Linsanity. SuperLintendo. LinDeisel. ShaoLIN.
Here, in NY, it is impossible not to know him. But I believe it is a real national and international story as well. He’s the man single-handedly expanding the NBA fan base. A Knicks point-guard of Asian descent, Jeremy Lin has started six games in a row now, and the Knicks(14-15) have won every one of those games. What’s special about that? He did not get an athletic scholarship after high school; and when he finished college, at Harvard, he was not drafted by any NBA team. In other words, his sports career was not decided when he was 12, 13, 14 or even 18! Imagine that.
As I have written before, in many cases the sports fans identify with the stars and see it as a shared experience. In most cases the feeling is not mutual because the stars are in an orbit of their own! Here is Jeremy Lin giving us the underdog story to beat all underdog stories – he could be one of us! He has been repeatedly dismissed because he does not have the build expected of NBA stars. He plays with passion and great basketball IQ – those are qualities many a sports fan shares and so his meteoric rise – if ever someone deserves that term it is Lin – makes so many things seem plausible.
On Dec 9th, 2011 the Golden State Warriros waived Lin on the first day of training. On Dec 24th the Houston Rockets waived him after seven minutes of playing time in two preseason games. The New York Knicks got him on Dec 27th but as late as Jan 17th he was with the D-League. He slept on teammate Landry Field’s couch the night before his first remarkable game against the Nets on Feb 4th 2012. And now he has had six dazzling nights on the court and the Knicks are a transformed team. You see the appeal of this story right here – is it any wonder they are calling it the Linderalla story?
Yes, the winning streak will stop. Yes, he may well say the wrong thing at an interview. Yes, there may be a story from his past which tarnishes his reputation.
But, for the here and the now, I am happy to see the Jeremy Lin phenomenon in full flow. It is a pleasure to be swept up in this fairy tale. It is exciting to see this brand being created. I hope Lin enjoys every minute of it!