The Jeremy Lin Thread

Yeah, but that barrier was broken a while ago, most notably by Yao Ming. I would bet the issue was more him being from a rich area, and going to a non-basketball school. Although Harvard is better than they used to be, they still get zero respect for the most part. As much as his ethnicity probably didn’t help him, the fact that most scouts probably never saw him play hurt more.

They are airing Knicks games in Asia now because of this guy. If the NBA heads had any idea this guy could play, they would have pushed to get people to look at him.

My favorite quote came from Deadspin:

Only in the NBA would the success of an Asian with economics degree from Harvard be a surprise.

I don’t think its because it’s the Knicks. It’s because the Knicks have been horrible with their two stars, and when they both go out this kid comes in and dominates AND they go on a winning streak. If the same situation had happened in Milwaukee or Minnesota you would have heard about it too. Of course A’mare and Carmelo wouldn’t be playing for Milwaukee or Minesotta.

I’m not quite sure what to make of Lin. I’ve actually liked him since that summer league tape of his hit Youtube, and I thought he played pretty well in Golden State - look at the per 40 steal rate. On the other hand, I don’t think the shot percentage is sustainable, and he turns the ball over way too much for anyone to be calling him a Steve Nash. Or a Steve BLAKE, for that matter. Still, I hope he succeeds. It’s about time Asian men got some positive coverage for once.

It’s because it’s the Knicks. Don’t kid yourselves. (That and Twitter, the great hype machine) This isn’t just a potential star in the making, this is a movement. On just about any other team, the excitement from Lin would be isolated within the fantasy community.

Then again, no player since the merger has scored more points in their first four starts. Or five, I think. So there’s something here for sure. I don’t think it inspires a thousand hash tags and leads SportsCenter on any other team than the Lakers.

Here’s a great example. In 2003-2004 a guy started for the first time after a season of bouncing around on two different teams. In his first four games he scores 24, 22, 24, 24. He averages four assists and five rebounds a game and only six turnovers (total). And I bet you even hardcore basketball fans don’t remember Ronald Murray, or even his nickname. He wasn’t a flash in the pan, either. He kept scoring. And scoring. And finally got yanked from the starting lineup.

I don’t think Lin’s success is sustainable, though. At some point Carmelo and Amare are coming back and they don’t play well with others. There’s no way those guys, established as they are, are taking a back seat to Lin and letting him be the star. And Lin’s shot is practically a set shot, there’s no way he’ll be a consistent shooter from outside. I don’t think he’s athletic enough to continue to be so successful around the rim, either. Sure wish him luck though, I love his type of game.

The few highlights I have seen make him look really good. His game sort of reminds me of Steve Nash, a ‘team player’ in a league that has drifted toward individual play.

Until he does something really, really stupid there is no way that the Knicks can take him out of the lineup even when Anthony and Stoudemire return. It isn’t like Anthony has done anything to solidify himself as a star in his time in NY.

It isn’t because it’s the Knicks. Those that say so simply harbor well deserved anti-NE resentment for most media coverage of sports.

It has much more to to with, as others pointed out, the Knicks being so bad for so long; the Harvard angle; the pulled himself up by his shoe laces angle; and, speaking as someone who stopped watching the NBA ~12 years ago, the fact that he doesn’t act like an over entitled twat.

Today Jeremy Lin made me do something I never thought I’d do again: watch an NBA game. And I hated the Knicks when I did watch.

I wish the kid nothing but success.

That’s not a coincidence: the coach of the Knicks is Mike D’antoni, who coached Nash and the Suns for years. The Knicks have never really had a point guard who can run D’antoni’s offense, and it looks like they have one now. I did hear about Lin when he was drafted by Golden State - I remember an SI writer saying that he might become a fan favorite because of the large Asian-American population in California and the lack of Asian-Americans in the NBA, but he didn’t get off the bench much in Golden State. You don’t see a lot of Ivy League guys go onto big success in the NBA either, and even though I don’t think he’ll keep going like he has, it’s cool to see it when people didn’t expect it.

Why would they take him out of the lineup? Anthony and Stoudemire play different positions, and Lin has outplayed the Knicks’ other point guards. Anthony may be out for a while yet anyway. The question is if the team’s ball movement dies again when Anthony comes back. He’s an elite scorer but like someone else said, he’s a black hole.

I’d dispute the “team player” label. He doesn’t play a lick of defense, for one. He didn’t really put up big assist numbers until D’Antoni took over in Phoenix, eight years into his career. He’s a product of a system that happens to suit his game to a “T”.

There are a lot of players in the NBA who don’t think he deserved his MVP awards, mainly because of his disinterest in playing defense. Kobe Bryant was a much better player, but his reputation was in the toilet at the time.

I would define “team player” in NBA terms as a player who embraces and executes a defined role on offense. It doesn’t apply as strongly to defense, which has more to do with assignments, though effort is important. Aside from isolated cases of skilled offensive players like Kobe and Carmelo, who feel an overriding need to have the ball in their hands and run the offense, or guys like Russell Westbrook who insist on taking too many bad shots, I feel there’s no question that the NBA is much more team oriented than it was in the 90s through the mid 00s. We’ve gotten better at identifying the value that players like Anderson Varejao and Joakim Noah bring to the table, and there aren’t really any more Marbury-type point guards in the league.

Much like Tebowmania, Linsanity will dissolve about as quickly as it popped up. The kid is good, but his biggest asset is that nobody knows who he is and they hadn’t watched tape. The end of the Laker game a couple days ago showed he still has a long way to go with his endgame decision making IMO.

Reading this article, I almost think that you can draw comparisons between Lin and Tiger Woods. Of course Lin isn’t at that level yet, but the racism angle (in California, no less) is comparable.

He’s not much of a defender, but that’s a lack of ability, not a lack of effort. There’s a tendency to downplay guys who succeed in a particular system like Nash has, but I think that doesn’t give the players enough credit. D’Antoni has tried to run that same offense in New York and has had little success because the point guards haven’t been good enough. Chauncey Billups has had a very good career but isn’t going to run that kind of offense, and after that he’s had… what, Chris Duhon? And Nash is continuing to play at a very high level on a crummy team at age 38 and to my knowledge he has never complained about his lot either. Whether or not he deserved his MVP awards - I agree that’s debatable - he’s been a great point guard and he’s a team player.

Strongly seconded.

What did he do wrong?

Lin is pretty interesting, he may be enough for me to start watching B-Ball again. Should be interesting as the stars start returning if the Knicks can keep winning. Amare is due back shortly.

What exactly constitutes a great team player, as opposed to just being a great player?

Bullsheet. First off, Lin kicked ass in the summer league a couple years ago and had a following from that. He outplayed Wall head to head in one of the games. He was a sensation out of the summer league, and the Warriors took the, as far as I know, unprecedented step of offering a guaranteed 2 year deal to him as an undrafted FA. From wiki:

So he’s had a base since coming out of college. A lot because he is Asian, but also a lot because he is an exciting player. Then, you have his story. Not recruited out of high school, not drafted, cut twice, and he was recently in the D-League. He gets a chance to start when his teams 2 best players are out, and he responds by tearing it up. It’s an awesome story, and it would have been huge no matter who he played for.

You mention Flip Murray, and I remember his streak. It was a big story when it happened. This is bigger for a lot of reasons, and not a lot of it has to do with him being a Knick.

I agree the hype will die down and that he’s not the immortal the media has made him out to be, but as to why it became a media circus in the first place, isn’t it obvious.

He’s the unlikely hero who perservered despite it all. Passed up or ignored all his playing life. Asian American player in a country where Asian guys are thought of as effeminate, non-athletic, and excelling solely in academic endeavors. Bounced around in the league because no one believed in him or gave him a shot, and he was pretty much relegated to being a benchwarmer and playing garbage minutes. Was probably nearing his last chance at staying in the big leagues before he was given a once in a lifetime opportunity. Made the most of it and pulled through in a big way. Come on, America just eats this stuff up. It’s like 20 different Hollywood movies I’ve watched, minus the Asian American angle because let’s face it, when have you ever seen a non stereotypical Asian leading role.

No, it’s not just about the Knicks. It’s the confluence of many things when the stars aligned. The team sucked, reeked, and needed a breath of fresh air. The star players were out. The coach was rumored to be on the chopping block and was desperate. They wouldn’t have played Lim in the capacity that they had, but they had no choice. So the opportunity arose, finally. And the unlikely hero entered.

That he is Asian American matters - it contributes to the whole underdog story and makes it all more hypeable by the media. The perception that Asian American guys are not as masculine, athletic, etc is just so strong within the context of the US that when a guy comes through and shows he can play ball and not a ping pong ball, it’s mindblowing to some people - scouts, GMs, and reporters included (one of the many jeers thrown at him in his college days was, “Orchestra is on the other side of the campus”). Or a novelty. Almost every news article I have read has made a point of saying that he’s the first American of Chinese/Taiwanese descent to play in the NBA. Lin himself was quoted as saying that he felt his race definitely changed the way he was recruited. Can you blame him for feeling that way. He was the runaway choice for HS player of the year by virtually every California publication (according to ESPN anyway) and was named first-team All State player in CA… and ended up being passed over by every college’s basketball team he applied to, save Harvard and Brown. And even Harvard’s crappy basketball program (non D1) initially said they weren’t interested… until they actually bothered taking a closer look at him playing and ate their words.

Fast forward to now. When he seemingly came out of nowhere (more like people finally opened their eyes), played relatively well, and helped the team with some much needed wins, it gave people something to be excited about. It gave the media something to hype about, and hype they did. All these headlines are raving about how a benchwarmer, a player from a crap bball program at Harvard, an Asian dude with a 4.2 HS gpa and perfect SAT Math IIC score from an area more known for producing stars in startup entrepreneurs and computer engineers, can actually play. Everyone who had been followimg him since his high school and college days are like, no shit Sherlock.

Meh. I don’t follow the NBA closely enough to know the designated roles of all the players. I had assumed that Stoudemire was the Knicks point guard.

Well, would you say that Anthony is a better player than Lin? Probably, but the team is winning with Lin. I haven’t seen anything other than some highlights on Sports Center so I can’t say one way or the other what he is doing. However, a team player, IMO, meshes into a system and by virtue of that helps the team win. Knicks are winning and in sports that is the bottom line.

Ah, OK. He’s a power forward. He’s listed as 6-foot-11 and he is a muscular guy. Lin is a slender 6’3".