It’s “in” to be Jeremy Lin

February 15, 2012 by  

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It took a while for me to get it.

Now it’s time to admit defeat.

The first time I saw Jeremy Lin, well… he was a seldom used player who made the Golden State Warriors lineup after previously tagged as undrafted in the 2010 NBA Draft. Let’s face it – he was a small American playing for a smart school called Harvard with Taiwanese descent. Before his entry, the last NBA player to play ball from Harvard was Ed Smith in 1954. Smith was the sixth overall pick by the New York Knicks and lasted for only eleven games. When Lin debuted for the Warriors, Smith had already passed on.

Size, non-American, and Harvard are three things that could kill a NBA career.

But like I said, Lin made the lineup.

In three separate occasions, Lin found himself playing for the Reno Bighorns – Golden State’s NBA D-League team. Golden State owner Joe Lacob wants to keep him but they needed to waive him to free up the cap space that the Warriors intended to use for the services of then-free agent and current LA Clipper DeAndre Jordan. Then Lin traveled east with hopes to make the Houston Rockets roster but came out with nothing since the Rockets have already Kyle Lowry, Goran Dragic, and Jonny Flynn in their lineup. His waiver was also used to free the Rockets for the acquisition of Samuel Dalembert. The Knicks claimed Lin off waivers in December 27 – which was the day rookie Iman Shumpert got injured. The Knicks however assigned Lin to their D-League affiliate Erie Bayhawks for further seasoning (his teammate is former Ginebra import Donald Sloan).

With the Knicks banged and bruised (mainly due to the physical and emotional injuries to Carmelo Anthony, Amar’e Stoudemire, and Baron Davis), a 25-point, 5-rebound, and 7-assist Lin explosion against the New Jersey Nets is what the doctor ordered.

As a NBA fantasy addict though, I taught Lin had a nice game… but not enough to give him credit.

And then had a 28-point, 8-assist game against the Utah Jazz.

I was still screaming fluke.

And then he had a double-double game against the Washington Wizards where he erupted for 23 points and 10 assists.

I was still screaming fluke…

But the screaming becomes quieter and gentlier.

Then he faced off against Kobe Bryant and the rest of the Los Angeles Lakers.

Boom.

38 points, 4 rebounds, and 7 assists.

Boom!

I am finally in the Jeremy Lin bandwagon!

He had two more 20-point consecutive games and dammit, I am not bent on the fact that Mike D’Antoni finally stumbled on his Steve Nash. The Knicks are now an exciting bunch these days and with the way I saw his movements alongside Amar’e Stoudemire, maybe we can see him figuring well with Carmelo Anthony. Toney Douglas had the chance to take out the Raymond Felton-like boom as the team’s starter but somehow he can’t involve Anthony and Stoudemire well. Stoudemire needs a player to give him the ball in the low block while Douglas can’t restrain Anthony from limiting his shot attempts. Worse, I can’t really see any direction on their offense and there was a point where Shumpert and Landry Fields were trying out the PG duties.

The New York crowd is awakened by Linsanity! But lo and behold, Floyd Mayweather Jr., Captain Buzzkill in the flesh, started tweeting on how Lin’s game is overhyped on the fact that he’s Asian. I won’t go Manny Pacquiao on him again but boy did people responded to his tweets in a very pissed off manner! Just like this blogger as well as many others, Floyd is riding the Jeremy Lin bandwagon… even if he doesn’t support the guy. I am thinking that Mayweather just wants attention and at this point… Lin is at its center.

One blog I checked out called Lin’s rise as reminiscent to that of Yao Ming and I believe so. Asia has only Dallas’ Yi Jianlian and Memphis’ Hamed Haddadi to show for and we need more representation in the world’s most popular American league. Lin was supposed to play for the Chinese-Taipei FIBA-Asia squad that Team Pilipinas placed fourth in but was cut from the list because he was injured.

Now I expect Lin to get a seed playing for his country in the 2013 FIBA-Asia Championship!

There are people in the country that are comparing Lin’s game to that of former Ateneo and Smart-Gilas hotshot Chris Tiu and I totally agree with them. The style and the look resemble one another… although Lin really, really looks Chinese. The difference between these two is that Tiu came to the UAAP with a name and Lin is struggling to have one.

Three weeks ago, people would think Jeremy Lin is a make-believe character.

Now?

You’re not “in” if you don’t know Jeremy Lin.

Game over.

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