February 24, 2012

Jeremy Lin: Linsanity


Unless you're a basement shut-in with no interest in sports, you've probably heard about the biggest thing in basketball right now. Jeremy Lin, a relative nobody who was undrafted, booted off two teams, and benched for the majority of his career, came exploding onto the scene as he helped the Knicks win 7 games in a row. Remember how the Knicks kind of sucked? Lin has single-handedly made them a relevant team again, and has increased NBA viewership like no one has ever done before. Anyway, what is so special about him, you ask?

Well first of all, Lin is the first ever to score at least 20 points and 7 assists in their first five starting games since the NBA we know today came into existence. He was averaging 27.3 points and 8.3 assists when he was named the Eastern Conference Player of the Week; those are almost all-star numbers. He outscored Kobe Bryant (38) in the Knicks' meeting with the Lakers, and scored a game-winning 3-pointer against the Raptors with less than a second left in the game. So far, they've won 9 out of their last 11 games.


This sort of phenomenon has seriously never happened before. Demand for his shirt is through the roof, and the NBA store's sales increased by 3000%. He has graced the cover of Sports Illustrated two times in a row, and has brought so much life back to Madison Square Garden that it has been stimulating the stock market. It's not just about his stats however. When you compare him to veteran stars like Kobe and Lebron, he may not seem like a big deal. This is not what has masses of people captivated, however. It's his amazing rags to riches story; the fact that he was given virtually no chance to show what he was capable until now. Everybody loves an underdog, and his story is truly entertaining.


Now, obviously I need to bring in my opinion and discuss the hottest aspect of Linsanity: race. He is the first Chinese-American to play in the league, and the first player of Asian descent to ever make such an impact on the NBA. Now, the big question is: "is race a factor in his fame?" Basically, its yes and no. Yes, it is a factor. Asians are so under-represented in sports in general, so its a huge deal when an Asian-American is the headliner in absolutely everything. But is it the only reason? Absolutely not. Remember, the record he set (20 points and 7 assists as a rookie) is out of every player in history, not just among Asians or undrafted players. Like I said, people love him for his underdog story.

I really love this guy, mainly because he is doing so much for the Asian community. He is really breaking barriers, and I have the utmost respect for him because of that. He's incredibly humble, and apparently a dedicated Christian. Also, he's a Harvard grad; he's pretty much the perfect Asian. Let's not forget his skills with the ball as well. I've become a huge Knicks fan ever since he made it big, and I really hope for the best, not just because I want the Knicks to win, but mostly because I want him to prove himself out there as a representative of all Asians.


And by the way, to the haters that can't help but try to put him down at every turn: shove it up your ass. It's true that the media is hyping him to death (he's making people incredible money), but he really deserves everything. He's been influential to so many people, so putting him down just for the sake of doing so is just a scumbag move. People keep trying to compare him to all-star players and take every chance to kill the hype whenever he makes a mistake. He's a god damn ROOKIE, give the guy a full season first. The media hype makes it seem like he has to be superman in every game, its obviously not fair in that sense. And it's not like he's the one throwing his face all over the media. He's a basketball player, and a great one at that.

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