Steve Nash is out for the season–and probably for life. That’s what happened to Jeremy Lin’s world this week. Lin has been to the mountaintop in basketball. Whatever his basketball superiors LeBron James, Kevin Durant and Kobe Bryant do, they won’t ever produce anything like the Linsanity that swept the world three years ago–a phenomenon that took the no-name guard out of Harvard to the pinnacle of his sport for a month. Lin was on the cover of Sports Illustrated for back-to-back issues. (Michael Jordan only did that twice.) But the thing about heights is the gravity–it’s unrelenting. Lin has played well since, but not like the shooting star he was in February of 2012. Except now, in this preseason for the Lakers: Lin has quietly played as well as anyone on the Lakers roster. He’s averaging almost 11 points and 6 assists a game, despite battling some injuries.
Los Angeles looked like it might be just another stop for Lin on his journey to summit the mountain again. The two-time MVP Nash was in front of him at point guard and many thought Lin was picked up as much for his expiring contract as for his basketball prowess. Introducing him, Lakers GM Mitch Kupchak called Lin, who will earn $15 million this season, a “solid” player–that’s damning with faint praise. Suddenly with Nash gone, the team may be Lin’s to run. He’s been training for it. LA can’t wait.