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Ball Don't Lie

Video: Finally, the super mellow Jeremy Lin tribute song the world demanded

Dan Devine
Ball Don't Lie

You know that feeling when you wake up — in the morning, from a midday nap, on the train seven stops past the one you were supposed to get off at, whatever — and you instantly feel like something's amiss? There's nothing quite like the sudden rush of ice to your chest that accompanies the sure sense that you forgot something, that you're missing something, that Things Are Wrong.

After a long All-Star weekend and a sleepy post-Orlando Monday, I awoke this morning in the clutch of that dread. Oh, no, I thought. I don't have a Jeremy Lin story in front of my face to occupy my brain while I wipe the crust out of my eyes. PLUS, I don't even have a totally mellow Lin-themed groove to step to as I make coffee.

Luckily for me — and for all of us, really — singer-songwriter Julian Velard's got the chill vibes covered with "The Mighty Lin," his ode to the New York Knicks' newly famous point guard. If you hold it up to your ear, you can hear Spike Lee heckling the ocean.


After several weeks of being very demure in their approach to capitalizing on the Lin phenomenon, the Knicks decided to try their hand at promoting the second-year star's emergence by commissioning Velard to compose a Lin tribute track. The resultant jam, which debuted on iTunes and the Knicks' website a few days ago, weighs in at just under two minutes of sunshine, tracing the Lin narrative from his parents' coupling in Taiwan through his recent explosion into American cultural consciousness.

This, of course, is by no means the first Lin-themed musical tribute. Vaunted Asian-American rapper Jin weighed in, Jimmy Fallon channeled Eddie Vedder for a Pearl Jam-inspired Lin goof, Network of Champions offered "Lin on Me," and a host of other folks have made their way online to sing Lin's praises. (Finding and linking all of them would make Dan something something.)

At Popdust, Andrew Unterberger notes the song's "Ben Harper-like countenance and ... 'Me and Julio Down By the Schoolyard' guitar riff," which is just about bang-on. ("The Mighty Lin" also would not sound out of place on the all-Jack-Johnson soundtrack to the "Curious George" movie, a crushingly sunny album that played pretty much nonstop at the bookstore that employed me in early 2006.)

The song is, as Unterberger writes, "whatever." It is also, however, a "bouncy tune that you can't help but smile while listening to," in the words of Popdose's Mike Heyliger. It is nice; it is a light snack. Unlike Lin, whose often stellar play has been a legitimate league-shaking story worth (almost) all the attention it's gotten, "The Mighty Lin" is a pleasant diversion. But hey, after the way New York got handled by the Miami Heat heading into the All-Star break, maybe a pleasant diversion ain't such a bad thing for Knicks fans.

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