Saturday, February 11, 2012

LINsane In The Membrane

A couple things to note before you read on.  First, this post was supposed to be written prior to the outburst Friday night against the Lakers and I will still offer the same analysis plus the ones I've observed last night.  Second, I'm Asian.  Now, let's carry on.

This is my attempt to offer an unbias, but yet fuller story for the LINsanity around the world and highlight what a great story this really is. 

Lin brought out MVP chants at MSG
in 3 games and MVP chants over Kobe

For those of you who don't know the story behind Jeremy Lin's week-long triumph in the NBA, I'll provide my Sparknotes version.  An American born Taiwanese, he played his college ball at Harvard and graduated with a Economics degree.  From there, he was an undrafted rookie signed by the Golden State Warriors where he would flip flop between the NBA and their D-League.  Lin's tremendous success in the D-League wasn't enough to keep him on the Warriors roster, and was waived.  Now here's where it gets interesting.  Lin was signed by the Houston Rockets, but waived for cap room.  Meanwhile the Knicks suffered from injuries at the PG position in regards to Baron Davis and Iman Shumpert and would end up signing Lin as a 3rd backup for their, at the time, back up PG.

So many things need to go right in the professional sporting world on the business standpoint, which is why I want people to appreciate this story not for him being a minority, but an example to hard work and perseverance.

I am still not 100% sold yet on Lin, because in today's sporting world, too many people jump on bandwagons too quickly and then end up getting slapped in the face with the "I told you so".  This way, I'll save the slap and I can write one more blog later for if and when he does become the real deal. 

Prior to Friday's 38 point game against the Lakers, you had very little right to get LINsane about this story unless you were a die hard Knicks fan.  He put up great numbers against the Nets, Jazz and Wizards.  Hardly defensive stoppers.  In a tight NBA schedule, players are fatigued and few teams will scout against a waiver-wire pickup.  Lin is coming off fresh legs all season, while playing with the freedom that Toney Douglas has allowed him because Douglas just stinks.  However, there are so many more rights than wrongs in his game.

With Lin, D'Antoni hopes
return his offense to the
Sun's glory days.
There are things you can't teach players; competitiveness and will to win, no matter what level of sports you're playing in.  That's exactly what Lin has.  A humble player that isn't afraid to be in the big stage.  He is literally eating everything up over the last week and I haven't seen a player play with this much fun in a long time.  He's made his teammates love the game more which have resulted in 4 straight wins.  Although Lin may not be the most athletic guard out there, he's much stronger than people think.  At 6'3 and 200lbs, he's a big guard that has the body to play in an evolving league where PGs are getting bigger and faster.  His ability to get in the lane and make plays at the rim whether it's finishing or passing it off makes him perfect for the D'Antoni offense and is what trumps him easily over Toney Douglas and Iman Shumpert (I don't even need to bring up Mike Bibby). 

With that said, he still needs to improve his jumper, very much like other young athletic guards like Rose in his rookie season, and his decision with the ball as teams start to prepare against him.  Of course all that will come with playing more and that's exactly why I'm not 100% sold yet.  It's a physically demanding league and Lin knows it.  He personally said he's impressed with players that go out and do this day in and day out while playing 30+ minutes.  It's what makes Kobe, Rose, LBJ, Dwight great.  The ability to do it continuously over years.  Lin has played a total of 4 games on legs that are fresher, a body thats healthier and a mind that's clearer.  Whether he can sustain this through the late-night flights and early mornings will be a testament to his character and work ethics.  I am in no sense doubting his abilities, but let's not get ahead of ourselves.

So whether you're a sports fan or just a bangwagoner, appreciate this story as it rides out.  But keep in mind that there's a reason why there are only a handful of elite players in the league, even though Lin has been elite in the last week.  I hope he continues this success, so all of you can tell me "I Told You So."
A story great for everyone, not just sports fan.
And especially great for Knicks Fans.


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