Kevin Durant is headed to the NBA Finals once again, and though he may not be on the court, he's still one of the NBA's biggest stories as he will likely head to free agency after this series.
As we all know by now, the Knicks are a top destination for the All-Star to land. And there just so happens to be another player heading to the Finals that knows a thing or two about how surreal it is to play in New York for a whole season.
Jeremy Lin joins the Raptors on their trip to Oakland for Game 1, as he has bounced around the league since his time with New York. But back during the 2011-12 season, the young 23-year-old took the city by storm.
"Linsanity" was embraced by all the Knicks faithful, and this was an undrafted Harvard product that didn't expect to make an NBA roster, let alone lead one. That is why he's forever grateful for that experience.
"I love the New York fans," Lin told The Post's Marc Berman during NBA Finals Media Day. "I feel like that was such a special moment in my life. The big reason is [the fans] made it specdial. Just walking down the street, wherever I went, being in that arena playing at that time, all the fans make it special."
If that happened for Lin, you can probably imagine the hysteria that Durant in blue and orange would create. But with all the hype comes the expectation -- another area of New York sports that Lin definitely understand.
"Don't get me wrong. There are high expectations," Lin said. "The New York media, a lot of members were great as well, just being able to meet them and talk to them. It was a great experience. I don't really have any negativity when I think back at those times. Even though there is the whole stigma of that market, I loved my time there."
There is about to be one month until free agency officially kicks off, and Durant can make his decision. If he does decide the Knicks is the franchise for him, one of the worst teams in the league would immediately be among the conversation of a playoff contender. And with that will come those high expectations, a constant spotlight through the media and fans, and most importantly, the need to make a fan base that has suffered through losing season after losing season happy once more.
Lin has seen a glimpse of what it is like to see that all come to fruition, and for Durant it would be tenfold if he can get the Knicks back to their old ways.
"To be great in New York, that's either the top one, two, three city to choose to have something awesome -- to have an awesome team and awesome situation there," Lin said. "A lot of players have a shot for that and went for that and there's nothing wrong with that."