I love sports. Where else can you find someone as surprising as Jeremy Lin? Name anywhere else where a 6-foot-3 Asian-American basketball player from Harvard, who has slept on his brother’s couch the past several months can tear up the NBA and break tons of records.
Lin is the same guy that didn’t get recruited out of high school after averaging more than 15 points and seven assists a game for a team that won a California state championship.
The same player who dominated at Harvard but went undrafted in the 2010 draft. He even scored a career-high 30 points and picked up nine rebounds against the University of Connecticut and point guard Kemba Walker, a top-10 draft pick.
Last season, Lin averaged 2.6 points and 1.4 assists a night, appearing in only 29 games and making zero starts while moving back and forth from the NBA and the Developmental League. Two teams have cut him since the end of last season.
This isn’t Tim Tebow and how he willed his team to each victory while performing below average for most of the game. This is Lin, who has scored more than 20 points and dished out more than seven assists in all five of his starts for the New York Knicks. Lin has scored 137 points through his first five starts, the most by any player since the NBA/ABA merger.
Linsanity only continues to improve after he rallied the Knicks from a 15-point deficit and hit a 3-pointer with 0.5 seconds left in the game against the Toronto Raptors on Tuesday to give New York a three-point victory.
Of course, there are detractors. Boxer Floyd Mayweather Jr. tweeted, “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.”
Yet that’s where Mayweather is wrong. Lin is playing at a record pace regardless of skin color. College coaches never told a black basketball player as skilled as Lin that his only future was walking-on. The first time Lin went to a Pro-Am game in San Francisco, somebody went up to him and said, “Sorry, sir, there is no volleyball tonight. It’s basketball.” No player of any race in the NBA is playing as well as Lin right now.
However, not everyone is a critic. After Jeremy Lin scored a career-high 38 points to go along with seven assists against the Los Angeles Lakers, Kobe Bryant said, “I think it’s a great story. I think it’s a testament to perseverance and hard work.”
No longer is Lin just a popular Asian-American basketball player. He’s the new trend in New York and across the world. His jersey is sold out, he finally moved to an apartment and left his brother’s couch, and traffic on the Knicks’ website is up 3,000 percent.
Say what you will about how long Lin can sustain the level he is playing at. This is a great story about how a guy overcame each obstacle that was placed in front of him and is now enjoying success against the best basketball players in the world.
That’s the great thing about sports. A player who can be overlooked by everybody shines at the highest level. That’s what sports are all about. Lin seized the opportunity that was given to him, and continues to produce at an all-world level.
Forget how anyone thinks Lin will perform in the future, he’s already a Linstant classic with six different endings and counting.