People love a feel good story. The shy lovable loser gets the girl or when the big overhyped team plays against the smaller one you want the little guy to win. There is something about the underdog achieving fame and all of its spoils that makes us feel good and I’m no different. So it comes as no surprise that everyone is in love with Jeremy Lin.
This Harvard graduate has a 3.3 GPA and a major in economics with a minor in sociology. Lin got zero scholarship offers out of high school, went undrafted, was cut by all 32 NBA teams and was shuffled in and out of the NBA development league.
He is even breaking down the stereotypes that Asians can’t play basketball with amazing plays and an even better point average. If that is not enough of a feel good story than I don’t know what is?
As expected, he’s being labeled the Tim Tebow of the NBA. Like Tebow and the Broncos this is a great story of a down on their luck team that is blessed with a player who has solid numbers and a likeable personality that will lead them to the promise land (yes religious puns are intended, Tebow and Lin are devout Christians.)
Another football comparison is to Victor Cruz, the New York Giants’ receiver who went undrafted out of Massachusetts and now has all of New York up in arms after their Super Bowl win against the Patriots.
I’ll be the first to admit that Lin’s first ever games in the NBA are really impressive. He has good numbers against his opponents: 25 points and 10 assists against the New Jersey Nets, 28 points and 8 assists against the Utah Jazz and 23 points and 10 assists when he played the Washington Wizards. His most recent triumph is the outstanding performance against the Los Angeles Lakers. The Lakers were expected to steamroll the Knicks but like any good feel good story the little guy prevailed. Lin lead the Knicks to a 92-85 win and his personal performance was even better. He scored 38 points, had 7 assists and 4 rebounds that was a personal and team best.
Impressive? Yes. Lin was someone who was not even on the NBA’s radar and when he was he sat on the bench for majority of the time. He is definitely making a statement and almost taunting those who passed him up. But to start the talk of MVP already is very premature and almost ludicrous.
Lin only has four games under his belt. The first three were against teams that are hardly powerhouses. So to get those types of numbers are not that hard to believe. But with the fourth game being against the mighty Lakers and scoring as high as he did is a feat for Lin and the Knicks. But the problem that Lin and the Knicks will face is keeping up this momentum. Any team and player can start a hot streak but continuing that streak is tough, especially when Lin and the Knicks come up against teams like Boston or Miami.
Jeremy Lin has all the potential in the world to become one of the greats. But before the Knicks organization and New York start building monuments in his honor let him get past this week. Because for all we know next week can be a different story. Let him build his career before we start saying he is the greatest player that ever played. For all we know he could bomb the next four games and the next article you read won’t be about All I do is Lin. After this year is over we can start saying what kind of player he will become. Let’s not get excited, his fifteen minutes might just be getting started.