Linsanity: The Jeremy Lin Show Storms through America
February 23, 2012 • Ariel Kimmok, Sports Editor
Filed under Feature
Graduating from Harvard with a degree in economics would certainly lead to some sense of stability; however, Jeremy Lin would tell anyone otherwise. Lin, a 2010 Harvard graduate, certainly would not have had much difficulty finding a job following his college years. But with the National Basketball Association (NBA), it does not matter where you come from; the only factor of importance is what you can do with a basketball and unfortunately, the opportunity was never there for Lin.
Lin was completely by from college scouts in high school and was never drafted by any of the thirty NBA teams. When he got a job, he was unable to stick around with two teams who decided to take a chance with him. When he signed with the New York Knicks, he would be watching games from the end of the bench, and because he was not sure if the team would keep him, Lin slept on his brother’s apartment on the sofa. For Lin, he lived day-to-day; uncertain where tomorrow would take him, his contract was unguaranteed, he did not have a house, and at times he felt crushed.
His team, the Knicks, was not doing much better. Losers of seven straight games with two of their superstars unable to play, the Knicks really had nothing more to lose. Playing in a game against the New Jersey Nets that would have likely been their eighth consecutive loss, the head coach Mike D’Antoni was ready to throw in the towel. He put Lin in the game where Lin did the unthinkable. Two hours filled with eye- popping baskets and dazzling passes, Lin led the team to victory. The night led to a feel-good story that of which only happens once in a while; however, Lin had no intention of stopping his golden opportunity.
His story was going all around the NBA like wildfire, a result from playing in the biggest market that is New York City. When news spread to Los Angeles Lakers’ superstar Kobe Bryant, Bryant sought to put an end to this “Linsanity” that captured the heart of those around him.
Then Lin became sensational. The first time he ever scored 38 points in his life was against the future Hall of Famer. Bryant, who earns more than twenty million dollars per year, was humbled by a man making significantly less money than him. Lin’s glory was not only defined by upstaging Bryant; now that he is playing significant minutes, the Knicks have won eight of their last ten in contrast to the seven straight losses preceding the breathtaking run.
Yet as fascinating as he has been on the court, this odds-defying run by Lin is about much more than just basketball. It is about what intrigues America to which has never grown to such enormous depths; the race factor. It is the absolutely enticing part of this wonderful tale because as an athletic Taiwanese blood genius from Harvard is busy making heads turn in awe, he is also vigorously shattering stereotypes. It is that unique element, race, which jolts “Linsanity” up several notches, in a refreshingly encouraging way and the greatness is that through his actions, ignorance and bias crumble to pieces.
As Lin’s success continues to build, the sports world scrutinizes every single action and outcome wondering what would happen next. Because no one has ever seen anything like this before, nothing of the future is known or can be predicted. However, the only certainty is that Lin has captivated the heart of America with his work ethic and honest approach to the game, and he shows no sign of slowing down.
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