Lin admits that the mania is 'taxing'

Jeremy Lin looks on against the New Jersey

Jeremy Lin looks on against the New Jersey Nets. (Feb. 4, 2012) (Credit: Jim McIsaac)

Is Lin-sanity fatigue beginning to set in on Jeremy Lin?

On Friday morning, before the Knicks lost for the first time in eight games with Lin in the rotation at point guard, he admitted that his sudden rocket to stardom has been overwhelming at times.

"Obviously, it's a little mentally and emotionally taxing in terms of just being pulled in a hundred different directions," Lin said before the Knicks' 89-85 loss to the New Orleans Hornets. "But at the end of the day, that comes with the territory, and it's my job to focus on resting and making sure it doesn't affect my performance on the court. That's on me, and not on anyone else."

Lin's performance on the court in the first half Friday night definitely looked a little fatigued. He turned the ball over eight times in the first half as the Knicks struggled against the team with the worst record in the Western Conference. The Hornets (7-23) led by as many as 14 points in the first half.

"It was a lackluster effort on my part coming out," Lin said of the turnovers.

No one has questioned Lin's effort as he has gone from an obscure fourth-string point guard to a player who, for the moment, rivals Giants quarterback Eli Manning in popularity. He has gone from sleeping on his brother's sofa in downtown Manhattan to living in a Trump Tower apartment in Westchester County. He's had rap songs written for him, has been a top-trender on Twitter and even has received a couple of marriage proposals.

Lin was asked if the end of the winning streak takes some pressure off him and the team.

"I don't think this is good, because I hate losing," he said. "I know what you mean in terms of everything dying down a little bit. It may help me and help the team to have things off the court die down a bit."

Lin's teammates and coaches marvel at just how well the second-year player from Harvard is dealing with the pressure.

"I think it does have to take a toll on him," said Steve Novak, an outside shooter whose career has blossomed with help from Lin. "It's a lot of pressure. We're in New York, he came out of nowhere and he's doing all of this. He has really responded well.

"He hasn't really tried to force things. He's let it come to him. It's real. He's being himself . . . I think we're not really seeing a lot of pressure he feels, but obviously, he's got to feel it. He's done an unbelievable job."

Knicks coach Mike D'Antoni said Lin is the same person today that he was two weeks ago. "I haven't seen it affect him at all as a person," he said. "There's no change whatsoever. He's a very confident individual, which you have to be to do what he did. So to me, I think he's soaking it all in and having a great time."

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