Thursday, March 8, 2012

Jeremy Lin: The Perfect Storm (sport)

Now that the hype has died down a bit and the Knicks aren't on a winning streak that people are extrapolating into a top seed in the East (maybe it's Carmelo's fault), I can discuss my thoughts on Jeremy Lin. And people have indeed asked me about my thoughts on Jeremy Lin, given that I am Chinese, went to Harvard, and am a big NBA fan.

First off, let me say that I am an NBA/basketball fan. I am a fan of the sport. Actually I'm a fan of almost all sports. But I don't like it when people hear that I'm a fan of -insert sport here- and they ask me what team I root for and who I like. Why must I be a fan of a team or player? I am a fan of watching a sport being played at a high level. I enjoy watching Peyton Manning dissect a defense in football. I enjoy watching the Spurs' defensive rotations in basketball. When I watch old Knicks-Bulls games on MSG, I don't watch it for Jordan or because it's the Knicks. I watch it to see amazing off the ball movement in the triangle offense matched with high intensity interior defense.

So I found it rather off-putting when all these random casual fans, especially Asians half-way around the world, jumped on the bandwagon. What really got to me was that they were crowning him like he was the second coming. At least Yao Ming really was a hall of fame caliber center when he could stay healthy. Jeremy Lin is an NBA starter, but I wouldn't put his ceiling anywhere higher. He didn't make it in Golden State and Houston. The answer to that is simple. No matter what he's doing with the Knicks, you wouldn't bench Stephen Curry or Kyle Lowry to start Jeremy Lin instead. I can't wait till he gets voted to start in the All-Star game next year.

So all the hype really came together in a perfect storm scenario. I'm not even going to discuss the whole Asian thing. But he plays for the Knicks who are always going to have the attention of the media. His streak came during the middle of February, when all the other major sports were dead. As far as his stats go, he plays point guard in a Mike D'Antoni offense. When people brought up his stats, I kept mentioning Chris Duhon. Duhon put up 11ppg and 7apg in a full 82 game season under D'Antoni, and he pretty much broke down two years later from being run ragged. Add to that Lin's high turnover numbers, and it makes you wonder how efficient he will be when the league figures him out and he starts to get tired from a long season.

Don't get me wrong. I'm happy the Knicks are doing well. I think Jeremy Lin will be a starter in the league. But the over-exuberance was just too much for me to bear. Then again, that's kind of how I feel about the stock market too, so maybe it's just me.

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