Jeremy Lin Goes from Forrest Gump to the Truman Show

Until the Knicks’ Monday night loss to the New Jersey Nets Jeremy Lin may as well have been a character in an offbeat basketball fantasy with amusing points of contact with real-life people — a hoops version of Forrest Gump.

Even the loss to the Hornets was a slightly comedic set-up for the triumphal bucking-bronco-ride victory over the defending champion Dallas Mavericks.

Lin’s failure to get an athletic scholarship after leading his high school to the California state championship, his failure to be drafted by the NBA, getting waived by two NBA teams within four weeks, getting picked up as a stopgap by a dysfunctional team full of damaged superstars — it all worked beautifully to set the stage for the emergence of the kid with the heart of a lion, the moves of a pickpocket, the touch of a saint.

But all of that happened under a magic spell cast over a world that wanted desperately to believe that miracles do happen to good people.

Now that Lin has led the Knicks in a loss that serves absolutely no cinematic purpose whatsoever — Whaaaat??? — we’re suddenly faced with sobering evidence that Lin may just be an exhausted kid who has been burning up his innards to keep feeding us more of the fantasy we so obviously craved.

Could this be where the Jeremy Lin Show turns into the Truman Show?

Lin may be checking his bathroom mirror to make sure it isn’t the two-way kind, and turning corners abruptly to see if he can catch extras goofing off. All the while he’s enough of a Harvard grad to know that he has to keep sounding like a maturing true-believer in his post-game interviews.

It’s become a war of nerves between Lin and the crew behind the Show. Who will crack first and admit that it’s all been way too far-fetched to be real? The whole world is starting to feign the disinterest of serious people leading serious lives devoid of miracles. All the while we’re sneakily hoping that Jeremy Lin is a real-life Forrest Gump after all and that his life will get back on the fantasy track where we feel it really belongs.

Come to think of it, that goofy loss to the Nets may not be such a bad plot twist after all. Maybe Lin could lose a few more games, get waived by the Knicks, get picked back up by the hapless Warriors and come roaring back with enough wins to put them in the playoffs and…

One thing’s for sure — no one is ready to tune out just yet.