Thanks to his dismantling of the defending champion Dallas Mavericks on Sunday afternoon, the legend of Jeremy Lin continues to grow. He has Knicks fans fired up in ways that haven't been seen since their early 1990s heydey, and he's created an entire cottage industry in the artistry of punning.
By now, even those who don't know a pick-and-roll from a cabbage roll have been inundated with Jeremy Lin puns. A simple three-letter surname that birthed the simple Linsanity! has turned into a full-court word salad press. A quick survey of posters and Post headlines has unleashed not just Linsanity, but also Happy Va-Lin-Tine!, All He Does is Lin, Lin Lin, Linning Time, The Mighty Lin, Lin-Possible is Everything, Linsane Asylum, Linsane in the Membrane, Linderella Story, May the Best Man Lin, Linfatuation, Lin Diesel, Lin-tensity, and Jeremy's personal favorite, Super Lintendo.
The problem for local pun writers is that it by all appearances, the kid can play. The novelty of a Harvard-educated twice-cut Chinese-Taiwanese-American basketball savant will wear off, but his skills as a competent point guard won't. Lin may have been overlooked initially, but given free reign in Mike D'Antoni's offense, he's thriving. (See: Nash, Steve.)
While this is great for the MSG faithful, it poses a major problem for basketball writers. That doesn't mean that the ongoing lovefest needs to stop. The fans are loving it, the players are feeding off of it, and the NBA blogging community are soaking it up like a LeBron choke in the Finals. Like the Knicks, the pun train has too much momentum to hit the brakes.
All hoop-centric wordsmiths need to do is check out the other players on the court. Lin has raised the game of three other Knick reclamation projects, so let's keep the pun ball rolling.
Iman Shumpert: Relieved of his point guard role, the rookie out of Georgia Tech has gone back to what he does best, smothering opponents with stifling on-the-ball defense.
Iman I- Can!
Here's Your Chance, Do the Dance, Called the Shump!
You Da Iman!
Landry Fields: The second-year player out of Stanford looked lost in the previously stagnant Knicks offense, but with Lin at the helm he's back to zipping around the court and filling up the stat sheet.
Blue-and-Orangeberry Fields Forever!
W! See Fields!
Put on Your Landry Best!
The Killing Fields!
One if By Landry, Two if by Fields!
Steve Novak: The 6'10" Marquette marksman bounced around the league for five seasons before finding a home raining threes from behind the Garden arc.
‘Vak the Ripper!
The beauty of expanding the pun-ditry to the other reborn Knickerbockers is that Lin can still be part of the equation. Imagine if you will, a home game where Lin drives the lane, draws in the defense, and fires a pass to a wide-open Novak in the corner for a game-winning three-pointer.
Here you go headline writers, this one's a freebie:
Lin One For the Ripper!