In just a little over a week an obscure point guard who had been waived twice earlier this season; has become the new “GOLDEN CHILD” of the NBA; as New York Knicks point guard Jeremy Lin has led his team to five straight wins and has become one of the fastest rising stars in all of professional sports in the process. The 23-year-old second year player does not have an imposing physical presence as his teammate power forward Amar’e Stoudemire; he lacks the speed of a Derrick Rose or a Rajon Rondo, or the leaping ability of Blake Griffin or LeBron James. That may be a big factor in why he has become so popular in such a brief period of time; he is an above average yet not great athlete who hustles his tail off to maximize his ability while he is on the floor.
He is blown away by all the attention he has received since the “Lin-derella” tale started to unfold on February 4, against the New Jersey Nets and scored a career high 25 points and helped New York win the game 99-92.Head coach Mike D’Antoni inserted him as the starting point guard in the next game as the hosted the Utah Jazz and the former Harvard player responded by scoring a new career high 28 points as the Knicks topped their visitors 99-88.
The team traveled to Washington and took on the Wizards on Wednesday February 8, and Lin racked up a double-double as the team won their third straight contest in a rout by the final score of 107-93. New York welcomed the Los Angeles Lakers to Madison Square Garden on Friday night, and Lin rose to the occasion as he knocked down a game and new career high 38 points as they defeated the Lakers 92-85. The following night they were in Minnesota and came from behind with Lin scoring the go-ahead point as they slipped past the T-Wolves 100-98 for their fifth straight win.
The native of Palo Alto, California is far from your typical player in the Association; and not only because he is the first American born player of Chinese descent to play in the NBA. He and his family are very quiet and reserved people; (most people in that community are like that having lived there for much of the eighties) and are not courting the attention. Lin went to that “Basketball-Factory” Harvard; who have not had many players in the Association since the shot-clock was introduced.
One can picture him as a teen playing “Dungeons And Dragons” and video games as well as skate-boarding with his buds at Stanford Mall. Except for his basketball skills he most likely has more in common with the quartet from the “Big Bang Theory” than he does with most of his teammates. He is far more relatable to most sports fans and perhaps evokes that bit of “Walter Mitty” in all of us; that if he can make it there maybe hope for me!
He has been compared by many of my peers to Denver Broncos quarterback Tim Tebow; however unlike Tebow this young man does not have an agenda. While I personally respect Tebow for his religious beliefs he has turned some fans off with his promoting it in his actions and his words. Lin, just so far seems to be an intelligent, gifted 23-year-old young man who in his own words has been “overwhelmed” by all the attention he has been receiving. If you need to have a role-model in pro-sports you could do a lot worse than Jeremy Lin.