On Feb. 10, 2012, Jeremy Lin broke through. By that point, the seeds for Linsanity in New York City were planted, but he looked more like a nice blip on the radar than a phenom who would take over the NBA-related conversation for any period of time.
And then, the Knicks took on the Los Angeles Lakers in Madison Square Garden. Lin went for 38 points and seven assists in a 92-85 win, one which saw him outscore Kobe Bryant. He also busted out a spin move against Derek Fisher that fans who reminisce on Linsanity still talk about to this day.
It turns out that Lin had never busted that move out before in a game. He says he’d done it in more “casual settings” like rec leagues or a family pickup game, but on Feb. 10, 2012, he did it for the first time in an NBA game against the Lakers in a nationally televised contest.
For Lin, he credits this moment as the one in which he started “finally playing free,” embracing the more creative side of his game that was suppressed during his rookie campaign in Golden State.
Creativity is a major concept for Lin — it’s something he embraces on and off the basketball court. It’s also led to him becoming part of adidas’ “Calling All Creators” campaign, which launches on Wednesday. Lin joins a massive list of celebrities from a number of fields to be a part of this, as folks from the worlds of culture, fashion, music, and sports came together to embrace creativity.
The campaign kicked off with a preview video, highlighting all 25 celebrities involved discussing the importance of creativity.
For Lin, the concept of creativity is one that is always on his mind. He naturally feels this way on the basketball court, and defines creativity as “the combination of instinctual and spontaneous” and “the expression of feeling free.”
It has opened his eyes to how sports have a massive similarity to music, fashion, and culture as a whole: All of these are forms of art.
“At the end of the day it’s all art, and the people who succeed the most in any of those industries are the ones who are able to think the most creatively,” Lin told DIME. “Sports is not commonly viewed as part of art, but if you think about what sports really are, they are a form of art.
“You have like hundreds or thousands of little movements and they’re all tucked away in different files in your brain,” Lin continued. “And then you have to activate these files at the right time based on what you see in front of you and there can be a billion little factors. If the person in front of you moves their eyes slightly to the right, you’re thinking ‘he’s gonna drive right.’ You’re reacting to so many different things, and that’s why I think it’s like pulling out the right file at the right time, and the people who do that more consistently over a long period of time are usually the best basketball players and are usually the most creative.”
Lin believes that creativity is a trait shared by the best basketball players to ever play. And for him, it took the aforementioned spin move against Fisher to embrace the creative side of the game, letting his instincts guide him on the floor. At that moment, Lin became a basketball player whose creativity on the floor made him dangerous.
Now, he’s teaming up with adidas and 24 other stars — Lionel Messi, Pharrell Williams, James Harden, Paul Pogba, Garbine Muguruza, Alexander Wong, David Beckham, Karlie Kloss, Damian Lillard, Von Miller, Kristaps Porzingis, Aaron Rodgers, Candace Parker, Carlos Correa, Pusha T, DeAndre Hopkins, Trace McGrady, Kris Bryant, Lindsey Horan, Brandon Ingram, Chiney Ogwumike, P.K. Subban, Derrick Rose, and Paige Tapp — came together to discuss how they are impacted by their inherent creativity.
“To see all that come together and how they were highlighting a big group, not just basketball players and not just athletes, just the fact that it crosses a lot of barriers makes it even cooler,” Lin said.
The entire, minute-long film from adidas will go live at noon today. It will be shown in movie theaters nation-wide starting this weekend prior to films like Star Wars: The Last Jedi, Jumanji, and Pitch Perfect 3. Additionally, it will air during each of the NBA’s five Christmas Day games, along with a selection of college basketball games on CBS, college bowl games, NFL games, and NHL regional broadcasts.