At the height of Jeremy Lin’s popularity in 2012, the very peak of ‘Linsanity’ all over the basketball world, almost everyone and their mother was talking about him. With every impressive performance for the New York Knicks, more people began to take notice.
But Los Angeles Lakers legend Kobe Bryant apparently was not one of those individuals. The five-time NBA champion and 18-time All-Star told the media before his side’s February clash with the Knicks in the Big Apple that he didn’t know who Lin was.
Whether that was true or not is a discussion for another day. Nonetheless, Lin took notice.
“I played against him multiple times in my rookie year,” he said during a recent episode of Inside the Green Room with Danny Green. “So… he definitely should have known who I was. If anything, I stand out when I get onto the court… I don’t look like anybody else.”
All joking aside, Lin vividly recalls how he heard Bryant’s comments. Despite his rapid success, Lin, who was 24 years old at the time, was sleeping on his brother’s couch and commuting to games at Madison Square Garden much like some fans do.
“I jumped in a taxi,” he said. “I was going to the game and in New York they got the taxis with the screen and that’s where I saw it.”
Based on his performance that evening, Bryant may never forget his name again. He dropped a season-high 38 points on 56.5 percent shooting from the field. He also added seven assists and four rebounds in New York’s 92-85 victory. That same night, Bryant collected a team-high 34 points.
In his post-game interview, although it was tempting not to, Lin chose to take the high road when asked if he thought Bryant would know who he is now.
“I went a little more PC,” he said. “I was like, ‘oh, you’re going to have to ask him.'”
This all happened on February 10, 2012. Four days later, he hit his legendary game-winning three-pointer against the Toronto Raptors.
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