In Chinese it means forest. And it seems like everyone is catching Jeremy Lin fever faster than a forest fire on a windy day.
Over the last two games he has averaged 26.5 points, 7.5 assists, 3.5 rebounds and 2 steals in wins over New Jersey and Utah. Sure it’s a small sample size but if you look at the highlights, he’s a slashing, dime-dropping demon who seems to thrive in Mike D’Antoni’s seven seconds or less offense. At least now that he’s finally been given a chance…
You see Jeremy Lin wasn’t recruited by division I colleges coming out of high school. Harvard and Brown were the only colleges that even guaranteed him a spot on their basketball teams. “I’m not saying top-5 state automatically gets you offers,” Lin said during his time at Harvard, “but I do think (my ethnicity) did affect the way coaches recruited me. I think if I were a different race, I would’ve been treated differently.”
Who knows what would have happened if he was recruited by the big boys. What we do know is that at Harvard he played some of the most versatile ball of anyone in Division I. During his junior year he was the only player in Division I to rank in the top ten in his conference for scoring, rebounding, assists, steals, blocks, FG%, FT% and 3pt%. Granted this was Harvard and not one of the major conferences, but he was a consensus pick for All-Ivey League First Team both his junior and senior years. Still he went undrafted. He was signed by his home-town Golden State Warriors for the ’10-11 season and was picked up off waivers by the Knicks in December. As you can see, he didn’t exactly come out of no where, but no one was banging down doors to get him on their team.
Lin is as Asian-American as apple pie by birth. His parents emigrated from Taiwan to America in the mid-1970s so he is a product of American schools and communities. But is it possible that we’re looking at the next great Asian hope? The one who can take the mantle from Yao Ming after his recent retirement? The exciting wing player that the Chinese can get excited about not only because he is good but because he shares their heritage? The NBA is always looking for inroads in the world’s most populous country and things have been looking bleak since Yao was forced to leave and Yi Jianlian wilted under the weight of the torch. At seems that, at this point, as the guys at The Basketball Jones say, “Jeremy Lin is our reason for living [and] nothing is off the table.”
Oh, how things change. On January 5th Jeremy Lin had this to say on his facebook page: “Everytime i try to get into Madison Square Garden, the security guards ask me if im a trainer LOL.” Who could have known that less than a month later they would be chanting his name at the most famous basketball arena in the world.
Seems that no one saw the forest for the trees. It’s doubtful he will have that problem anymore.