well it is time for me to chime in on the phenomenon known as LINSANITY.
make no mistake, i am a fan. but i am a bandwagon fan. let me admit this loudly and clearly that I AM A JEREMY LIN BANDWAGON FAN. that’s because we all love the narrative. but it has come to the extent that jeremy lin’s game winner has been celebrated as if he is some monster dude. yeah game winners are great but consider the situation
1. 5 seconds left on the clock. plenty of time for you to choose what to do. he had the under his control. no pressure.
2. he took a pull-up jumper. how hard is it to have taken a pull-up jumper? okay la he delivered but it isn’t as epic as a kobe bryant 2v1 pumpfake of doom nasty footwork step around reverse direction spin hanging fadeaway jumper. that entire descriptive still doesn’t do justice to a kobe fadeaway. to properly appreciate what i just said…
3. his defender was jose calderon. yeah enough said. no hate to the point guard of the spanish national team but i am willing to say that calderon is probably a below average defender at the point guard position. not like 49th percentile, but something like 25th percentile (assume rondo is 100th percentile, which he is)
that said, it was still a great play. and jeremy lin is most importantly delivering WINS to the knicks. wins and turnovers, but wins nonetheless.
now. why am i a jeremy lin fan?
because i’m a student, i’m asian, and i play basketball. and i’m human.
jeremy lin’s story is the very essence of a hollywood narrative. asian kid overcomes racial stereotypes to make it big in the NBA – a league dominated by larger-than-life, genetically extreme, physically incredible black superstars (and 1x blake griffin).
but we love jeremy lin. i’m sure people have analysed this often enough but i just HAD to offer MY own take on it.
jeremy lin means that the kid on the block has dreams which can be realised. when i play ball with my friends, i always end up guarding people bigger than me. zachary low, who by singaporean neighbourhood court size reckonings should be playing at small forward, is always forced to guard those 180cm + dudes who are… simply taller. taller is darnirritating when you have to guard them. as a result i have to make up for it by hitting the weights and hitting the offensive player and pushing him away. i am in essence a small forward forced to defend bigger dudes. i am the shawn marion of the neighbourhood court – minus the weird shooting form. and this physical matchup is EXEMPLIFIED in jeremy lin. who is asian. how can a skinny and pasty kid with chinese genetic roots challenge a black dude? lets say jeremy lin versus kyle lowry… i’m willing to bet kyle lowry can run faster, jumper higher, lift more, etc etc. let’s not even talk about the crazy insane freaks like westbrook and derrick ROSEEEEEE!!!!!! who can do humanly impossible things. but here we have token asian kid, stepping on the court and crossing over nba veterans as if it’s the ivy league all over again. who says asians only can study? who says asians can’t ball?
jeremy lin means that being a student doesn’t mean you can’t chase your dreams. here in singapore, being a student is a higher calling. we are pretty much obsessed with education. it has had such a profound impact on our society that the social calendar of the average teenage student is structured around the school year. it is always emphasised that we are students first – heck, this is something i preached to my own students. guys, you gotta study, cos that’s the whole point of being a student. i’ll say this again in the future, most likely. but let us not forget (myself included) that student is simply one aspect of the persona. ‘student’ too often overwhelms the singaporean personality. jeremy lin shows us that athletic success is not tangential to academic prowess. jeremy lin shows us that its possible to ball and study. there’s no dichotomy here… it’s a venn diagram with Lin in the center and hordes of students running after.
jeremy lin means that anyone can play ball. skinny asian kid playing the most difficult position in a basketball hotbed like new york, under the scrutiny of madison square garden, and the hopes of more than a billion people upon his shoulders? no problem baby. its 6 straight games with 20 plus points, and 6 wins. i’m sitting here hoping for win number 7. its a streak we all hope won’t stop. if it means the knicks make the playoffs, even better… a starting 5 of chandler STAT melo fields lin with shumpert, baron davis (if he can get back to half of the player he was when he did THIS: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8w_1ZEk4mds) and whoever else is a knick off the bench… that’s gotta make some noise in the playoffs. melo alone can win you a game (yea he may suck for 46 minutes but in the last 2 minutes melo DELIVERS and thats the truth). with a proper point guard the knicks might actually make it to the 2nd round! but i’m not a knicks fan anyway.
in short, jeremy lin means hope. that’s why we love him. let’s hope the media doesn’t hate him when he finally has a bad game, or when the knicks lose. let’s hope jeremy lin has a great career ahead of him, with a ring or two thrown in.
but you know what else about jeremy lin?
“I can’t even play for myself. The right way to play is not for others and not for myself, but for God. I still don’t fully understand what that means. I’m still learning to be selfless and submit myself to God and give the game up to Him. My audience is God.”