By this point, which is now Day Eight of Linsanity, there’s already been quite a bit written and said about Jeremy Lin (some of which has even appeared on this very space). That won’t stop me from adding my drop in the bucket, though.
My Jeremy Lin story comes from Portsmouth, Virginia when I was covering the annual Portsmouth Invitational Tournament for NBADraft.net in April 2010. The basketball was largely forgettable, but the one of the guys that stuck out was the kid from Harvard. Already aware of his considerable ability after he shredded my Boston College Eagles not once, but two years in a row, I wasn’t totally shocked to see Lin slipping by defenders on the perimeter off the dribble to finish at the basket with an array of in control gliding finishes.
But, I’d be lying if I thought he’d be dropping 38 on the Los Angeles Lakers in Madison Square Garden one day.
And yet, that’s where we’re at after the latest chapter of Jeremy Lin’s incredible story from virtually unrecruited high schooler, to undrafted NBA rookie, to the star starting point guard for the New York Knicks, was written in MSG last night after Lin torched the Lakers for 38 points and seven assists in a 92-85 win.
The Knicks, who were once in such bad shape that head coach Mike D’Antoni was counting on Baron Davis to save his job, have been been revitalized; the fan base, reinvigorated into a 1994 frenzy; and an entire nation, utterly captivated by an Asian-American Harvard grad who has been cut by three NBA teams over the last two seasons.
And no, while a nation named the United States is included in the captivation, that’s not the one I’m talking about.
In China, Lin is known by his Chinese name, Lin Shuhao (林书豪), and like the legions of Lin fans in the U.S. who are following his every move, the Chinese are getting down with Linsanity, too. The son of two Taiwanese-born parents, the American born and raised guard has considerable connections to both the PRC and Taiwan, and has stated how proud he is to be Chinese as recently as this week.
Just think about that for a second: With a 13-hour time difference between Beijing and New York, Linsanity is not only transglobal, it literally never sleeps. Which should make even the biggest of Lin supporters all the more happy knowing that the phenomenon is spreading round-the-clock.
These links should make them happy, too.
- Viewers in China weren’t able to watch the Lin Dynasty go up against Kobe and the Lake Show this morning, but thanks to some last minute schedule juggling by the people at CCTV-5, they’ll be able to watch him play versus the Minnesota Timberwolves tomorrow.
- Other than television sets, the Chinese interwebs are ablaze, too: Lin’s Sina Weibo page (Twitter with Chinese characteristics) is now up to 500,000 viewers. And 林书豪, finished second on finished second on the seven-day list of trending topics on Chinese search engine Baidu this week.
- Anyone who needs an explanation over Lin’s totally unpredictable rise to MSG legend hasn’t been paying attention — it’s Year of the Dragon, the most unpredictable year of them all! And as Shanghaiist points out, Lin was born as a Dragon, which means this year is his benmingnian (Chinese Zodiac year), which adds even more to the unpredictability! Now that’s exciting! Typically, one’s benmingnian has the potential to bring lots of bad luck… you know, if you believe in that kind of stuff.
- Maybe not a little known fact, but hardly a widespread one: While the NBA was locked out, Lin practiced and played a few games with the Chinese Basketball Association’s DongGuan New Century Leopards in September (H/T JeremyLin.net for photos). You can check out video here.
- Not China per se, but this quote is priceless from an Asian-American woman at a Lin viewing party in New York: “All the Asian-American guys want to be Jeremy Lin. And all the Asian-American girls want to marry him.”
- Chinese fans will like this: Jeremy Lin reads and writes a little bit of Chinese and speaks Mandarin well enough to be interviewed.
- Like us, Anthony Tao over at Heart of Beijing was watching this morning’s Wolves-Mavs game and noticed that down the stretch the two in-studio commentators basically stopped doing their jobs to probably watch the fourth quarter of the Knicks-Lakers game. Like we said, Linsanity is alive and well in China.
- It should be the last thing on anyone’s mind right now — but if Lin’s NBA career doesn’t pan out (for the record, we really hope it does), some people think he would be a superstar in the Chinese Basketball Association.