The NBA said today that Knicks guard Jeremy Lin was No. 2 in jersey sales over the past year, even though his merchandise has only been available since February.
Only Derrick Rose led Lin in sales. Kobe Bryant was No. 3.
Before an injury sidelined him this season, the previously end-of-the-bench Lin, who grew up in Palo Alto, captured the imagination of even casual basketball fans with his unexpected inspired play and his unusual background. Just the second Asian-American to play in the league and the first from Harvard since 1954, Lin, a devout Christian, was waived by the Warriors last year and cut by the Rockets before the start of the season. After being picked up and put into the starting lineup by the injury-depleted Knicks, he shockingly led the team to a 7-game win streak, galvanizing a brief but intense period of media and fan hysteria dubbed “Lin-sanity.”
The Knicks hope Lin can return for the second round of the playoffs, if they make it that far.