“Linsanity” has taken over the sports headlines around the globe – and rightfully so. Never before has the NBA witnessed a “come from nowhere” type story like that of Jeremy Lin. Yes, “witnessed”, and I’m not referring to “Witness”, the Nike campaign that catapulted Lebron James to Michael Jordan-like notoriety in 2007 after Lebron led the Cavs to the NBA finals. Like a breath of fresh air, Jeremy Lin is proving why he deserves the crown of basketball and should be deemed the King of the NBA, not Lebron. Here are 5 reasons why:
1. Who is Jeremy Lin?
While Lebron James was being stalked by cameras since 7th grade and getting high fives from Jay-Z in his locker room after high school basketball games, Jeremy Lin was practicing jump shots alone in the gym and then heading home to do his homework. There’s something refreshing about the kid who no one heard of a year ago who is now on top of the world. It’s inspiring and helps prove that often times the common folk can succeed, not just the one’s born with a chip on their shoulder.
2. Division I talent with Ivy league brains
Jeremy Lin is smart. He speaks well, appears more humble than an intern and recognizes his teammates whenever he can. Lebron is all talent, all muscle and all Lebron James. After the famous “Decision” that was aired as a mini-tv series, Lebron never reached out to the Cleveland market in the public light to thank them for their support and explain to them his thought process. Jeremy Lin has been open and honest every step of the way, never hiding the fact that he had to sacrifice big time to get to where he is today, including sleeping on his brother’s couch and persevering even after being cut not once, but twice.
3. Yes, he’s Asian-Amerian
Yes, he is. And it’s not racist, it’s the truth. And he is an inspiration for all minorities, not just Asians who finally have “one of their own” to root for. Anyone who is a minority, be it blacks, Irish, Asians, Jews, Italians and most other cultures that make up the immigrant foundation of the US, have all been persecuted. Lebron never had to face the bigotry that Jeremy Lin now faces in headlines and in layup lines. Lebron was always loved or hated, based on his basketball skills, not his ethnicity. Jeremy Lin has persevered by countering the anti-Asian slurs with points and assists, like a true role model.
4. He’s just like you and me
Be it the YouTube videos that make us laugh, the Twitter tweets showing a glimpse of NBA life to those of us who merely dream of what it must feel like or the stories of signing autographs until the gym empties out, Jeremy Lin is a regular guy. A year ago he was a no one, and with that comes the ability for people to relate. Lebron James was pampered and put on a pedestal for years. He was a super hero in the eyes of many. Jeremy Lin is part of the common folk. He’s someone we would want to play with in an open-gym run and a person we would be honored to call not just a teammate, but also a friend.
Whether or not Jeremy Lin’s career will be as fruitful and legendary as Lebron James’ is certainly far from likely, but there is no denying that the young man from California by way of Harvard who has single-handedly resurrected New York City basketball, is as tall as the Empire State Building. He is right now more important than Lebron James for basketball and mankind.
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