- Associated Press - Thursday, February 16, 2012

NEW YORK (AP) - Bigger than Shaq? Larger than LeBron? The Knicks as NBA champions?

(Don’t laugh too hard at that last one. The odds are getting better, according to one online sports book.)

Nothing seems too Lin-possible now after Jeremy Lin’s incredible first week as an NBA starter, and the story keeps getting better.

The undrafted player from Harvard made a 3-pointer with five-tenths of a second left Tuesday night to give the Knicks a 90-87 victory at Toronto.

Lin and the Knicks returned home Wednesday night and ran their winning streak to seven games with a 100-85 victory against Sacramento that got them back to .500 after an 8-15 start.

Lin joined the rotation only then, starting the last five games, so hold off on making him a Michael Jordan, Shaquille O’Neal or LeBron James just yet. But the Knicks have seen enough to believe this ride may last a while.

“I don’t know when there’s an ending, maybe there won’t,” coach Mike D'Antoni said.

Lin’s story has blown straight past the New York sports pages and all their cute headlines such as “Va-Lin-tine’s Day,” all the way to a basketball-crazed continent on the other side of the world.

Lin also has done wonders for shares of Madison Square Garden Inc., the company that owns the Knicks, the Garden and the namesake sports network. The stock has surged 9 percent since Lin began his heroics Feb. 4, reaching an all-time high of $33.18 earlier this week before retreating slightly to close at $31.91 Wednesday.

“Rangers and Knicks fans do tend to buy the stock when the teams are doing well,” Miller Tabak analyst David Joyce said.

And Linsanity has reached America’s most powerful basketball fan, with President Barack Obama talking about Lin’s winner Wednesday.

White House spokesman Jay Carney called Lin “just a great story, and the president was saying as much this morning.”

Lin arrived in New York in December with no guarantee he’d last more than a few weeks. Already cut by Golden State and Houston this season, he was so hesitant to get comfortable in his new home that he refused to even get his own.

Instead, he slept at his brother’s place in the city, and had crashed on teammate Landry Fields’ couch the night before his breakout game against New Jersey on Feb. 4.

Even an Ivy League education couldn’t help Lin explain what’s happened since _ the most points in any player’s first five games as a starter since the NBA merged with the ABA in 1976, and a contract that’s guaranteed for the rest of the season.

Story Continues →