks' point guard's sudden rise to stardom (Via SI.com)
"I think it's a great story," Bryant said. "I think it's a testament to perseverance and hard work. Good example for kids everywhere."
He also added that New York should enjoy it because "they'll receive judgment next season," in perhaps the most Kobe quote ever.
For his part, Lin refused to take the bait. Asked after the game if he thought Kobe knew him now, Lin scratched his ear nervously, told the reporter he'd have to ask Kobe, then joked, "He helped me up today during the game, so he might know who I am."
At least for one night, though, Lin topped Kobe on national television at The Garden. And he's certainly on Kobe's radar now.