Wednesday, February 15, 2012


The basketball world is all abuzz with LINSANITY.  The New York Knicks' point guard Jeremy Lin has become an almost overnight superstar with a lights out scoring jag over his first six games as a starter.  It's unheard of.  Crazy.  It's -- well -- LINSANITY!

I'm always weary of this kind of trajectory. To the extent that a person rises in popularity is usually equal to the level of their fall.  Sports writers, analysts and broadcasters have brought their substantial wisdom to bear to glean some kind of explanation as to why the world has never heard his name before January 17 of this year.

Their answers vary.  Some believe his race is to blame.  His Asian descent had relegated him to the proverbial back of the bus.  Others believe he's being lauded specifically for that reason arguing that there are plenty of black players in the NBA that have been doing what Lin has for years.

And speaking of subtle racism, Lin's got a nickname already.  The Yellow Mamba.  Though not intentionally offensive or mean spirited, some Asian Americans find this name distasteful.  Fox Sports columnist Jason Whitlock tweeted on February 12th -- after the Knicks win against the Lakers -- "Some  lucky lady in NYC is gonna feel a couple inches of pain tonight."

But all of that does not touch on the real question fans are pondering.  It's not his race.  It's not whether or not his first six outings were amazing.  It's whether or not this is the inception of a massively successful career or simply a fluke.  The problem with peaking like this puts you at a disadvantage.  Without a chance to build, the expectation put on you will become too much and even a well above average performance will seem dull.

If he can maintain his potential throughout the season, he will be handsomely rewarded.  He will  become a restricted free agent where the massive offers from other teams will be have to be matched by the Knicks.

If the gods are with him, this will be seen as the flashpoint for his rise to legendary stardom.  If not, the fans and will find someone else to cheer LINSTEAD.


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