Jeremy Lin is all the rage in the NBA right now. Kobe didn’t know, now he knows. Linsanity abounds and deservedly so. Let’s get the numbers out of the way. In his last five games he’s averaged 26.8 ppg, 8 apg, and 2 spg. He dropped 38 on the Lakers Friday night, helping New York win their fourth in a row. On ESPN’s halftime show, Magic Johnson said he was a combination of Steve Nash and John Stockton. The Knicks just won their fifth straight game, defeating the Timberwolves 100-98 a few hours ago. This is all very impressive, even more impressive is the journey he’s taken to get to this point.
He was born in Los Angeles, attended high school in Palo Alto. He would have loved to have played for his hometown Stanford Cardinal, but no scholarships came his way so he went to Harvard. He was solid in his sophomore season, averaging 12.6 ppg. and was named to the All Ivy League Second Team.
As a junior, he was the only NCAA D1 men’s basketball player to rank in the top ten in his conference in scoring, rebounding, assists, steals, blocked shots, field goal percentage, free throw percentage, and three point percentage. No other player accomplished that. Just as there were no scholarships after high school, there was no draft selection after college. After a decent summer league showing Lin signed with his hometown Golden State Warriors. There were also stints with the Reno Bighorns and Erie Bayhawks of the NBDL, and yes my Houston Rockets also let him slip through their fingers as well. Hindsight is a killer.
I said at the beginning that all of the accolades are well deserved, and they are. But is this story going to get overcovered? Absoulutely. There’s no way this can’t happen. The man is doing his thing in the #1 media market in the world. The Knicks are going on forty years since they last won a title. Spike Lee and the rest of that fan base are in desperate need of some hope. Real, live, touch it, feel it, smell it, breathe it, enjoy it it, experience it, tangible hope. Lin is doing his best to provide it.
Lin is a humble, inspiring guy. It’s a feel good story, Knicks fan or not you can’t help but be happy for him. He’s all about team in his post game press conferences and seems to be fairly level headed. But the Tebow comparisons must stop. Don’t use other good things in sports that have nothing to do with Tebow as a reason to continue talking about Tebow. They are both humble team first guys who’ve won some games and sparked their teams. The similarities end there.
Tebow had games at Nease High School in Jacksonville that were televised on ESPN. Lin played at Palo Alto High School and couldn’t get Stanford’s attention. Tebow played in the SEC, the premier football conference in the country. Lin was going relatively unnoticed at Harvard. Right or wrong, Tebow was a first round pick, Lin wasn’t drafted. Just let Lin be Lin.
Will the fun times continue when Melo and Amare’ come back? Knick fans can only hope their style of play doesn’tt affect team chemistry and hinder the offense. Their schedule is favorable for the next few games. Looks like things will be pretty Linsane in the Big Apple for a while.
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