From the moment LINsanity grabbed all of the NBA by the horns earlier this month, the league scrambled to insert Jeremy Lin into any and as many events during All-Star Weekend as possible.
Though voting for the big game had already taken place, and rosters for the Rising Stars Challenge were already set, the ever popular Lin could not be held out of the star-studded weekend.
Joining Team SHAQ for the Rising Stars Challenge, Lin was paired up with Knicks teammate Landry Fields. As a result, it became official: LINsanity was about to take Orlando by storm.
And that it did. The national media was understandably intrigued by Lin, enough so for the young guard to warrant his own press conference. The only other person to do that over the course of the weekend? NBA Commissioner David Stern.
No surprise to Knicks fans or anyone else who has followed him especially closely thus far, Lin carried himself as the consummate pro during the press conference; praising God, his teammates, and also displaying humility, giving credit where it was due to his teammates for his recent surge. You can watch the conference here.
As far as the actual game, though the media attention still followed Lin, he was actually given an opportunity to rest. The Harvard grad played only nine minutes in the Rising Stars Challenge, sitting after scoring two points and tossing a sweet alley-oop pass to Blake Griffin. Lin, Fields, and the rest of Team SHAQ fell to Team Chuck by a score of 146-133.
But the weekend certainly wasn't over, and Fields was determined to make sure the Knicks didn't go home empty handed. Participating in the Haier Shooting Stars Competition (which groups a current NBA player alongside an alumni from his team, as well as a WNBA representative from that city), Fields took the court with former Knicks' sharpshooter and current Assistant G.M. Allan Houston and New York Liberty star Cappie Pondexter.
Though Fields and Pondexter shot well, it was Houston, who in addition to giving Knicks fans a pleasant blast from the past, propelled Team New York to victory by nailing two half court shots that secured the competition's quickest times.
While Houston is usually all business as an executive for his former team, his impressive outing was enough to warrant questions about a potential comeback from the media. Houston quickly shot down such a suggestion. That being said, his stroke from long-range did in fact look much better than the other former NBA players who participated, including Dennis Scott, Kenny Smith, and Steve Smith.
Following the various competitions, it was time for superstar Knickerbocker Carmelo Anthony to take the biggest stage at the actual All-Star Game on Sunday evening. Not to disappoint, Anthony played well, scoring 19 points and grabbing 9 boards through 30 minutes of play.
Unfortunately, the East fell to the West by a score of 152-149. Though his team lost, Anthony's strong outing lasted until the very end, with him open for a shot that would have kept his team in the game during the final seconds. Needless to say, he wasn't passed the ball, and the East lost.
Nevertheless, the weekend should be considered an overall success for the Knicks. Their participating members represented them quite well. Lin, Fields, and Anthony are all bright spots on a team looking poised for a big run. Hopefully the three can lead the charge towards a successful second half of the season.