Us Versus Lin: UvT Breaks Down the Jeremy Lin Phenomenon

After football is over I’m always looking for something to keep me busy. I can ride with Duke Basketball until the first weekend in April (when things go well) and at about that point the NBA starts rolling into the playoffs. But the NBA got interesting early this year. Why?


My boy Lake reminded me that we covered Lin back in the day when we were talking about the “Real HU”. Also known as Harvard University. Check that post out HERE. Lake played Harvard for having an Asian point guard back in the day. He was talking about Jeremy Lin. Oops. I guess we got it wrong too.

The kid doesn’t even have a decent jersey number. He has number 4 here, he had 11 in the pictures before, now he’s rocking number 17. Most athletes roll with their numbers hard throughout life. Lin is like the Honey Badger, he don’t care. When you end up with the number 17, you just picked whatever jersey was on the top of the pile. Lin was happy to have a new 10-day contract, he didn’t care what number he was. That’s the jersey number you get when you forget it is team uniform day and you get there late. No one has ever rocked 17 on purpose.

My bad Chris Mullin, you still have the baddest flat top in all of sport. Terrible Jersey number, but a clean fade.

Look, I like Jeremy Lin. Dude has some killer highlights and dropped 37 on the Knicks. He has the fastest start of any player…ever. Everybody. No one has ever gone from not playing at all to averaging 25 a night in your first 5 starts. No one ever sneaks up like that in the NBA. No one ever goes from the end of the bench to busting Derek Fishers ass in 2 games. Fine, that isn’t the best example. D. Fish spent too much time in that suit negotiating the lockout this summer to be able to hang with someone with a quick first step.

Let’s be honest here though. Jeremy Lin is popular because he plays for the Knicks. The Knicks who should be way better than they are, but have not been able to pull it together since Ewing, Starks and Charles Oakley. Mike D’Antoni went from leading a high flying Phoenix Suns team to leading a kinda boring NY Knicks. A Knicks team that shouldn’t be boring. Then something crazy happens. Stoudemire misses some games with a family emergency and Melo is out with an injury…The Knicks actually start winning. Uhhhh…make that “Linning”, right Charlie Sheen?

Jeremy Lin leads a team without Carmelo and Amare…so they should basically be about as good as the New Orleans Hornets, and starts winning games. Even Tim Tebow thinks everyone should just slow down a little bit before the hype gets out of control. Besides, how long do you think Carmelo Anthony is going to stand for the most popular player in NY being Jeremy Lin? My vote is on about 3 dribbles. The first time ESPN promos a game with “LeBron and the Heat facing the Knicks led by Jeremy Lin”, Carmelo is gonna go back to cornrows raised in Baltimore Melo.

Isn’t part of this story the fact that Lin is Asian? That he is a novelty? Like Muggsy Bogues being really short. Like Nate Robinson winning the dunk contest. Like Ghorghe Muresan being 7’7″, wearing the number 77, and having way more “h’s” in his name than you would expect. The story is so crazy, it doesn’t seem real. Where do they find an Asian point guard who went to Harvard and how did he get into the NBA? Next we will have an Indian engineer from Brown as the Superbowl winning quarterback. He will wear number 0. His last name will be Patel.

The best part about Jeremy Lin is that there is literally no cultural point of reference for Asian basketball players. Sure, we had Yao Ming, but he was a genetically engineered seven foot tall monster. It isn’t like we think all Asian basketball players are all really good in the post with a surprisingly soft touch with both hands who would have had a hall of fame career if it wasn’t for his bad feet because of one dude. So prepare for the vaguely racist nicknames to start popping in any second now. Super Lintendo, All he does is Lin, Lin, Lin. He love you Lin time. That’s my Ninja.

That’s just the beginning. Things are going to be getting stereotypical and racist any second now. Some commentator will talk about how no one has been hotter since General Tso (Tsu?, Cho? Chow?) or how he slices through the lane like a Samurai sword. I know someone is going to say New York has Yellow Fever any day now. Damn, I just said it.

Please stop comparing this kid to Tim Tebow (2 National Championships), Tiger Woods (14 Majors) and the Williams sisters (Serena-13 Grand Slams, 2 Olympic medals; Venus-7 Grand Slams, 3 Olympic Medals).  Sure, Floyd Mayweather said Lin was just getting attention because he was an Asian playing basketball. Everyone’s counter to that is that Tiger was popular because he was a Black kid playing golf. True. But Tiger and the Williams sisters also came out of the block WHOOPING ASS. Let Lin get a few All Star games and rings under his belt before you start comparing him to some of the greatest ever.  Let the kid play, he’s killing fools right now. If he sustains it for the rest of the season, we have something. I bet you he just got an invitation to the Rookie v. Sophomore All Star Game for Kenny the Jet to pick in the top 3. That’s a good start.

So enjoy Jeremy Lin. If you can’t enjoy Jeremy Lin, enjoy how much this Black man does not want to by his half asian son that Jeremy Lin jersey.

You know he’s thinking “This some bullshit man”. I can see it on his face. That smile has absolutely no joy behind it. That means I laugh my ass off at this picture.



I will say this. I don’t care what color he is what number he wears, or where he went to college, there are only a few players this icy.

When the dude getting paid $435 a game waves off everyone else just so he can firmly plant a dagger in the heart of the Raptors, he may in fact be special. Lin-ternational VaLINtines Day Massacre…Lin.