Jeremy Lin goes from unemployed to NBA star
In 2010, at 21 years old, Jeremy Lin of Palo Alto, Calif., faced a tough prospect: He had just graduated from the one of the best colleges in the country and was jobless.
Until a little more than a week ago, the second-year point guard out of Harvard University was still sleeping on his brother’s couch in New York City, playing very few minutes off the bench for the New York Knicks, the team that had lost 11 of their last 13 games.
Lin’s unexpected entry into starting role yields success
This all changed on Feb. 4 when Lin’s desperate coach, Mike D’Antoni, put in the fourth-string point guard, hoping just to get through the game — nothing more, nothing less. What D’Antoni got instead was a miracle.
In a span of 10 days, Lin has dominated nearly every sports highlight reel. Nicknames like “Linsanity” and “Lintendo” are already popping up, and he has been hailed by Michael Luo of the New York Times and by CNN’s Ling Woo Liu as a role model for Asian-Americans. Lin’s Christian faith has also been highlighted, along with his come-from-nowhere style of play, prompting the nickname “The Taiwanese Tebow.”
Stats don’t lie. Lin has played significant minutes in six games, started in five, and the Knicks have won them all. All five of Lin’s starts came without the only two players that had been keeping the Knicks above water: Carmelo Anthony and Amare Stoudemire.
NBA lockout gives Lin his chance
Ironically enough, the lockout of the 2011-2012 NBA season was most likely the catalyst for Lin’s success, rather than a hindrance. Lin’s play is a product of many long hours of work, something that he was able to do because the NBA failed to start until two months after it was supposed to.
That isn’t to say he is without any skill. Lin has an extremely quick first step, the ability to make baskets even as he is fouled in the air, and as he showed my unbelieving eyes in the Feb. 14 game versus the Raptors, he can even hit a clutch 3-pointer with 0.5 seconds left.
Over Lin’s five starts, he has averaged 27.2 points and 8.8 assists. To put this in perspective, this is a better stat line than last year’s NBA most valuable player, Derrick Rose.
Granted, it is only five starts and he has a long way to becoming an MVP, but he has already showed that he has the skills to get there.
So far nothing is slowing Lin down
What Lin’s kryptonite will be has yet to be seen and so far nothing has slowed him down. With the return of the Knicks’ two superstars from injury, Lin’s production will inevitably go down, at least slightly, and it still remains to be seen what role Lin will have with the team.
Yet, despite all the talk of the future and how Lin will play as time progresses, the fact remains that there is little to dislike about the guy. We all want his situation to happen to us; that’s what makes his story so infectious. We all want to go from a life spent waking up on your brother or parent’s couch to the next day being told you are going to start in the NBA. We all want to go from being unemployed to making an initial salary of $800,000.
In the months after we graduate, rather than waiting years for our shot, sending resumes frantically to employers, and sitting through countless interviews, we’d rather be like Jeremy Lin, waking up one day to call saying, “when can you start?”