The 2013-2014 NBA seasons is heating up with the playoffs approaching. The basketball phenom known as Jeremy Lin hit the national scene in 2012 with his fast and fiery courtside manner. That fire was soon extinguished with the realities of an average talent and the inconsistencies that went with that talent. Lin stood out: he was the one Asian American playing at the time; he was a Harvard graduate; he was only 6’3 in a league where 6’7 is the average height. He was different.
Is/Was He Overrated?
Well neither being Asian American nor being a Harvard alumni really have anything to do with succeeding in professional basketball, but was enough to excite many fans across the country. ESPN ranked Jeremy Lin 78 while players like Carmelo Anthony ranked at a mere 9 and Amar’e Stoudemire ranked 43 in 2012. Nonetheless, #17 was the hottest selling jersey that season while teammates Anthony and Stoudemire were placed on the sale racks. Lin’s jersey was actually on sale before his first NBA game. Is he overrated? You be the judge.
College and Early Career
A coach at Harvard stated that he was the physically weakest freshman on the team. Yet his game improved each year until he was selected All-Ivy League First Team as a senior. Yet, Lin received no athletic scholarships out of high school, was undrafted out of Harvard, and was waived by the Golden State Warriors after reaching a partially guaranteed contract in 2010. Afterward JLin was assigned to the NBA’s D League (Development League) a few times. He was waived by the Houston Rockets and went back to the D League. Jeremy was picked up by the New York Knicks for the 2011-2012 season. He played seldom and was again placed in the D League until he had the breakout game in the spring of 2012. Until then, Jeremy Lin basically had to get basketball jobs the way your Average Joe gets his job…by walking on and showing a resume and DVD of his games.
Current State of Linsanity
After the electricity that he briefly brought to the Knicks, the 200 pound point guard got a good offer to renew but the Rockets gave an even better offer. Houston offered him $25 million over a three year period. For the 2013 season, Jeremy did not participate in the All Star game held in Houston after finishing 3rd in the voting process behind Kobe Bryant and Chris Paul. The 2013-14 seasons has been a rollercoaster. He has had flashes of greatness during some games such as the one against New York but has had trouble staying on the starting lineup. The baller has been plagued with knee and back injuries this season.
Jeremy Lin stated on 60 Minutes that he felt that his ethnicity contributed to him not being drafted….not his skill level. Anyone who has criticized his game has been labeled “racist”. Now, clearly there has been racially tinted commentary on the Chinese American Lin and his presence in a game with no other Asians. One also can’t deny that his ethnicity/race is the very reason he has garnished so much interest in the first place as well as public support. They really wanted to pay a 78th ranking player $25 million for 3 years. Can anyone really say that would happen for anyone else? Sure he brings more views to the game than championships, but why? People (many not Asian) were eager to see a different face excel at the game of basketball in America. The problem is, race aside, Jeremy Lin is a good player, but no where near the best. Being different does not equate to being great.