MAN CRUSH: JEREMY LIN
This is probably the easiest Man Crush to award ever since pretty much the entire population has a man crush on him.
The Knicks are not a good basketball team. Yet somehow an undrafted Asian dude from Harvard who was waived revitalized the team instead of, you know, like Carmelo Anthony and/or Amar’e Stoudemire.
Lin scored the most points ever for a guy in his first four NBA starts, including 38 to beat the Lakers. He put up at least 20 with seven assists in each of those starts. The Knicks’ six-game win streak basically put them back in playoff contention.
He’s a guy who is sort of living the dream right now. This season he was in the D-League and is now one of the biggest names in sports, pretty much overnight. A story came out he was sleeping on his grad student brother’s couch in Manhattan and is only now getting a real apartment. If he retired right now, he’d be set for life just off his future best-selling autobiography and blockbuster movie deal.
I’m currently in Italy and there were stories in Italian about him here. He’s reached the global phenomenon level. And after hitting a game-winning three over the Raptors there’s no stopping this in sight.
I want to believe he’s this good. Maybe he is.
Jeremy Lin is a great, great story. But we are killing it. We’ve basically made Jeremy Lin into a Tim Tebow who is good at math (and actually good at sports for that matter).
The Knicks’ online store traffic is up 3,000 percent. Floyd Merriweather, the expert source on race relations, said Lin was only getting this attention because he’s Asian (something not entirely untrue). Giant racist and sometimes writer Jason Whitlock referenced the stereotype of small Asian penises referring to Lin. People can’t stop taking about him.
And it’s ruining it. Lin is almost certainly not going to last. It’s a great story for a while. But because it was in New York, it got blown out of control. If he were playing for the Bucks right now there’s very little chance anyone would even know who he is. He might have a legit NBA career, but the chances of him succeeding long-term are slim, at least at the current superstar level he is. Instead of just being able to enjoy this, now ESPN.com is making him in the headline of their news stories about the Knicks, even when he goes 1-13 shooting in the second half. It’s only a matter of time before he has his own one hour special.
I clearly love Jeremy Lin. He’s an awesome story. And he keeps producing so it’s hard not to go crazy for him. But the media is going to take this too far and make us all sick of him. When things are too good to be true there’s always backlash, and you can already tell there’s a little with the Merriweather comments.
Growing up in Detroit I’m reminded of Chris Shelton, who hit a bunch of home runs really quick to start a season, everyone bought his jersey, and he never did anything again. Except Shelton didn’t have an entire race counting on him (unless pasty chubby white dudes is a race).
It’s good to love Lin. Just don’t overdo it.