The Jeremy Lin Show

NBA: Same Ol’ Same Ol’

It has been years since I’ve followed sports, basketball in particular. I watched the Knicks when Ewing played for them, that’s how long ago it’s been. And if you want to know how out of it I was, I’ve never watched Michael Jordan play. I’ve never tuned into his games. Yup, I was numero uno of the non-fan didn’t-give-a-rip coalition. Not a hater. Just distinterested. I just thought that Dr Jay never got his props as the better player, but he pre-dated Nike ads, so that’s how it goes.

I was into college basketball, the game was short, quick and the players were hungry. Something about the pros left me bored. I got the feeling that once they signed the multimillion dollar contracts, the hunger left them. They played soft. They played like satiated lions. Lazy and sleepy. Who wants to watch that?

Along with the stories of baby mamas, wife beatings, shoving a wife out the front door naked, sleeping with ugly white female reporters, gambling, bad attitudes, throwing people through plate glass windows, etc., etc. – I decided I wasn’t supporting those dysfunctional messes. Basketball and football held little appeal to me, especially with the recent spate of shoot-outs, fan beatings and gang symbols being displayed. Plus, I’m grossed out by all those ugly thugs covered head to toe in prison-style tattoos. I wasn’t interested in watching any major league basketball or football. Or any sport for that matter. Don’t get me started on those nasty spitting baseball players!

Change Comes LIN

So, here comes this young man who’s a bit different from the usual cynics in the basketball league. I’ve watched the YouTube clips of him playing. I understand why he suddenly has so many fans: he looks like he’s having fun. He plays with a passion for the game. It’s apparent that he loves to play basketball. He has no tattoos. I’m sure he’s not a saint, but I’m certain that people are tired of the bad boy, bad ass, tattooed big dummies. They are everywhere, in every entertainment field. And not only are they phony and talentless – they’re annoying. There’s nothing interesting in a rich angry irrational manchild.Β  You wish they would take up the offer from an older man to teach them a lesson in a wrestling ring. Oh, what a great treat that would be.

Making People Go LINsane

Now, I understand that the media overreaction to Jeremy Lin, JLin, a.k.a. “Linsanity” was 3/4ths about his “race”. I’m still shaking my head at the things that have been said over the last three weeks, which already seems like an eternity.

There have a been dozens of puns that include “Lin” in the word: Air Lin, Linsanity, Super Lintendo… you get the picture. It was cute. A couple of folks at ESPN jumped the shark, thus losing a job or two.

Then came the jealous folks. Floyd Mayweather Jr was mad at the attention JLin was receiving. He said (paraphrasing) that black men do the same thing everyday in the league, but no one is paying attention. Well, the problemΒ  with that statement is that – if you don’t look like the average player in the league – people will notice. Sort of like when a heavyset white woman from the UK sings like a black woman blues singer. People notice those sorts of things. Hype may follow.

Jason “Witless” Whitlock (who has spewed racist / misogynist material about Serena Williams) decided to tweet something foul about JLin. But why did he focus on the sexuality of the young man? Why would an out-of-shape obese black man who is a sportswriter, not even a ballplayer, worry about the sex life of a young Asian man? Was he worried that an Asian male was encroaching on black male territory? Athleticism, masculinity, and sexual supremacy do go hand in hand. Did he picture a future where Asian men would be viewed as super-studs instead of black males?? Uh-oh.

Plus, “Witless” was so used to writing vulgar insults about black women, he didn’t realize other groups wouldn’t stand for the same behavior. He quickly apologized.

KilLINg Conventional Wisdom and Stereotypes

However, JLin did break all kinds of records with his initial “starter” games. He has played in the D Leagues, or maybe a few minutes in the NBA, but not as a starter. Once he was allowed, by the Knicks, to play point guard, he started knocking down some walls.

I’m surprised by the following, because I didn’t realize there were so many things achieved by Jeremy Lin. I always assumed they had already happened.

1) Harvard has sent very few (maybe a handful or half-dozen) players to the NBA. We’ve had more Presidents who went to Harvard.

2) He’s the first and only (so far) American, of Chinese / Taiwanese descent, to play in the NBA. Not the first Asian American, but the others were half-black or half-white, and the first was of Japanese descent before the various (American Basketball and National Basketball) leagues merged in 1976. He played for the Knicks too.

3) He was never drafted a.k.a. undrafted. No one held a lottery to pick him up in the league. He came in through the backdoor basically.

4) He’s managed to score 229 points in his first 7 starter games. Even for his first 4 at 109 points he’s exceeded everyone else since 1976.

Always Be Ready for Prime Time

Will he stay a superstar? Perhaps. I don’t have a magic 8 ball. And considering the short attention span of the public, who knows who they’ll love / hate in the next few weeks?

I do have some takeaways from the media-storm surrounding this young man:

  • He’s proven that good luck really is 90% preparation and fortuitous timing.
  • He worked on his weaknesses during the NBA lockout, doing everything he could to get into superb physical condition (6’3″ and 200lbs).
  • He’s played against the number one draft and showed he could excel.
  • When his chance finally arrived – he literally came off the bench as the last guy picked – he played his heart out to win.

He is responsible for helping the Knicks become a better team over the last 11 games. He helped them win 9 of them. Not bad for a rookie. Not bad for a guy who has faith in God, but also understood he had to do the work to get where he wanted. Just laying around and praying wasn’t going to cut it, he had to move, get it done and show with all his heart what he wanted.

He admits that the media attention is draining. Blake Griffin (big red slam dunk king and 6’9″ – dang) told him he has to learn to say, “No.”

Asian Persuasion

I’ve been reading the Asian (blog / twitter) reaction to JLin. I’m (again) surprised at the angst revealed by the men.Β  All I can say is, “Wow,” I had no idea. I’m not a guy, so my interpretation may be off, but I get the sense that JLin helps them achieve a sort of American masculine sexual ideal that’s been missing in the media or the general culture. They see white, black and Latinos in the superstar sexy beasts stratosphere, but they’ve never felt a part of that club. Interesting.

American culture is so anti-intellectual and dedicated to dysfunctional drugged up dumb-ass losers, that the highest income, best in academic achievement and most entrepreneurial men in this country feel emasculated and less than for being studious, responsible, dependable and stable. That’s the world we live in folks. Where up is down, right is wrong and the insane run the asylum.

I would hope that the lesson the other men (black, white and Latino) can learn from Jeremy Lin is to play earnestly, humbly, and make the game fun again. I’m sure most of them do, but it’d be nice if they were the norm again, and not considered the exception(s). The degenerates receive too much attention for their bad behavior and appear to be financially, socially and emotionally rewarded for it.

Last Lesson: Play The Game

As for the lament of the Asian American male, I’d say the reason why they are invisible is because, this may not sound nice, but it’s my perception: you gotta be in the game to win it. No one notices Asian men, because they behave in a leave-me-alone, don’t-notice-me, and I’m-not-gonna-make-eye-contact fashion. Black, white and Latino men are assertive. They will look people in the eye and say something. They will do their Alpha male thing.

So, if the Asian men want to be like the other guys in this society, they’re gonna have to take note of something else about JLin. He plays fearlessly. He may have learned at an early age not to isolate himself by just hanging out with his Asian buddies. When he speaks, he sounds like any other guy in the league (black, white or whatever).

I wish him well, and hope he continues to excel at playing the game.

Hey, you know, I’d say the Jeremy Lin Show has a lot of things we can all learn from. πŸ™‚

** Update **

Oh, and watch him get down and boogie. JLin can dance.

** Update Update **

I’m obsessed!! They should call him Maestro instead! Steals the ball and tosses to Shumpert. Beautiful. πŸ™‚

Isn’t he cute? Love those eyes, cheekbones and mouth. πŸ˜€



13 thoughts on “The Jeremy Lin Show”

  1. I’m from New York and this is the most excited I’ve been about the Knicks in a very long time because I’m just so used to them losing. Also it’s just refreshing to hear a basketball player be able to form a proper sentence, and he’s a cutie.

    GoldenAh: I know right, the Knicks winning is sort of a like a comet passing by Earth – happens every 30 to 100 years (so it seems). I’m glad his story happened in NYC, it seems fitting. Making history and being that big of a change agent should happen right in the center of the media universe.

    Thanks for your comments, StarDust. πŸ˜€

  2. Many schools have quietly been weeding out the enfante terribles for years. When I wrote about Jalen Rose’s idiotic comments to Grant Hill last March I hadn’t realized Duke had a policy in place to not sign Boys From The Hood types. The way Lin was overlooked really show how indoctrinated folks are.

    GoldenAh: I remember discussions around the web a few years back about a black coach who wouldn’t take young men from single mother homes. I best recall your run-in with Jason “Witless” Whitlock. And it was instructive, ’cause once these guys are done with insulting black women they move on to what they consider the other “easy” targets. Heh.

    I adore guys like Grant Hill. πŸ˜€

    I’m wondering if some bias against Asians on the west coast has something to do with JLin being ignored. Harvard wanted him, but nearly dozens, if not over a hundred, of other colleges did not. And he went all over the country trying to find someone to take him in. Yet, it wasn’t even the coach of the Knicks who finally got him off the bench. Based on news reports, apparently Carmelo and Chandler suggested that Lin be given a try. Not only do the stereotypes and type of players need to change, but the assumption that only certain groups of people make the best coaches. They’ve proven to be no better at it than probably most people walking off the streets.

  3. Glad you posted something on Jeremy Lin!

    I’ve been saying this for a while (and even seeing it on a smaller level), but people are tired of the same “poor black guy from a messed up family sees sports as the only ticket out of the hood so he goes to college only to play ball, makes the league, collects tattoos, baby mamas and babies along the way and then blows through millions of dollars and ends up back at square one after his sports career is over” story.

    (Yes, that was a long-run on sentence, but that’s the standard script!)

    Lin is showing that you can be intelligent, have a plan outside sports, conserve one’s money, speak well, behave relatively well enough, AND play at the highest levels of sport. Coaches, team owners and schools are tired of dealing with head cases, too many of which are BM… and the success of Lin is perhaps telling owners/coaches/colleges that they don’t have to deal with foolishness to have a winning program.

    Already, many college coaches are saying they only want to recruit kids from “good families” (you can guess what that means)… the shift is happening on a micro-level and Jeremy Lin needs to be a wake-up call for some folks!

    I wish Lin much success in the future and I’m very happy that he’s doing so well!

    GoldenAh: It’s nice to write about something uplifting, positive and happy for a change. And this young man certainly puts a smile on my face. His story is very inspiring. I even feel motivated to work smarter / harder. πŸ˜€

    I am so sick of these messed up guys from the hood. It’s like they don’t understand that being from the hood does not mean you’re obligated to take it with you. One is supposed to leave the idiot street culture mentality behind. There’s nothing authentic, superior or enriching about it. All it does is take the individual full circle back into the gutter. What a waste.

    The shift will continue to occur. There are plenty of athletically gifted people who may decide to play professionally for a few years, then retire to become doctors, lawyers, entrepreneurs, etc. afterwards. They can easily take away those positions from the one-ticket-out-of-the-hood guys. And as you say, coaches likely prefer a mature and intelligent scholar to a troubled recidivist thug.

    Great to hear from you, Lisa. Thanks for stopping by! πŸ˜€

  4. I was a little caught off guard about how open people were making prejudiced/cheesy comments about this man. Then again, I had to remember how Asian men are made to be looked at as asexual and pigeon-holed into the “martial arts stereotype” in this country. Its hilarious to me to see some black and white men so threatened by this guy and quick to put him down because he goes against the effeminate Asian man theory. Jeremy has these dudes shaken up while he is getting down on the court and getting attention from the ladies lol. I like him so much, he is so cute to me and I like how he got into the league. A Harvard graduate that can ball and obviously has the smarts. Black guys in the NBA are especially angry at the fact that there is an Asian man that can play on there level and doesn’t partake in the usual buffoonery a lot of them do. I remember black guys making fun of Pau Gasol (from Spain) and his awkwardness while this man went to medical school first and is very humble like Lin. Its funny how competitive groups of men are, the thought of Asian men being seen as masculine too, is unsettling to some. I hope that changes and that this is a start to breaking down barriers for Asian men. Anyway, this is going to be one of the few basketball players I will be rooting for.

    GoldenAh: The racism was so blatant. Even now they are talking / writing about him like it’s a fluke. No one should be expecting him to get 38 points every game. It’s ridiculous. He has a good history as a ball player. JLin lead his HS team to a championship. He was an outstanding player at Harvard. He doesn’t strike me as the type who will slack off like today’s “pros”. I think he will get better with time. Hopefully, the Knicks will be as hungry as he is to win. Not even Jordan, or the Bulls, was that great in the beginning. At least Jordan had Scottie Pippen and crazy Rodman on his team.

    Yes, JLin certainly has it going on. May his success continue. πŸ˜€

    Thanks for chiming in, Cherie!

  5. You know they’re referred to as KarTRASHians now.

    GoldenAh: LOL. I love how the media tried to link what’s-her-face to him, and when JLin was asked about it – he just had this look on his face. Classic. Politely, he said, while shaking his head: “I don’t know where that rumor got started. She’s NOT my TYPE….” Smart guy.

    Plus, I think he knows his mother would kill him for disrespecting her like that. πŸ˜€

  6. Hot Damn @Bellydancer! You made me split out my afternoon coffee. For Real and For True!

    Black and white men are SHOOK to the core. And I cannot be more pleased. I turn to ESPN and other sports feeds daily to get my Lin-Nectar. HA.

    Lin is the beginning of the end of this very small area of black male domination – the b ball court. Ha. Hee. Haw. I can stop the gloating.

    Lin has made me so damn happy!

    GoldenAh: What gets me is I, at least, expected something readable and interesting from sportswriters. It’s like they all had total mental breakdowns. They got stuck on their stereotypes. Okay. They should acknowledge that he plays well, cover his background, maybe guess at the kind of future he might have and let that be it. These guys were writing about him like he was an alien from another planet. Did they think he was Clark Kent / Superman? Some of these fools seem not to know he’s American.

    You make an interesting point here -> If black males lose the b-ball court and football, then where do they go to be overcompensated, gloating, obnoxious entertainment gladiators? They’re almost gone from baseball. Oh well. Dang. That means the Ho-Dashian types wont find them “sexy” no more. They’ll have nothing to boast about. πŸ˜€

    Nicki, I gloat with you. Thanks for stopping by. πŸ™‚

  7. First of all I love Jeremy Lin because I have a thing for Asian men and I think he is a super hottie.

    Second, didnt know who Jason Whitlock was, had to Google him. My God is he disgusting, he looks like the sort that has to pay for it or take it by force or both. The comments under his apology at Fox Sports are High-larious.

    Yes, there is some definite jealousy and animosity. Its all coming out as it lurked beneath the surface for so long. JLin is humble and always mentions the team and is not too bombastic off of the court. My mans play speaks on the court where it really matters.

    Black men had better get it. They wont though and I dont care if they do. All they so called “holdings” are going the way of the gun. Sports, Hip-Hop, Black women.
    Jazz been left from their realm. Name one modern Jazz player thats Black? I cant think of any.

    We need more Jeremy Lin’s as I am tired of the hood hard luck stories.

    GoldenAh: You had me cracking up at your description of “Witless” Whitlock.

    JLin is not going to be the last Asian American player. I can imagine that a number of Asian American players are deciding to take a chance with the NBA now. I admire that JLin is willing to run up between a bunch of guys over 6’7″ – execute a layup or dunk the ball – showing he’s not scared of ’em! That’s an incredible stereotype he’s killing right there. Loves it. πŸ˜€

    This is the nature of competition. Everybody has to step up and work harder. There will be no safe haven for any group to play they can dominate forever.

    Thanks for the chuckle, Mikey. πŸ™‚

  8. I’m in NYC and yes, they’re going crazy for Jeremy Lin and why not? It’s sad that today, dysfunction sells, that acting like a drunken loser will get you paid (Jersey Shore anyone?).

    I think a lot of the black and white men who talk smack about Lin feel like, “who is this Asian guy? He’s coming in OUR sport.” Which is silly considering that years ago most NBA players were white and Jewish. I like Lin, he seems like a nice young man, he’s probably not a saint but so far he’s a refreshing change to all the insanity and dysfunction that permeates professional sports these days.

    GoldenAh: To cite an example of black men disappearing from a sport: At one time, all the best known jockeys were black men. No one did that except them. Then one day, the horse racing owners decided they wanted Spanish guys, and now the only time you see a black jockey is as a statue on somebody’s lawn.

    You are right, it wasn’t too long ago that there weren’t any black men playing b-ball. It could happen again. Nothing beats a good education. No one can take that away. Too bad these ball players take that for granted.

    JLin is a refreshing change. We need more players like him.

    Thanks for commenting, Eva. πŸ˜€

  9. Speaking of his ahem endowments yeah the boy got big feet (lol) seriously though bm are freaking out that this young, handsome and smart asian man can possibly replace them at their own game. China has begun to turn out basketball players like polynesia is turning out football players. Bm need to realize that the world is tired of the drama and can replace them for half the cost.
    Reminds me of those bm bloggers who always have a picture of a white girl with a big butt and the little saying underneath the picture.
    “All this and no attitude” well guess what player the world thinks the same about you.

    GoldenAh: From winning a few games, scoring the way he has, playing the way he has, JLin has already added millions to the bottom line for MSG and the owners of the Knicks. His potential – if he keeps playing well – is massive. The marketing of this guy to China (and they love B-ball over there) is enormous. Kobe was saying: the folks who overlooked JLin should be fired. He’s right. Right beneath their noses and they clearly ignored his talent.

    Oh, another thing I noticed is how “lightskinneded” a number of the ball players are. A ton of the NBA players are now bi-racial. The league could turn non-black male overnight. And I don’t think anybody would miss ’em.

    Love that quote, Bellydancer. Negroes need to look in the mirror, ’cause when they get removed from the NFL / NBA they wont be able to blame us for it. Folks are just getting sick of their attitudes.

  10. There’s been a lot of racist behavior by black and white males at all ends of the spectrum. They’re trying to reassert (whites) hierarchy order or denigrate (blacks) to hold on to their diminishing currency. Now the potential for Asian man “swagger” is freaking them out the way Asian women (South or East) marrying so many successful white men is threatening to white women. You’d have to surmise most 6 foot + guys will be similarly endowed as well to be perfectly blunt. Lin comes from a 2-parent home AND was smart enough to get into Harvard. He could do anything. Unlike the typical BM from the hood/hoop dreams/no daddy scenario with limited options (mostly self-imposed). It’s interesting how the overlooked ‘runt’ of the litter becomes the belle of the ball.

    GoldenAh: I know I should be used to it, but I was shocked by the blatant racism of these people. But as you say, it’s all about telling him: Get back in your place! Know your role!

    I put up a link of JLin dancing (with a sista). Dude can move (those hips). Uh-oh, looks like that Asian “swagga” is here to stay. LOL. πŸ˜€

    Thanks for the comments, Faith. πŸ˜€

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