You saw it just like I did.
Jeremy Lin, the new shooting star point guard of my New York Knicks,
added yet another superb game to his resume last night in a thrilling
defeat of Kobe Bryant and the Los Angeles Lakers. On a Friday night
in February, just five days after the New York Giants energized the
city with a Super Bowl win, Lin has managed to become the talk of
the town. Hell, the WORLD at that. In four games, Jeremy has made
a name for himself in being the first NBA player since the 1976 merger
to average more points in their first four games than ANYONE. That
list includes Isiah Thomas and Magic Johnson.
His play has revitalized a team that was sinking fast even with two
stars in Carmelo Anthony and Amar'e Stoudamire. And it's also raised
some points of interest we can't ignore going forward. The biggest point
being, how an Asian-American player will fare in the NBA. Lin isn't the
first to do it; that honor belongs to Wataru Misaka, a Nisei (second
generation Japanese-American) from Utah who joined these very same
New York Knicks in 1947, effectively breaking the NBA's color barrier
just as Jackie Robinson did for baseball. Yeah, we've had Asian players
in the league, none bigger than recently retired Yao Ming. But Lin is
different being an ABC(American Born Chinese)...just by being here and
proving he can lead an NBA franchise flies in the face of stereotypes we
have about Asian-American athletes. Which is what has come to light
in the wake of his success. We've gotten so happy about Lin that we find
ourselves getting too racial with the nicknames. Just look at Twitter for
proof of that. Yes, Lin is a Chinese-American dude who can BALL. But it
doesn't call for you to summon up rudimentary nicknames that you think
would go well on a movie marquee and minimize him.
Another point I'd like to point out is this; CAN WE STOP comparing him to Tim
Tebow? Yes, they're both Christian. They both rely on their faith heavily. They both
were heavily underestimated(word has it the Knicks were to cut Lin after last Saturday's
game against the Nets) and have shown and proven they can be professional athletes.
But i'm not going to sit here and diminish Lin's stature to falsely equate him to Tebow.
Sports media outlets will do that because Tebow represents all that they want to be
subconsciously right with America. And that negates Jeremy Lin's game and career to
this point on a racial and professional level. Also, Lin has improved his game WITH
each game, even dropping 38 points last night and outscoring Kobe. Tebow has been
average at best. Let the man live. Ultimately, we don't really know what's ahead for
the Knicks and Lin. Melo and Amar'e, for different reasons haven't been playing during
this win streak. One can only hope that they'll mesh well and be the contender that
New York City hoped for at the start of the season. We do know one thing. As long as
Jeremy Lin rocks the blue and orange, Lin-sanity will rule. Let's just make sure we all
don't get TOO crazy.
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Saturday, February 11, 2012 at 12:01PM