We’ll Always Have Linsanity – Not JUST About Lin

Well the day is finally here. A bunch of bloggers (Seth Rosenthal, Jared Dubin, Mike Kurylo, Jamie O’Grady, Jim Cavan, Jason Concepcion, Bob Silverman and Jake Appleman – also an actual reporter), who have written for such outlets as distinguished as NYTimes.com, ESPN.com, Grantland, and NYMag.com, and myself – for some reason – are proud to launch “We’ll Always Have Linsanity“. But don’t let the name fool you: this isn’t a book JUST about Linsanity. Last year was a peculiar year for the Knicks, to say the least, and in addition to Linsanity, fans indulged on one-off surprises like Woodsanity and “the Billy Walker game”. I mean, the Knicks, coached by none other than Mike D’Antoni were a top 10 defensive squad. Mike Bibby was on the team. So there was plenty to write about.

Here’s an excerpt written by Seth, entitled “Don’t Forget About Josh Harellson (a.k.a. Jorts)!”:

The Knicks went out of their way to get Jorts. New York didn’t own a second round pick in 2011, but paid cash to the New Orleans Hornets for the privilege of drafting Josh Harrellson, the big, sweaty bumpkin wedged into John Calipari’s otherwise glamorous squad of surefire prospects. It seemed an inspired stroke of draft night whimsy that New York, of all locales, would make a deliberate move to welcome in a Missouri-bred, Kentucky-branded, buck-huntin’, catfish-noodlin’ late-bloomer most famous for wearing denim shorts (the genesis of the term Jorts) to a recruiting visit and pegging Jared Sullinger with a basketball.
Knicks fans without much knowledge of “Jorts” got to googling and discovered a 6’10” tall, 5’10” wide (educated guess) white dude, a giant grinning hallux wearing a taut basketball jersey and a gel-embalmed widow’s peak. He was presumptively assigned the role of “gritty bench thug,” and mostly disregarded during the lockout, with the exception of the night in August when he reportedly thwarted an aspiring drunk driver in a Lexington parking lot.

For the most part, Harrellson embraced and fulfilled that assignment. He earned sparse bench minutes from the outset, establishing himself as a willing rebounder and wanton fouler with a mild case of the jitters on offense. Jorts promptly found his legs on the hardwood, though, proving with remarkably nimble footwork and apt timing that his “dirt strong” game—Mike D’Antoni’s words—was more of an exact science than it seemed. Jorts revealed an unexpected degree of finesse (“revealed” by unwrapping layers of bacon, of course), chiefly with his remarkable outside prowess. He’d launched a couple threes to open the season, but really let loose on New Year’s Eve, when Amar’e Stoudemire sat with a sprained ankle and New York needed a frontcourt boost. Jorts hit four threes in that win over the Kings, then went 12-34 from downtown through the first three weeks of January, attempting the last of those long bombs with a freshly broken wrist.

Despite Harrellson’s apparent disregard for his wrist fracture, the injury kept him out until early March. He returned in the middle of the post-Linsanity swoon and just days before D’Antoni fled town. From that point forward, Jorts’s minutes were spotty and spent mostly inside the arc, with just four more made threes leaving his paws the rest of the season. “Gritty bench thug” isn’t a bad descriptor of the niche Harrellson eventually found as a Knick, but it does belie the surprising degree of polish the guy demonstrated at times. There was deftness in those Jorts.

Did you like that? I did. Buy more!

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