Los Angeles, June 20 (CNA) Jeremy Lin, the first American-born NBA player of Taiwanese descent who inspired a hoopla known as "Linsanity" this year, emerged as the top winner in the first-ever NBA Social Media Awards Wednesday, bagging two of the prizes up for grabs.
Earlier this week, the New York Knicks point guard was also named the NBA's first-ever "Social Breakout Player of the Year" for his social media dominance.
At Wednesday's Social Media Awards presentation ceremony, Lin won the Epic Award for his 38-point breakout during a Feb. 10 win against the Los Angeles Lakers at Madison Square Garden, which the NBA dubbed "Linsanity Begins."
Lin, an undrafted Harvard graduate who led the depleted Knicks squad to a seven-game winning streak in February, beat four other contenders to secure the award. One of them was his teammate Carmelo Anthony, whose 43-point drubbing of the Chicago Bulls late in the regular season earned him a nomination.
In addition, a picture featuring a couch that belongs to another of Lin's teammates Landry Fields won the Snap Shot Award.
Fields, the Knicks shooting guard, tweeted the "magic couch" after Lin told reporters that he had slept on it the night before his breakout game on Feb. 4 in which he scored 25 points and dished seven assists to lead the slumping Knicks to a win over the Nets. Had Lin not had a breakout game, he may have found his way back to the waiver wire.
The first-ever NBA Social Media Awards celebrated the moments that generated the most buzz on social media such as Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and YouTube during the 2011-2012 NBA season. The awards covered 12 categories, six of which could be voted by fans on the NBA's official website.
The awards were presented in a ceremony co-hosted by Shaquille O'Neal, a 15-time All-Star and current TNT analyst, and his former Lakers teammate Rick Fox.
During the televised ceremony, O'Neal interviewed Lin, who is staying in his hometown in San Francisco, by phone. The 23-year-old hoopster told O'Neal that the matchup with the Lakers was one of the most memorable games in his baseball career.
Lin further said in the interview that he will continue to share his basketball life with friends and fans on social media platforms.
In a posting on his Twitter account, Lin thanked his fans for their faithful support.
"Thanks to all my fans for the votes!! You guys are seriously unbelievable," he wrote.
Meanwhile, U.S. media reports said Lin will hire a new agent to help him handle basketball and marketing matters.
Bloomberg News quoted two people familiar with the situation as saying that Lin will hire Jim Tanner at the Washington-based law firm Williams & Connolly as his new agent.
As contract details are still in negotiations, the sources requested anonymity, Bloomberg said.
Tanner is a seasoned NBA agent whose clients include San Antonio Spurs forward Tim Duncan, Miami Heat forward Shane Battier and Phoenix Suns forward Grant Hill.
The decision was made less than two weeks before Lin becomes a restricted free agent on July 1. It is widely believed that he will command more than US$5 million a year. The Knicks have the right to match any offer Lin receives, and team officials have said they intend to do so, according to a New York Times report.
The Bloomberg report said Lin's current agent Roger Montgomery will work with Tanner on Lin's free agent negotiations.
(By Oscar Wu and Sofia Wu)