Linfatuation: Fans and Retailers Rush for Jeremy Lin Merchandise

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NY Knicks Store

Suffering from a case of Linsanity? Been unable to get your hands on your new favorite NBA player’s jersey? Searched high and low for something to rep Jeremy Lin hard during his upcoming showdown with Kobe in Friday’s game, only to find nothing? Sounds about right, because until just early Friday morning, there wasn’t anything. At all.

The Knicks scrambled to produce the point guard’s souvenir jersey for eager fans in time for Friday’s game, and the Knicks’ online store started taking orders for the jerseys (going for $54.95) and “Linsanity” T-shirts ($19.95) on Thursday morning, the New York Times reports.

(MORE: It’s Official: Linsanity Is for Real)

However, nothing could be shipped before Feb. 20, so a special order was made for the die-hard fans:

In a cramped, windowless room in the Garden, a few employees arranged orange numerals and white letters on blank blue Knicks jerseys, then lowered hot presses onto them. And, voilà: the only legal No. 17 Lin jerseys in the city, other than the ones the Knicks’ player wears, were ready for sale.

200 Lin jerseys were produced on-site at Madison Square Garden. (TIME’s Sean Gregory noted that some 1,000 Lin jerseys had sold out before Friday night’s game.) Local stores, at least in the New York area, will have jerseys ready in a few weeks.

(MORE: Big Apple Surprise: Linsanity Lights Up New York)

The Bay Area-bred basketball star has quickly been crowned the most famous Asian-American in sports. David Chang, owner of New York’s Momofuku restaurants, sang his praises to the Times, while Hua Hsu wrote at Bloomberg that Lin has sparked a “new Lin-centric lexicon” that is capturing the “feverish excitement of Knicks fans.”

“New York had come down with a case of ‘Lin-sanity.’ He was, to borrow Charlie Sheen’s cherished word, ‘Lin-ing.’ All he did was ‘Lin’—a riff on a DJ Khaled song,” Hsu writes. Rather than having Lin’s ascent become a conversation “cultural capital,” identity, and politics, Hsu encourages the fun and ludicrous that comes with fandom. “Clear thinking is the enemy. There are nicknames to be invented, menu items that need renaming, and raps to be written.”

And “Linsanity” shirts to buy. Now you can.

MORE: Harvard’s Hoops Star Is Asian. Why’s That a Problem?

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