Jeremy Lin was the most searched athlete of 2012, according to Google's Zeitgeist 2012. (Photo : Reuters)
It was called "Linsanity" for a reason--NBA hops fans and others could not get enough of Jeremy Lin.
The 24-year-old Asian American Los Angeles-born point guard who took the world by storm last season with the Knicks ended up being the most searched athlete of 2012, according to Goggle Zeitgeist 2012.
According to Zeitgeist, which is Google's recently unveiled web portal that showed the top ten searches for the year in athletes, events, people, feature films and TV shows, among other categories, Lin was ranked No.1 among the Top Ten athletes searched in 2012.
That list put Lin ahead of names such as Olympic swimming star Michael Phelps, Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning, Olympic gymnast McKayla Maroney, late NFL great Junior Seau, Canadien freestyle skier and four-time Winter X Games champion Sarah Burke and cycling legend Lance Armstong, just to name a few.
Lin also ranked No. 7 in the list of the most searched people on Google, behind, in reverse order, baseline jumper Felix Baumgartner, the band One Direction, late actor Michael Clark Duncan, Amanda Todd, a Canadian teenager who committed suicide after being bullied on the internet, Duchess Kate Middleton and late music legend Whitney Houston.
Lin sparked a media frenzy with his overnight emergence from sub to superstar when he played for the New York Knicks last February. And in the process, he won a legion of fans worldwide, including several fan clubs on Facebook that have thousands of followers, while Lin's own Facebook now has 1.8 million subscribers and counting.
On Twitter, Lin has amassed a huge following, as well, with 919,883 followers as of Thursday.
Lin had his share of moments during the year that had fans buzzing.
On Feb. 4, in his first start for the Knicks, who had lost 11 of 13 games before that night, Lin put up 27 points to lead the Knicks past the Nets 99-92. Then on Feb. 10, in a nationally televised game, Lin dominated with 38 points to give the Knicks a 92-85 victory over Kobe Bryant and the Los Angeles Lakers. And in Toronto on Feb. 14, Lin capped a 27-point night with a game-winning three pointer for another win as the Knicks rattled off a 9-3 winning record over 12 games and helped the Knicks save their season.
However, the Knicks were outbid by the Rockets for then-free agent Lin's services and opted to let him go to Houston, where he signed a $25 million, three-year contract.