By Spike Eskin

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — There is no doubt that the fact that Jeremy Lin is playing in New York raises the profile of his story. Amazing as it is, there is no doubt that the level of exposure is heightened because he’s doing it in the largest city in the country.

But make no mistake, it doesn’t make it any less amazing. It might make it an even better story. We’ve seen how many players blink when the spotlight is shined directly into their eyes. Lin stared directly into the light last night in Toronto and won the game.

I’ve heard from a lot from a lot of Sixers fans (of course, I am one) over the last few days about Lin, and how the story is being blown out of proportion because it’s the happening to the Knicks. How if this happened in Philadelphia, it wouldn’t be near the story it is. How we don’t know enough about Lin yet, and Knicks fans are crazy for “putting him in the Hall Of Fame already.”

Give me a break.

Bobby Hoying was the savior. AJ Feeley was in the Hall Of Fame. Domonic Brown t-shirt jerseys were flying off the shelves the day of his first start. Remember when Wilson Valdez pitched an inning? We made kind of a big deal about that. Oh and by the way, I’ve heard people at the Wells Fargo Center chanting “MVP” at Spencer Hawes.

Let’s be real about this for just one second, if Jeremy Lin was playing in Philadelphia right now we’d be out of our minds. We’d be buying jerseys, talking about championships and putting together play-on-words headlines like “LIN-Villa Orchards” and “LIN-stant Success” and “LIN-credible.” He’d have his own fan group in the upper deck called the “LIN-BIN.”

The newspaper headline would read “All We Do Is Lin.”

We would love every second of it, and be just as irrational, because that’s part of the fun. Meanwhile, Knicks fans would be flooding their radio stations with calls about how we’re really jumping the gun on this one, and he’s not as good as we think he is.

I don’t like the Knicks. The minute Carmelo Anthony comes back, I will like them even less. I hope it all falls apart into an ego-laden mess. But right now,  this story is what sports are all about, and New York fans are acting as they should. To tell the truth, I’m a little bit jealous.

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