New York Knicks point guard Jeremy Lin, who captured the world’s imagination earlier this season with his Cinderella run for the struggling NBA team, has been named by Time Magazine as one of the 100 Most Influential People in the World.
Lin, an Asian-American product of Harvard University, overcame long odds to become a cult hero for fans of the struggling Knicks. United Stated education secretary Arne Duncan, a fellow Harvard alumnus and also a former Crimson basketball player, wrote Lin’s profile for Time.
“He’s dispelled the idea that Asian-American guards somehow couldn’t hack it in the NBA,” Duncan said, “and that being a world-class athlete on the court is somehow at odds with being an excellent student off the court.”
Left undrafted by NBA teams last season, Lin was signed to a two-year deal by the Golden State Warriors after an impressive performance in summer camp. But he was unable to get any significant playing time with the Warriors, and was cut twice in his second season — first by Golden State and then by the Houston Rockets — before being picked up by the Knicks.
Lin was on the verge of being cut by the Knicks when former coach Mike D’Antoni took a flyer on the untested guard, and he responded by stringing along several memorable performances, leading the team to wins without stars Carmelo Anthony and Amare Stoudemire.
But Lin’s amazing year was cut abruptly after he suffered a knee injury. He underwent surgery in April for a lateral meniscus tear, which rendered him out for the season.