Harvard Grad Jeremy Lin: He’s ‘AmAsian’

    Well, I did — I scoffed.

    What he was doing wasn’t Lebron vaulting a forward to throw down; it was 25 points, something Lebron could have done in his sleep.

    I felt annoyed by people who barely knew basketball, but threw Lin in my face, like a coupon for Rubio’s stuffed into my hand on library walk.

    Lin seemed to me reminiscent of Kevin Martin, a wiry shooter, who in his second and third seasons in Sacramento, suddenly shot up to sit amongst the top five point scorers in the league.

    But you’ve never heard of him. And neither did his opponents, which was the only reason why teams allowed the shooting guard breathing room to hit his mark.

    But it was his repeat performance against the Jazz, after making Sports Center, that I started to think that Lin may be more than a fluke.

    It was then that I begrudgingly started listening to my friend from Palo Alto and it was then that he started to seem less like what’s-his-name from Sacramento and more like Steve Nash.  

    Obviously, pundits’ early Nash comparisons are probably a little ambitious, having to do more with their unimpressive builds and Mike D’Antoni than anything else.

    Lin is a different kind of guard. Unlike Nash, he doesn’t have much of a perimeter game — which has me questioning his long-term potential — he’s more of a slasher.

    He’s a guard whose numbers don’t add up to his court presence, which makes it even more remarkable when you see the 25 points next to his name in the box score.

    But Lin plays with efficiency, preying on the holes in lazy defenses, or snatching rebounds over the top of overpaid bigs that fail to box out.

    Still, it’s only been five games.

    But what a five games, during which Lin blew up, recording 38 points against the Lakers followed by a ‘miracle three-pointer’ to beat the Raptors.

    I’m not an Asian-American male. Although I understand the pathos, the “Linsanity”— for lack of a better word — failing miserably in high school basketball against women seven or eight inches taller, 30-40 lbs. heavier.

    A friend of mine argues that “Linsantiy” has less to do with him being Asian and more to do with his middle-class, Ivy league background.

    He’s wrong.

    The crux of Linsanity, the driving force behind the fervor, is not just that Lin is Asian, it’s that he’s Asian-American and not astoundingly athletic and has (probably) passed the AP Calculus test.

    It’s that he’s someone who wouldn’t seem out of place sitting next to you in Chem 6A, and that he’s a completely plausible athlete.

    He’s not 5’4” Lionel Messi slinking his way past swarms of defenders. There’s no real magic to what he’s doing. It’s solid basketball, being unselfish with the ball and getting to the hole anyway he can.

    His effectiveness may be opening an avenue for Asian-Americans to the NBA in particular and for professional athletics in general.

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