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‘Linsanity’ Rooted in New York Media Hype? Detroit Pistons NBA Fan’s View
Like much of the nation, Jeremy Lin's "Linsanity" arrival with the New York Knicks provided his first national exposure with the ABC telecast of the Knicks' 104-97 Garden victory over the defending champion Dallas Mavericks.
As a hokey Midwesterner, I'll admit an anti-New York-media overhype bias, but Jeremy Lin was impressive, both in his floor game (28 points, 14 assists, clutch plays down the stretch) and in his modest but self-assured conduct in his interviews. But what if Jeremy Lin were merely Jeremy Lincoln from Compton? Some critics perceive that all this hype is because Lin has Asian American roots, but I think this may simply be more that he plays in New York. After all, when China's Yao Ming debuted with the obscure Houston Rockets, we didn't hear about "Mingsanitiy."
(Please take note that I prefer to describe Jeremy Lin as a young point guard, rather than as an Asian American point guard.)
I suppose my problem is what if Jeremy Lin had turned in his recent "Linderella streak" in Portland, let's say, instead of the New York spotlight? Linsanity no doubt would be making some NBA news, given Jeremy Lin's landmark ethnic heritage in a game dominated by African Americans (although not as much as during the global new millennium), but in New York things are so much center-of-the-world exaggerated. I've cited Portland because one of the NBA's best players, power forward LeMarcus Aldridge, resides there with virtually no recognition. Would he receive more props if he hypothetically were LeMarcus El-Amin, an uncommon Arab American star, and played in New York?
Another of my problems is the stupid puns, beyond the obvious Linsanity, et al "Lincredible," "Linner," etc. Do these headline writers from the Big Apple think they're being original or creative? I had thought New Yorkers portrayed themselves as being superior, not only because of their city's immense size, but because they were more intelligent than those of us in the hinterlands. As the comic Larry Wilmore remarked on Jon Stewart's Commedy Central, "you're kilLIN' me" with all these dumb puns. (Wilmore also sardonically speculatated that Carmelo Anthony may feel his "job" has been "outsourced," like so many, to Asia, but we'll leave that at that.)
Anyway, from what I witnessed in Jeremy Lin's national network TV debut, I really really want to root for the kid and I like his game, despite all of the bad-pass and trapped-in-the-paint turnovers. He'll learn how to reduce those mistakes on the floor, and I'll have to learn how to cheer for someone with the despised New York Knicks.
Hopefully, rooting for Jeremy Lin won't become an unconsciously prejudiced sort of anti-black thing, any more than rooting for Tiger Woods in golf is/was anti-white. And if Lin starts to go into a tailspin or a little bit of a slump, he may wish he is not exposed to the Big Apple tabloid media idiots who love him so much at the present moment.
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