I’ll be honest. I’m a casual basketball fan at best, and I really only actively enjoy the last ten minutes of play.
However, I am Asian-American, and I do love a good story. The Jeremy Lin phenomenon (“Linsanity”) is captivating, not only because the man has become a hero for Asian Americans, but also because his underdog story has given casual fans like me a reason to watch basketball again.
In case you’ve been living under a rock, or if you’ve actually been doing your reading instead of watching basketball and then writing about it on the internet, here’s a quick primer on Lin’s sudden ascent, courtesy of the NY Times.
And here’s an even shorter recap, if you’re too lazy to read the Times piece:
- Jeremy Lin, 6’3, Point Guard, NY Knicks.
- Asian-American, of Chinese/Taiwanese heritage.
- California native, from Palo Alto.
- Led high school team to state champs, didn’t receive any college basketball scholarships.
- Went to Harvard. Graduated with a 3.1 in Econ.
- Oh, also was All-Ivy multiple times and set records for his university and for the Ivy League.
- Undrafted after college.
- Picked up by the Warriors. Cut by the Warriors.
- Picked up by the Rockets. Cut by the Rockets.
- Picked up by the Knicks.
- In and out of the D-League.
- Suddenly given game time last week, as a last-ditch effort from Coach Mike D’Antoni.
- Led the Knicks to 3 back-to-back victories.
- First players since LeBron James to score over 20 points and 8 assists in his first two starting games.
- Contract with the Knicks not technically guaranteed till Friday.
- Christian, and vocal about it.
- Still living on his brother’s couch in NYC.
There you have it. Now, you too can pretend to know what’s going on when people talk about Jeremy Lin.
In fact, feel free to randomly insert your newfound knowledge into any basketball-related conversation. Sports fans love debating minutiae. Any real fan will have an opinion on every player in every sport, and they will defend that opinion to their deaths. This is especially true in law school, where arguments about sports are not only well-worded and succinct, but also give the impression of floating bullet points and parentheticals.
If a lanky Asian kid from Harvard can become the newest NBA star, you, too, can become an expert advocate for a tenuously supported opinion on sports. I believe in you.