Courtesy of MCT
Who would have thought that the sporting world’s next Cinderella story would have driven the Big Apple to Linsanity?
If you haven’t heard of the New York Knicks’ point guard Jeremy Lin, chances are you’re a fashion major or just don’t care about sports. Heading into the Knicks’ game against Sacramento Wednesday, Lin has been rocking the NBA, scoring more points in his first five starts than any other player since the NBA/ABA merger in 1976, and leading the once struggling Knicks to a six-game winning streak after starting the season 8-15.
During the first five games of the Lin era, the Knicks were without superstars Carmelo Anthony and Amare Stoudemire due to injury and a family death, respectfully. Out of nowhere, the Harvard graduate and undrafted second-year comes off the bench and brings life to a dormant Knicks squad, and energy to Madison Square Garden that hasn’t been seen since Patrick Ewing was lighting up the scoreboards throughout the 1990s.
Born and raised just north of New York City, I’ve been an avid Knicks fan since I was young. Speaking for a number of people I’m close with back home, we haven’t been this excited about the NBA ever. Lin has brought excitement and wins to the Knicks, something that names like Anthony, Stoudemire and Tyson Chandler haven’t been able to do, at a fraction of the cost.
The rumble of Linsanity has even brought tremors to Columbus, Ohio. After his 38-point performance against the Lakers on Friday night, Lin was the topic of discussion on High Street. You’ll have your critics bash his high amount of turnovers, which is common among point guards who aren’t used to playing with a new cast, but for the most part it sounds like Lin has won over Ohio State.
The only positive talk you hear in Ohio about New York sports is when the Giants win the Super Bowl or the Yankees win the World Series. Here’s a new bandwagon for Ohioans to jump on, and this time it’s not just the front runners coming on board.
It might not be the sexiest story to hit sports; Lin doesn’t walk around with the swagger of superstar athletes, but his energy and determination make up for that. He’s putting wins on the board. In any sport, all that matters is the ‘W.’ It probably also helps that he’s Asian, a rare ethnicity in professional basketball.
Professional boxer Floyd Mayweather’s comments on Twitter about Lin’s race angered many. From his Twitter account, @FloydMayweather, Mayweather said on Feb. 13: “Jeremy Lin is a good player but all the hype is because he’s Asian. Black players do what he does every night and don’t get the same praise.”
Let’s be honest, anyone of any race that does what Lin has done deserves the credit they’ve received. I’m sure if a Caucasian with red hair were putting up Lin’s stats and leading the Knicks to victory, New York would have a severe case of “gingervitus.”
Race aside, Lin’s performing miracles on the basketball court. And if seeing signs in Madison Square Garden that read “The Yellow Mamba” is all Knicks fans have to put up with in exchange for wins, I think we can deal with it.
For now, I’m all Lin on what the Knicks are doing. It will be interesting to see if the hype and talent that Lin has made appear from thin air can last for what remains of this shortened NBA season.