Jeremy Lin: Celebs flock to the hoop-la over his shooting star

February 20th, 2012 by Staff – Paul McCartney, Eva Longoria and many more watch his meteoric rise

Celebrities, just like success-starved Knicks fans, have gone Linsane.

Bold-faced names have been flocking to Madison Square Garden the past two weeks to see the new sensation Jeremy Lin resurrect New York’s basketball team.

Paul McCartney and Nancy Shevell were among the bold-faced names who watched the 6-foot-3 point guard suffer his first defeat as a starter Friday, while Eva Longoria , Seth Meyers , Kevin Costner and Facebook CEO/fellow Harvard graduate Mark Zuckerberg had better luck. They witnessed Lin help lead his team to a come-from-behind victory over the defending NBA champion Dallas Mavericks on Sunday.

The underdog story of Lin’s rise from Ivy League obscurity to Knick benchwarmer on the verge of being cut to the toast of the NBA has appealed to VIPs as well as ordinary Joes.

R&B superstar Mary J. Blige , former “Sopranos” star Steve Schirripa , Yankees pitcher CC Sabathia , NFL legend Jerry Rice and ex-boxer Mike Tyson have been spotted in the stands during Lin’s magical run.

Let’s also not forget Garden mainstays Woody Allen and No. 1 Knicks fan Spike Lee who have been on hand from the start to witness Lin lead the Knicks to eight wins in nine games prior to Monday night’s contest with the New Jersey Nets.

(Lee has even paid homage by wearing replicas of Lin’s high school and college jerseys.)

Longoria, the former wife of San Antonio Spurs point guard Tony Parker , may have found her new favorite player. The actress tweeted a picture of Lin to her 2.9 million followers from her courtside seat next to Costner on Sunday, noting: “Here’s a better view.”

Yet despite averaging 25 points per game in his nine starts, Lin did not generate the loudest ovation at the Garden on Friday.

One game goer tells us that Mary Mason , the mother of former Knick Anthony Mason drew more applause than Lin, McCartney and even Giants Super Bowl hero Mario Manningham when she was shown on the arena’s Jumbotron screen in recognition of her 87th birthday.

Like a good son, a source tells us Mason made sure the festivities continued post-game by sending his car to the Old Homestead Steakhouse in the Meatpacking District to load up on trays of filet mignon, bottles of Veuve Clicquot and Mary’s favorite — cheesecake with strawberry sauce — and ferry it to his mother’s Westchester home for a celebration with friends and family.

Meanwhile, at the new Knick star’s alma mater, enterprising Harvard students are capitalizing on the Lin-derella story.

Undergrads are buying up replica Lin jerseys sold around campus for various fundraisers and at Crimson games and selling them on the Internet.

The Harvard jerseys retail for about $100 at Harvard but fetch nearly twice as much on eBay.

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