Before he became a Madison Square Garden sweetheart, New York Knicks second-year point guard Jeremy Lin had a memorable summer league game against John Wall at the Cox Pavilion in Las Vegas that turned Lin into a fan favorite. Wall was the heralded top overall pick from Kentucky and drew the biggest applause when introduced, but by the end of the night, Lin, the undrafted rookie from Harvard, had the fans on his side as he scored nine fourth-quarter points for the Dallas Mavericks.
When asked about the game on Wednesday, Wall said, “I remember the summer league game. He scored a couple of points and everybody started going crazy, making it into a big battle between us. But we got the win, so that’s all that matters to me.”
Since that matchup, Lin has moved on to Golden State, then Houston, then the NBA Developmental League and has made a star turn after two incredible games in New York. Lin scored a career-high 25 points in a win on Saturday against New Jersey, then set a new career high on Monday against Utah, as he scored 28 points and heard “MVP!” chants from the fans. Lin and the struggling Knicks will have challenge on Wednesday without Carmelo Anthony and Amare Stoudemire.
For all of the excitement surrounding Lin, Wall actually had himself a ball game on Monday, tallying 31 points, seven assists and five rebounds in an overtime win over Toronto.
“I’d like to see it again. Pretty simple. Not so much the numbers, but the energy level at both ends,” Wizards Coach Randy Wittman said.
Tipoff: 7 p.m. TV: Comcast SportsNet; Radio: 106.7 (WJFK FM). Check out a live box score for today’s game here.