As if enough hasn’t already been written about Jeremy Lin…
In these modern times, it’s far too easy for sports fans to become cynical. Our sports figures are no longer mythical heroes, but men with flaws which we never fail to point out. Allen Iverson owes hundreds of thousands for jewelry and Tom Brady wears UGG Boots and this makes them more human, more easily criticized, and less easily idolized. It takes something extremely rare to snap us out of this, to remind us why we love these games in the first place and for almost every NBA fan, serious or casual, right now, that something is Jeremy Lin.
Tonight was my first chance to watch Lin since the 2009 Summer League as I’m sure it was for most League Pass deprived fans. I watched the game with seven friends and we all entered the game with a certain amount of skepticism wondering if these last three games were merely a fluke or a sign of things to come. Even if it were a sign of things to come, how long could he keep this up? Isn’t it unrealistic to expect him to average 25 and 8 for any period of time? He started out strong and one of my friends jokingly noted that he was on pace for almost points. It was true, but none of us actually expected him to do it, but he proved us wrong. Apparently defying and surpassing expectations is something he’s pretty good at. As the game went on and the points and assists accumulated, he took a crucial charge, and it became apparent that he was singlehandedly carrying the Knicks to victory, we quit trying to apply any sort of critical eye to the game and lost our collective minds shrieking and giggling and cheering every time Lin even touched the ball and cursory glances at Twitter throughout the game assured us we were not alone.
I honestly feel disoriented right now. As the flurry of text messages arrived from friends expressing the incredulousness that I felt, I continually realized that there was simply no way to articulate the feelings that I had. Everything I saw simply defied any sort of rational explanation. Players aren’t supposed to be disregarded by two teams and then play like this seemingly out of nowhere. Honestly, anyone playing as well as Lin did tonight would be noteworthy. But when you consider all the various factors going into this, that he was undrafted, the first Chinese-American to ever play in the NBA, that he is playing in the league’s biggest market, and that he is righting the ship of the most disappointing team in the league thus far, you quickly realize that we are watching something unprecedented unfold right before our eyes. If realizing that doesn’t make you happy to be a sports fan and excited to see the Knicks play again,you honestly probably aren’t one.