Linsanity: Jeremy Lin's rise to stardom

Charlie Rose profiles Harvard-educated Jeremy Lin who shot from obscurity to stardom to become one of the few Asians to play in the NBA

The following is a script from "Linsanity" which aired on April 7, 2013. Charlie Rose is the correspondent. Pete Radovich, producer.

There aren't many basketball stars who step off the bench and directly into the dictionary, but that's what happened last season when a third-string guard for the New York Knicks named Jeremy Lin spawned something so new, so crazy, so outside the realm of rational explanation that it demanded its own word: Linsanity.

For a few weeks, the entire professional basketball world was in the throes of this Harvard educated Asian-American who battled his way through racial stereotypes to become a shooting star.

Charlie Rose: As one New Yorker, let me tell you what you did for the city. It was a magical time. You know? And Madison Square Garden, at that moment, was what it was intended to be.

Jeremy Lin: Well, I appreciate that.

[Sports announcer: Look who's coming in.]

Jeremy Lin was the twelfth man on a slumping, injury-riddled 12-man team, last season when the New York Knicks coach Mike D'Antoni put him into the game, and into basketball history.

[Sports announcer: Lin to the basket, reverse lay up, he puts it in. What a play for Jeremy Lin. Gets to the rim, puts it in, and a foul. Wow.]

Charlie Rose: 25 points, 7 assists, and a Knick victory. Then, he did it again in the next game: 28 points, 8 assists. And then again.

Jeremy Lin: That stretch, that was the most fun that I've ever had in my life.

Charlie Rose: That's what athletes want, one to one with the fans, playing at their best, in a place that is a cathedral.

Jeremy Lin: I agree.

[Reporter: Can you believe this is happening to you?

Jeremy Lin: No.]

And New Yorkers were swept into an epidemic of Linsanity. His name was unavoidable in the papers, magazine covers and in the stands.

[Jeremy Lin: I didn't know you could turn Lin into so many things.]

League officials like Commissioner David Stern knew a good thing when they saw it, even if they had trouble understanding just what it was.

David Stern: We couldn't even figure it out. We couldn't get enough Jeremy Lin material in the NBA store fast enough. And when we did, it was just gone in minutes.

Charlie Rose: You've never seen anything like it?

David Stern: No, but we enjoyed it.

On the February night Lin came off the bench, jerseys with his name and number 17 did not even exist. Now, they were the hottest-selling items in all sports.

About the only person who seemed unaware of the frenzy was the Los Angeles Lakers' star, Kobe Bryant.

[Sports announcer: Jeremy Lin, are you following that story at all?

Kobe Bryant: No idea. I know who he is, but I don't really know what's going on too much with that. I don't even know what he's done. I've got no idea what you guys are talking about.]

But Bryant's feigned detachment ended before a national television audience. Just a few games removed from being a basketball nonentity, Lin rang up 38 points embarrassing Kobe and the Lakers.

[Sports announcer: Lin likes the open floor, spinning, puts it up and banks it in, sensational play for Jeremy Lin.]