Jeremy Lin Inspires Fans and Rivals Alike to Excel
United Daily News editorial (Taipei, Taiwan, ROC)
February 21, 2012
Summary: Half a month ago, you might have been indifferent about the NBA. Now however, you have begun watching basketball game broadcasts. Half a month ago, American basketball was a black and white world. Now however, the world has gone "Lin-sane" over the performance of a kid with a yellow face. Half a month ago, Asian Americans were frequently called "Chink!" Now however, throwing that word around could get a person fired.
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Half a month ago, you might have been indifferent about the NBA. Now however, you have begun watching basketball game broadcasts. Half a month ago, American basketball was a black and white world. Now however, the world has gone "Lin-sane" over the performance of a kid with a yellow face. Half a month ago, Asian Americans were frequently called "Chink!" Now however, throwing that word around could get a person fired.
These changes are all due to Jeremy Lin. In a mere half month. Jeremy Lin has changed his own destiny. He has changed the way people view destiny. Now people believe they make their own destiny.
Jeremy Lin's quickness and skill overcame the limitations of physical size. LIn shattered the myth that Asians cannot become basketball champions. Lin's head sports a halo from Harvard. Lin shattered the myth that sports does not require intelligence. Lin is at home with a pen as he is with a sword. He has added a spectacular page to the annals of basketball. He has sparked debate about the limits of human potential.
"Lin-sanity" has inspired praise for Lin's achievements. More importantly, many more people are sharing in his surprise and his joy. Take the Knicks, Lin pulled them out of a long slump. Take Coach Mike D'Antoni. Lin enabled him to implement his blitzkreig tactics. This enabled the two to emerge from obscurity and stand in the spotlight. Take New York. His "Lin-derella tale" has made the Big Apple proud. Take the NBA. The halo from an outstanding colorful Asian player has vastly expanded its market. Take Asian Americans. "Lin-sanity" has shattered racist psychological barriers. it has helped Asian Americans stand tall, with heads held high. Take children learning to play ball. Lin is model student, who excelled both in his studies and at sports. Take people who have suffered setbacks on the road of life. His "Lin-derella tale" has encouraged them and given them hope.
To insist that Jeremy Lin is "Taiwan's Glory," is to define him and his achievements far too parochially. It falls into the trap of racism we were trying to avoid in the first place. Jeremy Lin's success is something the public on Taiwan can be truly proud of. But LIn's significance reaches far beyond this. By blood, he is the product of locally born and Mainland born grandparents. He is the offspring of so-called "yam/tarot" forebears. He grew up as a dyed in the wool American kid. During his pursuit of a career in basketball, he was contemptuously dismissed based on his skin color. But in the end his extraordinary determination and intelligence transformed him from benchwarmer to sports star.
Note that Jeremy Lin gained fame playing the Nets only half a month ago. Yesterday, half a month later, he faced the Nets once more. This time he suffered a defeated. This confirms that basketball is a team sport, not a one man circus act. Half a month ago, during that game, Jeremy Lin subbed for an injured veteran who had to be benched. This gave him a chance to strut his stuff, to demonstrate his quickness and agility. Every player who participated in the previous game returned for yesterday's game. This time however, the Knicks tactics were disorganized and stiff. This suggests that the changes made by the Knicks coach and the team failed to keep pace with "Lin-sanity." The Knicks played nine games and lost twice, both times to weaker teams, including the recent loss to the Hornets. This may be worth noting.
One thing however stands out. Jeremy Lin is acutely aware of how his personal fame has changed his relationship to his team. He is seeking to perform at his personal best, while striving to retain his teammates' trust. The signs are obvious. During every game, he tries to make as many assists as possible. He tries to help his teammates score. This enables him to integrate himself into an attacking formation under his control. While playing the Kings, everyone was wondering whether Lin would break Shaquille O'Neal's scoring record. Jeremy Lin forsook the chance to break Shaq's record. Instead he made 13 assists. He helped seven of his teammates achieve double-digit scores. One might say that this is nothing more than what a point guard is supposed to to do. But it would be more accurate to say this was a demonstration of Jeremy Lin's basketball EQ. It was his unique way of earning his teammates' trust.
In the annals of basketball, Jeremy Lin is a breed apart, He is the second Harvard graduate in NBA history, He is seventh Asian player in NBA history. He refrains from exploiting his minority status. Even after a stellar performance, he remains modest. He credits the team for the win. Jeremy Lin's success is no accident. If not for his parents education and understanding, he could never have embarked on such a journey. If not for his love of basketball, he could never have developed his magical "man and ball are one" skills. If not for his devotion and faith, he could never have remained so grounded and generous amidst newfound superstar status. People forget. Lin is merely a 23-year-old kid.
If not for his two-year stint warming the bench, the Jeremy Lin legend would not be so dazzling, This is the source of "Lin-sanity." Scan the stands from the court, and one sees many in the audience wearing Jeremy Lin masks. They are projecting their own psyches on to him. Many NBA teams are busy studying Knicks tactics, trying to crack the "Lin method." Jeremy Lin has given followers and opponents alike the "Lin-spiration" to do better, That is Jeremy Lin's greatest achievement.
2012.02.22 09:04 am