Everybody in New York has come down with a case of Linsanity, and why not? Knicks point guard Jeremy Lin, just the latest Harvard guy to star in the NBA, has exploded into the national consciousness by leading the Knicks to five straight victories with an otherworldly performance that has featured an average of 27 points and seven assists.
What's not to like about that? Lin is the first American-born Taiwanese player to appear in the league and he stepped up at just the right time for the Knicks, who were well under .500 and have been playing without Amare Stoudemire and Carmelo Anthony. But now those two are coming back and the media in New York is wondering whether they will "fit in" with the game that Lin is playing.
Interesting choice of words, since they are big NBA stars and Lin is the flavor of the month. He may end up confounding the collective scouting wisdom of the league and stick as a very successful point guard, but it's also possible he will slide back down the bench as opposing teams account for him in their pre-game preparation. We'll start finding out when Stoudemire returns to action tonight against the Toronto Raptors.
He's not Tim Tebow, of course. Tim Tebow was one of the most heralded college players in history. Lin wasn't even drafted. Lin also isn't some kind of societal phenomenon, though the media always fixates on the first of any race or gender to do anything in professional sports.
What he is is a breath of fresh air for the Knicks and their fans and they should just try to enjoy it while it lasts. I hope it lasts a long, long time. I mean, who would have thought Steve Blake would be the most successful NBA product of Maryland's national championship team?
You know Lin has made a big impression nationally when Floyd Mayweather opens his pie hole and opines that he would just be another guy if he were black. I seem to remember somebody saying that about Larry Bird.
Mayweather, as he often does, misses the point. Lin was just another guy at the end of the bench. He was nobody and now he's somebody. That's why this is a big story. That's why everybody is all excited. In fact, that's why Mayweather needed Jeremy Lin to get himself some national attention.