The Linsaninty phenomenon has swept the nation in a way that hasn’t been seen since…well since Tebowmania. Regardless of the short span in time between the two ESPN crazes, the meteoric rise of the undrafted Asian-American point guard from Harvard has been truly astounding.
The tale of Jeremy Lin is a story of an underdog who was never given a real chance, yet kept working to fine-tune his skills and eventually overcame the numerous obstacles stacked against him (racial prejudice chief among them) to revive a historic but lifeless franchise at the most unexpected time. Hollywood couldn’t have crafted a more clichéd and utterly unbelievable script, yet this is reality.
The Lin tale goes to show that no matter how long you watch sports you have never seen it all, despite the constant claims to the contrary by the old fogies of the world. When a surprise like Lin crops up, it unifies all sports fans regardless of team affiliation (sans Floyd Mayweather) and gives us all a common entity to root for.
That’s why Linsanity is so fun. The country has rallied around Lin like a Rudy-type figure, except instead of getting into one game and making a lone tackle, Lin has shattered NBA records for points scored in his early string of NBA starts. He’s infused excitement, and more importantly winning, back into one of the basketball Mecca’s, turning every Knicks fan Linsane in the process.
And that’s what takes the Lin-mania to another level. He’s not playing poorly with his team inexplicably winning once he was inserted into the lineup (ala Tebow); the former Ivy-leaguer is playing his sport at an extremely high level and is the chief factor in his team’s newfound success.
Now there is the turnover bugaboo and the fact that Lin happened to be plugged into the perfect offensive system to suit his talents, but sustainability isn’t necessary to affirm what novice fans and NBA experts alike have experienced the past two weeks. Lin’s legend could certainly ascend to new heights with prolonged success, but a recession back to an average NBA player would not diminish what he has already accomplished the past 12 days.
The Lin saga will garner new intrigue when Carmelo Anthony returns to the New York lineup. The contrast of the well-known ball-stopper, Anthony, with the ball movement and flow that Lin has infused into the Knicks offense should prove to be the next fascinating turn. So buckle up, because the next chapter of Linsanity is about to begin.