If you read all the sports web sites, all you read about is Jeremy Lin.
The Asian-American point guard for the New York Knicks is generating Tim Tebow-like coverage since he has come off the bench to lead New York to an unprecedented seven-game win streak.
The coverage of Lin may be over the top at times, but it’s a great story, and worthy of all the publicity he’s been given.
For those of you who know his story, skip the next paragraph. This is for those who don’t know.
Lin wasn’t good enough to play basketball for any big-time college basketball programs, so he landed at Harvard. He was an undrafted free agent who the Knicks just happened to take a flyer on by signing him. He’s sleeping on a teammate’s couch, then when Carmelo Anthony and Amare Stoudamire get hurt, Lin comes in and takes over, giving the Knicks win after win.
But along with all the coverage, Lin has generated some detractors. The biggest of which is cowardly lion Floyd Mayweather, who tweeted that the only reason Lin is getting the coverage is that he’s Asian, and black players are doing it all the time and don’t get the same run in the press.
I’m going to put aside the fact that the Grand Rapids-born Mayweather is a bigot (he’s made racist comments before and hasn’t apologized) and tackle the meat of the tweet.
The reason Lin is getting all the pub is that he’s come in and helped a struggling franchise win – just like Tebow did. Lin has single-handedly brought the Knicks from also-ran to relevant in the NBA – just like Tebow did.
It doesn’t hurt that he’s playing in New York, the biggest media market in the U.S. That’s also a small part of the hype.
But being Asian-American has nothing to do with the hype he’s getting. Don’t be fooled; others who have had similar runs have got the same coverage (see LeBron James).
The bottom line is that he’s winning. Someone who can come in from literally nowhere and turn around a franchise is a great story no matter what ethnicity the person is.
While I don’t follow him that closely, I am interested in seeing how long this run can last. Even if he loses a game or two, if the Knicks go from being out of the playoffs to Eastern Conference contender, then the legend of Lin will continue to grow.
That’s good for both the Knicks and the league. If this kid is the humble sort like Tebow, He’ll be well worth watching.
Hopefully he does keep it up. I’d hate to see him go back to being an unknown bench player like he was before Anthony and Stoudamire’s injuries.