Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
NEW YORK — For the record, Linsanity officially ended shortly after 2:30 p.m. Eastern Time Sunday when a Knicks spokesman announced that Jeremy Lin would hold his post-game press conference in the locker room — not in the large media room inside Madison Square Garden.
On a day when Carmelo Anthony and Amar’e Stoudemire both sat out the fourth quarter of an embarrassing 106-94 loss to the Philadlephia 76ers, the Lin news was a footnote.
He was still surrounded by a small army of reporters and cameras in the locker room, but the shift of his post-game pressers was important, nonetheless.
Since Linsanity began in early February, Lin has had to hold his post-game pressers in the large media area to meet the needs of the huge contingent of reporters –including many from China and Taiwan — wanting to ask him questions.
On the court, Lin is coming back down to Earth, just like the Knicks, losers of five straight and eight of 11 since their seven-game Linsanity-inspired winning streak.
During that stretch, Lin, the former Harvard guard, emerged as a global superstar and appeared on back-to-back Sports Illustrated covers.
In this game, Lin finished with 14 points, seven assists and six turnovers in the loss.
“I am getting used to being in the top three in the scouting report,” Lin said. “I am seeing a lot of people take away what I am comfortable with. I can make better decisions but I can’t change my approach.”
The Knicks offense has clearly struggled since defenses have clamped down on Linsanity. Since Anthony rejoined the lineup Feb. 20 following a series of injuries, the Knicks have lost seven of nine.
“Jeremy has to play a certain way,” Knicks coach Mike D’Antoni said. “The floor has to be open, he has to play with energy and he has to go. We have to get to that way and we aren’t there. He is going to have some nights that are not going to be perfect but he knows how to win and he figure sit out as the game goes on. He is going to be a very good point guard. The guy is going to be good.”
That may be, but right now Lin and the entire offense are struggling. D’Antoni benched Anthony and Stoudemire down the stretch — perhaps to send a message, perhaps to rest them for Monday night’s game in Chicago.
“I think 25 games [left] is a long time,” Lin said. “This rough stretch, what is it? Five in a row? It seems like two months but it has only been five games. Think about it, if we win five in a row, everything is going to flip back.
“We have to keep the big picture in mind.”
For now, the big picture includes the official ending of Linsanity.
**Read the NBA.com Notebook with Notes & Quotes here.
Photo: Daily News
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Adam Zagoria is a New York Times contributor and Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle.
A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013.
He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.