I’ve got to tell you, until last week, I knew nothing at all about the New York Knicks’ Jeremy Lin. But then again, I wasn’t alone—none of you knew anything about him either. What I know now is that he’s a guard from Harvard who went undrafted and sat the bench in Golden State last season while also spending time in the D-League. He then sat on the bench for the New York Knicks until a few days ago.
But the fact that he was unknown to most of us doesn’t change the fact that this is one of the best sports stories to come along in ages. Honestly, no hype. Lin’s story is even better than Tebow’s.
A guy literally coming out of nowhere to become an instant star—isn’t that one of the purest things that can happen in sports?
Why has he become such a sensation? Is it because he’s an Asian-American shining in a black man’s league? Maybe.
Could it be because he went to Harvard? Yeah, that has something to do with it. Who goes to Harvard and becomes a basketball star? Okay, CBS sportscaster James Brown was once a standout Harvard baller, but that was 40 years ago. And JB never made it to the NBA.
Maybe it’s because Jeremy Lin plays for the New York Knicks, a franchise that hasn’t won anything since 1973 and has been searching for a star of this magnitude since Walt “Clyde” Frazier.
Maybe it's because, in his three previous games, Lin went over 20 points each time, leading the Knicks to victory; and before that he was just another guy on the bench.
Watching Jeremy Lin on ESPN rain threes on the Lakers in Madison Square Garden, and then him spinning in the lane for a crazy layup while energizing a crowd of fans who’ve had very little to cheer about for years and years was pretty amazing.
Watching Carmelo Anthony, the woefully underachieving “superstar,” standing on the sidelines in street clothes, injured and cheering, made pulling for Jeremy Lin feel even better. If a “nobody” like Jeremy Lin can play so spectacularly well and help the Knicks win games, why hasn’t Carmelo?
Let me ask again: Who is Jeremy Lin? Where has he been hiding? Why weren’t the
Knicks using him prior to this week? Yeah, all we have are a lot of questions right now.
But you know what? The NBA needed this. New York City and the Knicks needed this. More
importantly, sports in general needed this feel-good story—the sports version of Cinderella.
Let’s just hope its a long time before the clock strikes midnight. Better yet, let’s hope midnight never comes.