In the past month, Jeremy Lin, the New York Knicks’ sensation, has resurrected New York’s interest in the NBA and provided inspiration to SHS students and faculty. But after a recent string of losses (six as of this writing) and a growing sense of disappointment, the question now is: will he become an NBA star or just be a flash in the pan?
Few discount his basketball abilities. Averaging 15 points and 6 assists per game and having a number of game-winning shots under his belt, Lin more than justi- fies calls for him to win the NBA Most Improved Player Award. “He has the clutch factor, he can get to the hole, and he has shown he can hit the outside shot. ” commented Andrew Stafford ’15, an avid basketball fan. Varsity bas- ketball player Alex Squadron ’13 highlighted Lin’s selfless qualities: “He’s a team player, and he tries to get everyone else involved. He’s less concerned about his own perfor- mance and more concerned with the team’s performance.”
Jeremy Lin playing at Harvard
An inevitable part of the story is Lin’s “coming out of nowhere factor,” as English teacher Stephen Mounkhall put it. “He comes off the bench, everyone has been ig- noring him, and he just lights up the joint,” said history teacher Margaret Favretti. “That just doesn’t happen in the NBA. I used to teach at Rice High School where Felipe Lopez went and the kid was being scouted at 10 years old,” noted Mounkhall. Others, including Boys Varsity Basketball coach Jon Feld, contend
that Jeremy Lin’s rise to fame was not a complete surprise. “Truth be told, Jeremy Lin did not come out of nowhere. He did play at a Division I school, granted it was the Ivy League,” said Feld. Regardless, the idea that an NBA player can “come out of nowhere” has inspired aspiring basketball players at SHS, including Ben Winters ’15. “He made me think that there was more of a chance for people like me in the NBA.” Even Feld admits, “if Jeremy Lin can emerge from the shadows and contribute the way he has contributed then there is a chance for all of us.”
One part of Lin’s story that resonates particularly strongly with SHS students is his education at Harvard. “It’s not that often that someone from Harvard becomes such an important player in the NBA and I think it’s really interesting that he’s so smart and now he’s such a strong basketball player,” said Varsity basketball player Bebe Silberzweig ’12. “The idea that you can be smart and educated and an athlete breaks a lot of stereotypes,” agreed Sam Distler ’13. Another important aspect of his story is his ethnicity and the inspiration that he has given to Asian-Americans and Asians throughout the world. Asian-Americans can regularly be seen at his games, rooting for Lin. “I think he represents all the good things there are about Asians living in this country: he represents perseverance and hard work and an exemplary skill set,” said Geoffrey Kristof ’12. Biology teacher Rika Konishi commented, “It’s unusual to see a Chinese-American basketball player doing so well. The NBA doesn’t have a lot of Chinese players, so it’s interesting to see him play from a cultural standpoint.”
The Other Half
Though some are captivated by Lin, many others say they do not care. “Honestly, I don’t really care about Jeremy Lin. I don’t know much about his story, but I know he got really famous,” said Boeun Choi ’14. “I don’t know a lot about him, but I think he’s a heck of a sensation,” noted Englsh teacher Seth Evans.
Only time will tell if “linsan- ity” becomes just another footnote in NBA history. With declining statistics and the previously mentioned losing streak, some are questioning the hype. “I think he’s a bit overrated. He has shown that you can… be a
star for a few games, [but] it may not last,” said Drew Thornton ’15. Others believe that while the hype may die down, his abilities will not. “I don’t actually think there has to be a falling off of Lin. People need to back off on it. And if the Knicks do it right he eventually will be a really good player,” said Mounkhall.
Regardless of how Jeremy Lin’s career pans out, he has energized a lackluster New York Knick franchise and a deeply disappointed fan base by setting an example through determination and hard work. As described by Leah Kashar ‘15, “he’s an inspiration to all of us.”