Since Feb. 4, New York Knicks point guard Jeremy Lin has played in just six games and started only five. In that time, he has become a true international superstar and a social media sensation. He has energized the Knicks franchise and its fanbase while leading the team to six straight wins, their longest winning streak of the season. Not bad for a player who was waived by two separate teams in December alone.
Lin was set to begin the shortened 2011-12 NBA season on the roster of the Golden State Warriors, but was waived to free up salary room for a free agent offer that never materialized. He was claimed by the Houston Rockets and played two preseason games with them, but was again waived before Opening Day to free up payroll space. Lin was finally claimed by the Knicks on Dec. 27, and after a stint in the D-League in January, during which he registered back-to-back triple-doubles, he was recalled.
After limited playing time in his first few games with the Knicks, Lin was inserted into a game against the New Jersey Nets on Feb. 4. He played 36 minutes and led the team to a 99-92 win, during which he scored 25 points and recorded five rebounds and seven assists -- all career highs. From that point, a star was officially born.
Lin was inserted as the starting point guard two days later against the Utah Jazz, and he topped his career marks with 28 points and eight assists in a 99-88 win. On Feb. 8, the Knicks beat the Washington Wizards, 107-93, behind Lin's 23 points and 10 assists.
Lin's true coming-out party was on Feb. 10, as the Knicks hosted the Los Angeles Lakers in a game that was broadcast nationally on ESPN. Lin once again set a career mark with 38 points. He added four rebounds and seven assists as the Knicks topped Kobe Bryant and the Lakers by a final score of 92-85. At that point, there was no turning back. Linsanity officially swept the nation.
The Lakers game was followed up by two back-to-back games in which Lin scored game-winning points in the fourth quarter. He scored 20 points while helping the Knicks to a 100-98 victory against the Minnesota Timberwolves. A few nights later, he knocked in the game-winning three-point shot with 0.5 seconds left on the clock to net the Knicks a 90-87 win over the Toronto Raptors. He finished with a 27-point performance and 11 assists. The Raptors game saw Lin break Shaquille O'Neal's record for the most points in a player's first five games as a starter.
Beyond setting personal bests and capturing the attention of the nation, his performance since coming to the Knicks is of a caliber that is not often seen. Lin is one of just 15 NBA players since 1986 to record at least 20 points, seven assists and a steal in six consecutive games. As for where Lin can take the Knicks from here, for the time being it would appear that the sky is the limit.