JEREMY LIN AND LIN-SANITY

JEREMY LIN AND LIN-SANITY

Jeremy Lin, a Harvard-educated point guard with the New York Kicks and the first American-born player of Taiwanese and Chinese heritage in the NBA, caused quite a commotion in the winter of 2012 when he came out of nowhere to lead the Knick to a spectacular string of victories over a two week period, sparking a phenomena dubbed Lin-sanity. The media attention he received hype added to the popularity and hype of the NBA in China.

Lin, the American-born son of Taiwanese immigrants, is the N.B.A.’s only current Asian-American and is wildly popular in the U.S. and in China. The New York Times reported: His jersey, which was not even available at the beginning of the 2011-2012 season, was among the league’s top sellers at the end of the season. Lin erupted for 25 points in an early February 2012 victory over the Nets, then strung together a series of electrifying performances, each more spectacular than the last. The Knicks won seven straight games with Lin running the offense---a streak that saved their season.

AFP reported: Lin had never heard so many plays on words involving his last name as he has since going from the end of the bench for the NBA New York Knicks to a historic starting role.From Lin-sanity and Linning to Super Lin-tendo and Shots are Fal-Lin', the headlines and catchphrases are multiplying for the 23-year-old guard, the first American-born player of Taiwanese and Chinese heritage in the NBA. "I didn't know that you could turn Lin into so many things," Lin said on Friday. "Me and my family were just laughing last night because I guess we underestimated how creative everyone could be." [Source: AFP, February 11, 2012]

Lin has lived out his dream starting games for the Knicks in the wake of a groin injury to Carmelo Anthony and Amare Stoudemire being away from the team following the death of a brother in a car accident. Lin scored 28 points and passed out eight assists in a victory over Utah then had 23 points and 10 assists in a triumph at Washington, becoming the first NBA player since LeBron James with at least 20 points and eight assists in his first two starts. "I wanted to this year establish myself into the rotation and not be the 15th guy. That's what I felt like I could do," Lin said. "But the reality was I was the 12 to 15th guy on the team and I got waived a couple times."

Lin parents emigrated from Taiwan in the 70s. His coach at Harvard called him “fearless". Even so Houston and Golden State gave up on him. He played only 28 games with Golden State in 201-2011. Before his break out he was known mainly as a bench warmer in New York. "When I get on the court and I play with our team, none of us are thinking about all of this other stuff that's going on," Lin said. "It's just basketball and that's what we enjoy."

The Knicks are enjoying Lin's moment in the sun as well. "I love it. I'm glad that it's happening to him, in all honesty," said Knicks big man Tyson Chandler. "It couldn't happen to a better guy. The way he goes about things, you would never know all of this stuff was going on. "What he brings to this team is invaluable, the spacing on the floor, the ball movement - he really puts everybody back in their natural position. He has a huge impact because he has everybody feeling confident again."

Now Lin is a media darling with reporters from Asia and New York crowding to catch his every word. "Things are changing so much and everyone wants to talk to me and my family," Lin said. "We're very low-key people and private people, so sometimes it's a little tough."

One Knick Victory During Linsanity

Describing one victory Lin played an instrumental role in Marc Berman wrote in the New York Post, Jeremy Lin called his sudden 10-day phenomenon “a miracle from God”---and that was before he completed a miracle comeback with a miracle final-second 3-point shot.The fairy-tale story carried north of the border and got even more spectacular as the Knicks point guard dribbled down the clock in a tie game against the Raptors, wanted the last shot, got it and made it. [Source: Marc Berman, New York Post, February 15, 2012]

Waving off a high pick and roll, “Linderella” drilled a game-winning straightaway 3-pointer with 0.5 seconds left to cap a comeback from 17 points down and lift the Knicks to a 90-87 win, each victory crazier than the last. Lin’s shot sent the Knicks (14-15) onto a six-game “Linning streak” as a jubilant Air Canada Centre crowd belted out a giant roar when the ball fell through.

On Asian Heritage Night, the “Linsanity” craze hit Canada in a big way, and Lin was cheered through much of the night as the Knicks rallied from nine points down in the final 4:15, with Lin scoring the Knicks’ last six points. “I’m glad it went like this so we can calm the Linsanity down,” coach Mike D’Antoni said jokingly.

Lin finished with 27 points and 11 assists for his second career double-double. He shot 9 of 20 from the field and hit 7 of 11 free throws, his eight turnovers an afterthought by game’s end. On the final play, Lin let the clock wind down to 2 seconds before even making his move.”He was pretty confident that was going in,” D’Antoni said. “No rebounds. Nothing. That ball was getting buried. [We wanted] a pick and roll. He didn’t want the pick and called off the pick and said 'I’ll take it.'"

The global icon said he felt Raptors defender Jose Calderon was daring him to shoot. “He tried to push me left and gave me a bit of space, and I just figured that it probably is not going to be possible to get to the basket with the help they had,” said Lin, who was crunched on his basket forays all game. “I am not going to stop shooting if I think it is a good shot,” Lin added. “I understand my percentages and there’s a criticism people have of me. Thankfully my teammates trust me with the ball at the end of the game. I like having it at the end of the game.”

D’Antoni was not about to call a timeout after Tyson Chandler pulled down a defensive rebound with 21 seconds left. “He’s too good to call timeout,” D’Antoni said of Lin’s decision-making. “He’s a tough kid. You don’t know that until you go into games with him, and there’s no way anybody could see that before the last two weeks. But he’s really tough. Mentally he’s there.”

The locker room filled with joy and one Knicks staffer said, “I’ve been here 20 years and these are in the top two, three moments.” Lin, who has scored 20 points with at least seven assists in all six wins since he started getting major playing time, outdid himself late in this one. His 3-point play on a hard drive with 1:05 tied the game and set the stage for his game-winner as the Knicks held the Raptors (9-21) to 12 fourth-quarter points.

“The amount of fun we’re having is unbelievable,” Lin said. “And it’s not because of me. It’s because we’re coming close as a team.” The Knicks were down 86-77 with 4:15 left and finished on a 13-1 run. Rookie defensive whiz Iman Shumpert stole the ball at midcourt and scored on a fastbreak dunk to make it 87-84 with 1:28 left.

More than 10 percent of the Toronto population is Chinese and the Air Canada Centre fans cheered him loudly during introductions, roared when he first touched the ball and roared even louder when he sank long jumpers. Then there was one last explosion when he made the game-winning bucket. “I believe in the all-powering God who does miracles,” Lin restated after the win.

It wasn’t all highlights for Lin, who struggled defending Calderon, who finished with 25 points. But the Knicks made a switch and got Shumpert to shut down the Spanish point guard. “I am just glad we had the opportunity for us to be tied at the end of the game just because we came out flat,” Lin said. “I let Calderon probably have 20.”

Lin Added at Last Minute to All-Star event

In the midst of the Knick’s run AP reported: Jeremy Lin will play in the Rising Stars Challenge after all. The Knicks point guard was added to the roster of players for the 24 game, just before Shaquille O'Neal and Charles Barkley began drafting for their teams. Lin's breakout came after the pool of 18 players was selected, and the NBA was pressured to add him after he scored 136 points in his first five starts, most by an NBA player since the merger with the ABA in 1976-77. [Source: AP, February 16, 2012]

Beyond his strong play, there has been enormous interest in Lin because he was undrafted out of Harvard and is the first American-born NBA player of Chinese or Taiwanese descent. Other NBA players have praised his feats on Twitter, and even President Barack Obama is a fan. But Commissioner David Stern had told USA Today that Lin would not receive a special invite to play in the game involving rookies and second-year players.

Barkley praised the addition, saying it was "really stupid the NBA denied him in the beginning." O'Neal took Lin with his third pick after starting with the Clippers' Blake Griffin. Barkley took Cleveland's Kyrie Irving at No. 2. Miami's Norris Cole also was added to make 20 eligible players. The game formerly matched rookies against second-year players, but the NBA changed the format this season so the teams would be mixed.

Spike Lee Wears Jeremy Lin's High School Jersey at Game

The next day AP reported: “One fan at Madison Square Garden spotted a guy in a Palo Alto High School jersey and asked, "Are you Lin's high school coach?" The green No. 20 in fact belonged to a fellow former Palo Alto player, who was tasked with transporting Lin's old No. 4 jersey cross-country so it could be worn Friday night by the New York Knicks' biggest celebrity fan: Spike Lee. [Source: AP, February 17, 2012]

The latest twist in the Lin saga started earlier this week when his high school coach in California, Peter Diepenbrock, said in an interview with a New York radio station that he hoped to put a Vikings jersey on the director's back. Turns out Lee heard about it and had one of his representatives contact Diepenbrock about making it happen.

Diepenbrock isn't scheduled to make it to a Knicks game until a couple days later, but another of his former players, Chris Bobel, was planning to get to New York on the day of the game. Bobel, four years older than Lin, actually has a connection to two Knicks: He was a walk-on at Stanford, where he played with Landry Fields. Along with wearing his No. 20 from Palo Alto, Bobel also brought a Cardinal jersey.

Bobel dropped Lin's jersey off with Lee's rep after arriving in New York but couldn't quite believe it would be worn. Standing a few rows up from the court about 40 minutes before the game, he was thrilled to hear Lee had been seen earlier sporting the top.

Signed Jeremy Lin Jersey Goes for $42,388; Signed Rookie Card Sold for $21,580 on eBay

Huffington Post reported: “Bidding for Jeremy Lin's autographed jersey, a four pack of tickets, and a meet-and-greet with the athlete came to a close Tuesday. The winner donated $42,388, with all net proceeds benefitting the Garden of Dreams Foundation. A few months ago, Knicks player Jeremy Lin didn't have a bed or a team to play for. Now, fans are paying thousands for the clothes off his back. [Source: Huffington Post, February 21, 2012]

According to Charitybuzz, the NBA star is auctioning off the autographed jersey he beat Kobe Bryant in during the Knicks' 92-85 win over the Lakers on Feb. 10. He set a Knicks season record scoring 38 points in one game. The winner of the auction will also get four tickets to the Feb. 22 game against the Atlanta Hawks, and will meet with Lin after the game. All proceeds will benefit the Garden of Dreams Foundation, which works to give opportunities to underprivileged youth in the New York area through partnerships with the Rangers, Knicks and Liberty.

And while Lin might be a new household name, already the 23-year-old basketball star has made his mark in giving. Earlier this month, he donated another four tickets to the Feb. 15 game benefitting the same charity. The current bid for Lin's jersey, tickets, and meet-and-greet is $6,500.”

Kelly Dwyer of Ball Don't Lie wrote: Just a few hours after wondering if the fascination with New York Knicks guard Jeremy Lin was waning, now we've proof that people are still absolutely nuts when it comes to the point guard that wasn't even in the team's rotation three weeks ago. Though Lin doesn't even have a significant endorsement deal to his name (though we've been assured that Nike is on the ready with a pair of Lin-branded shoes), a signed National Treasures rookie trading card from Lin's one season with the Golden State Warriors in 2010-11 just sold on eBay for $21,580. The 36th bid was the winner. [Source: Kelly Dwyer, Ball Don't Lie, February 23, 2012]

That's right. You could either buy a brand new Volkswagen Jetta with all sorts of lovely features directly off the lot and without haggling over the price, or you could have a signed rookie card (with a tiny piece of Lin's old Warriors jersey included) for the same price. As of the end of the bidding, by the way, Jeremy Lin has played a total of 756 NBA minutes thus far in his career. Minnesota Timberwolves All-Star Kevin Love, for comparison's sake, has played about as many minutes since Jan. 14 of this year.

Jeremy Lin: Instant Star in China, with a Fervent Following Among Christians

On Linsanity in China,Keith Bradsher wrote in the New York Times, “The clearest sign that Jeremy Lin’s appeal has spanned the Pacific to mainland China may lie not in the 1.4 million Chinese microblog messages mentioning him in recent days, but in a rare failure to meet demand here in the heart of one of the world’s largest centers of pirated garment manufacturing. “His jerseys have sold out, even including the counterfeit ones,” said Zheng Xiaojun, a 24-year-old clerk in Hangzhou, the capital of Zhejiang province, near Shanghai. [Source: Keith Bradsher, the New York Times, February 14, 2012]

Lin’s stunning success with the Knicks has captured the imagination of the Chinese, from Communist Party bosses to the often-persecuted Christian minority. Lin’s combination of success in the N.B.A. and strong Christian faith---he has spoken in the past of becoming a pastor someday---has fired the imagination of many Asian-American Christians. There are some early signs that he may also be catching the attention of Christians in China, who continue to face varying levels of persecution.

Only 1,500 of the initial 1.4 million microblogging messages on mainland Chinese web sites that mentioned Lin also mentioned Christianity. But these messages tend to be fervently enthusiastic. “Your physical agility has shown me the glory and omnipotence of God,” one Internet user wrote. “How should young Christians live the life of the Lord?”another blogger wrote. “We have a good example in Lin Shuhao’s miraculous performance and we should cheer him on.”

At the Zhejiang Theological Seminary here in Hangzhou, Professor Yan Ronghui said that she was planning to use Lin’s religious faith and basketball successes as a model for students in her course in “theological English”this semester. Hu Shubang, a 25-year-old student at the seminary, said that Lin would become a natural symbol for Christians in China to use in seeking converts. “Just by his being a Christian, it is a fantastic way to broadcast the ways of Christ,” he said.

But awareness of Lin’s faith is only starting to spread in China. State news media have covered Lin’s basketball exploits heavily but avoided mentioning his faith, part of a broader pattern of omitting or censoring religious subjects. Hu guessed that maybe one in five of the men at the 180-student seminary knew about Lin’s faith, and almost none of the women.

The highest-level fan may be Vice President Xi Jinping, the heir apparent to become China’s top leader for the next decade. He flew to Washington on to meet President Obama and told The Washington Post in a written response to questions “I do watch N.B.A. games on television when I have time.”

Jeremy Lin’s Relatives in Mainland China

Keith Bradsher wrote in the New York Times,” Lin has been particularly popular here in northern Zhejiang province, from which his maternal grandmother fled to Taiwan in the last days of China’s civil war in the late 1940s. Lin is commonly described in the United States as Taiwanese-American because his parents grew up in Taiwan before moving to the United States, where Lin was born. But mainland China is already starting to claim him as its own, part of an incessant rivalry across the Taiwan Strait.

Cai Qi, the organization chief for the Communist Party in Zhejiang, posted a message on his Twitter-like microblog over the weekend claiming that Lin’s ancestral home is Jiaxing, a city on the northeastern outskirts of Hangzhou where Lin’s maternal grandmother grew up. Since 1991, she and other family members have been giving several thousand dollars a year to Jiaxing High School, according to the school’s Web site. Her nephew, Yu Guohua, is Lin’s closest relative still living in northern Zhejiang. Yu, a 56-year-old former plastics factory worker who retired early on disability after sustaining injuries in a car crash, said in a telephone interview Tuesday night that Lin had come to play basketball with the Jiaxing High School team last May and been mobbed by admirers.

Yu said he did not have a chance to meet Lin in the throng, but spoke with his family. “His father was very supportive of Lin’s playing basketball, but his grandmother was not, for fear he would be injured,” Yu said. Lin may owe his height, 6 feet 3 inches, to his maternal grandmother’s family, Yu said. Chen Weiji, the father of Lin’s grandmother, was well over 6 feet and all of Chen’s children were tall as well, he said. Chen was a senior municipal civil servant in Jiaxing in the early 1900s. American Protestant missionaries converted him to Christianity, and he imparted his strong spiritual interests to his children, who liked to discuss religious subjects in depth and read books on religion, Yu said.

Creative "Lin-guistics" in Taiwan and China

Alan Fong wrote in the China Post, “Lin is a common surname in the Chinese-speaking world. According to a government count in 2005, it is the second most common surname in Taiwan after Chen. It is in the U.S., however, that Lin becomes the most popular. Of course we are talking about Jeremy Lin, the Taiwanese-American NBA former benchwarmer who rocketed to global stardom in less than a month. The Harvard-graduate New York Knicks point guard had the world media performing some rarely seen linguistic gymnastics (at least aside from tongue-in-cheek tabloid headlines): first it was “Linsanity,” then there are “Lincredible,” “Linvincible,” “Linspiration”and pretty much the addition of “L”to any word with a positive meaning that begins with “in-.” On Feb. 14, the New York Post made its contribution: “Happy VaLINtine's Day.” Jeremy Lin also added an entry of his own by pointing out that he likes the “Super Lintendo”---a pun on the video game console by Nintendo. [Source: Alan Fong, China Post, February 22, 2012]

Back in Taiwan, the media are also having a good time pulling off wordsmith stunts of their own, mostly by working on Lin's Chinese name Lin Shu-hao---To begin with, Lin's given name is an apt description of Lin's current show of strength. With “shu”meaning books or writing and “hao”leader or heroic person in Chinese, the name fits Lin's characteristics as a leader in the Knicks' recent winning form with an Ivy League education.

The Taiwanese puns start with a subtle translation of “Linsanity”by using the close homonym of Lin , wood): the English pun becomes “Lin Lai Feng”, with Lin substituting the close sounding “Ren”, people) from the Taiwanese idiom for “come and insane.” The turn of phase originally refers to people who become excited or showy in front of others. Here it pretty much means what Linsanity means.

For local media, however, the character “hao” is a better source for puns because it happens to be the homonym of the Chinese word for “good” or “very” ) in Mandarin. The Taiwanese press gave the world “Hao Xiao Zi” , the great kid), “Hao Shen”, very amazing), “Hao Wei”, very mighty), and “Hao Bang Yang” , good example). The track is actually quite straight forward, just add the term good or very (both Hao in Chinese) to any praise that fits the moment.

If there is an award for best pun, it should go to “Ling Shu Hao”, a term comprising ingenious puns on the first two characters in Lin's Chinese name: the surname becomes “Ling,” meaning zero and “shu” has it meanings transferred from its original books ) to lose ). Combined it refers to Lin as the “zero lose Hao,” which was a fitting description of his leading of the Knicks to seven straight wins a few days earlier.

ESPN Fires Employee For Jeremy Lin Racist Headline

The cable television sports network ESPN, AP reported, fired an employee responsible for an offensive headline about Knicks basketball sensation Jeremy Lin. The headline Friday on ESPN's mobile website was used for a story about a New York loss in which Lin had nine turnovers. The headline was an idiom that contains a word that also can be used as a slur against Chinese. According to New York Daily News, the headline - "Chink in the Armor: Jeremy Lin's 9 Turnovers Cost Knicks in Streak-stopping Loss to Hornets" - appeared on ESPN's mobile website at 2:30 a.m. on Saturday and was removed by 3:05 a.m. [Source: AP, New York Daily News, February 19, 20, 2012]

"I don't think it was on purpose or whatever, but (at) the same time they have apologized. And so from my end I don't care anymore," Lin said after leading the Knicks to a 104-97 win over Dallas on Sunday. "Have to learn to forgive, and I don't even think that was intentional. Or hopefully not."

In a statement, ESPN apologized for that headline and said it is aware of two other "offensive and inappropriate" comments. An ESPNEWS anchor who used the same phrase was suspended for 30 days. The cable network said a similar reference was made on ESPN Radio New York, but the commentator is not an ESPN employee.

The ESPN editor fired Sunday for using "chink in the armor" in a headline about Knicks phenom Jeremy Lin said the racial slur never crossed his mind - and he was devastated when he realized his mistake. "This had nothing to do with me being cute or punny," Anthony Federico told the Daily News. "I'm so sorry that I offended people. I'm so sorry if I offended Jeremy."

Floyd Mayweather Takes Swipe at Jeremy Lin

CBS News reported from Las Vegas: Not every athlete is caught up in the Linsanity. Unbeaten boxer Floyd Mayweather Jr. has posted a swipe at the New York Knicks' point guard sensation on Twitter: "Jeremy Lin is a good player but all the hype is because he's Asian. Black players do what he does every night and don't get the same praise." [Source: CBS News, February 14, 2012]

Later, Mayweather took to Twitter to defend his comment. "Its OK for ESPN to give their opinion but I say something and everyone questions Floyd Mayweather," the boxer tweeted. "I'm speaking my mind on behalf of other NBA players. They are programmed to be politically correct and will be penalized if they speak up." He later tweeted: "Other countries get to support/cheer their athletes and everything is fine. As soon as I support Black American athletes, I get criticized."

Mayweather rarely hesitates to air racially charged opinions, either in person or in social media. He has repeatedly insulted rival Manny Pacquiao, including an online video in 2010 in which he used racial and homophobic slurs against the Filipino congressman.

Linsanity Come to and End with Lin’s Ball-Handling Errors

At the close of Jeremy Lin phenomenal run AP reported: Lin has flawlessly handled Linsanity. Handling the ball has been tougher. The Knicks' point guard has been turnover prone, and it finally caught up to New York in an 89-85 loss to New Orleans. [Source: AP, February 18, 2012]

It was the Knicks' first loss since Lin became the starter and an international sensation. All the hype, and seven straight wins, had prevented much attention on his mistakes. But when he coughed the ball up nine times, tied for the most in the NBA this season, Lin put the blame on himself and perhaps gave the team reason for worry. Not so, coach Mike D'Antoni said Saturday, insisting that Lin's turnovers are "not even a concern" and that the ex-Harvard guard will be a quick study.

"I just want him to keep his mentality to not get hesitant, `Oh, I might turn it over," D'Antoni said. "That's OK. Risk it." Taking those risks led to some of the game’s miscues. D'Antoni said Lin occasionally went for the "home run play," rather than take a simpler option that may have been available. "I mean he's a level-headed kid. He's not going to get down. He'll take the blame, that's what Steve Nash did all the time, `my fault,' but he knows the next game is brand new," D'Antoni said. "He's playing better than he said he played. "Twenty-eight (actually 26) points and five assists, you might say, `Oh, that's not Linsanity,' but for any NBA player that's pretty good. Just too many turnovers."

Lin has played fearlessly, particularly for someone who had no previous NBA success until two weeks ago. He took big fourth-quarter shots on national TV to beat Kobe Bryant and the Lakers, and calmly fired the tiebreaking 3-pointer with 0.5 seconds left that gave the Knicks a 90-87 victory in Toronto. So he wasn't going to let his first failure as an NBA starter linger too long. "I'm going to keep my preparation the same. I'm OK moving onto the next game," he said. "I'm going to make mistakes and have bad games, but that's fine with me. I'm going to grow as a player, so I'm not too worried."

Skeptics of Lin note the weakness of the Knicks' schedule since Linsanity began, with only two winning teams among the seven games. The schedule gets real rugged before the All-Star break, including nationally televised games against Dallas and Miami. The Mavericks made LeBron James look ordinary in the NBA finals, so they might have a field day against an undrafted player. Jason Kidd, still one of the league's craftiest defenders, will probably have a few tricks for his fellow Northern California native.

Mavericks owner Mark Cuban tried to bring Linsanity to Dallas, bringing Lin in for summer league in 2010 and making him a guaranteed offer. But he said Lin preferred to play closer to home and eventually signed with the Warriors. And Cuban, whose team has won six in a row, seems to be enjoying Lin's breakout just like his many fans from New York to Asia. "It's great, it's great for the league, so you've got to love it," Cuban said. "And Jeremy Lin is a great kid, so I'm happy for him."

So his teammates know he will do what it takes to clean up the sloppy play that has led to six or more turnovers in five straight games. "He has a great basketball life ahead of him and great knowledge for the game, so all those are very correctable and minor mistakes," fellow point guard Baron Davis said. Davis expects to play this week for the first time this season, which could lead to a dilemma. He's a former All-Star and was expected to be the starting point guard -- and savior -- when he was ready after a herniated disk in his back.

Instead, Lin seized both roles. D'Antoni strongly believes in him -- he said he doesn't think Lin has any weaknesses -- and views him as the starter even when Davis is back. But if Lin has more struggles that opens the door for a change. "Baron, we know how good he can be. If he's that good, then it'll be tough, but I think they're both comfortable with whatever happens," D'Antoni said. "And we just try to play for the best and the luxury is having two really good point guards, and that's where we're hoping to get to."

Why Can’t China Produce a Jeremy Lin

Why can’t China produce a Jeremy Lin? Brook Larmer wrote in the Washington Post: Lin “didn’t hone his skills in the rigid Chinese sports system (think Ivy League).” Yet Lin’s sudden emergence illuminates one of the deeper themes. For all the focus on Lin’s ethnicity---the humble Asian boy with a Harvard degree and a dose of filial and religious piety---his inventive, take-charge style on the court is unabashedly American. This hasn’t stopped millions of Chinese fans from embracing Lin Shuhao, as he is known in Mandarin, as the heir to Yao Ming, the 7-foot-6center who retired from the National Basketball Association last year. [Source:Brook Larmer, Washington Post, February 17, 2012]

Why is it that a nation of 1.4 billion people and several hundred million basketball fanatics has never produced a single creative, world-class point guard” In other words: Why are there no Jeremy Lins coming out of China? The answers lie in the murky labyrinth of China’s elite sports system. “Molten-iron: training, so deeply rooted in the Chinese sports system, provides one clue in the case of the missing point guards. China’s athletic army, much like its mass of factory workers, has been extremely productive, going from five Olympic gold medals in 1988 to 51 in 2008. Yet the rigid training methods, Yardley, who wrote a book Chinese basketball, points out, suppress the very characteristics needed to produce an NBA-quality point guard: creativity, freedom, passion and leadership. A mediocre point guard confesses to Yardley that he won his position by default when his body didn’t grow as tall as predicted. In a system where players are still recruited solely on the basis of projected height---preferably 6-7 or taller---Jeremy Lin never would have played basketball in the first place.

Lin Misses End of 2012 Season Because of Knee Surgery

Howard Beck wrote in the New York Time: Jeremy Lin’s rise was swift and magical, an N.B.A. fairy tale played out on a global stage, one enchanting chapter at a time, its conclusion a captivating mystery. That epilogue came, much sooner than anticipated, with a shockingly cruel twist. Lin, the Knicks’ young point guard sensation, needs surgery to repair a torn meniscus in his left knee and will miss the rest of the regular season and probably the playoffs, assuming the Knicks make it. [Source: Howard Beck, New York Times, March 31, 2012]

”It is a big blow,” Coach Mike Woodson said Saturday night, moments after the team announced the news. Lin will have arthroscopic surgery in the next few days and is expected to be out for six weeks. The season ends in less than four weeks, on April 26.

The Knicks---who improved to 27-26 with a 91-75 victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers on Saturday---are battling to hang onto the eighth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. They are also missing Amar’e Stoudemire, their star forward, who has a bulging disk in his lower back and could miss another two to three weeks. Without Lin and Stoudemire, the Knicks struggled to put away the Cavaliers (17-33), a lottery-bound team that was missing its star rookie, Kyrie Irving.

The revelation of Lin’s injury came a week after he first complained of soreness in the knee, in a March 24 victory over Detroit. A magnetic resonance imaging test Monday showed what the team called a small, chronic tear---meaning the injury had been present for some time---and Lin sat out the next three games. The extent of the injury was not announced in the hope that Lin’s knee would respond to treatment and allow him to keep playing. But the pain persisted, and after testing the knee once more Saturday morning, Lin opted for immediate surgery.

”I can’t really do much, can’t really cut or jump,” Lin said in a news conference. “So it’s pretty clear that I won’t be able to help the team unless I get this fixed right now. It’s disappointing for me; it’s hard to watch the games. And I think I want to be out there, obviously, more than anything, to help the team.” Lin said he was a quick healer, but there is little hope that he will play again unless the Knicks make it to the second round.

Lin will be a restricted free agent this summer. Under N.B.A. rules, no team will be allowed to offer more than the average salary, about $5 million, and the Knicks will have the right to match any offer. Lin said he saw his future here. “It’s been an unbelievable journey,” Lin said. “I would

After the surgery AP reported: While Jeremy Lin said he felt "pretty good" after knee surgery, the New York Knicks guard doesn't think he could make it back for the first round of the playoffs.Lin had surgery Monday to repair torn cartilage in his left knee with a recovery time of about six weeks. "I think unless something goes really well, I wouldn't get there," Lin, speaking before Sunday's game, said of playing in the first round. [Source: Frank Franklin II, AP, April 9, 2012]

Lin was working out on a bike and hoped to start running late next week. The undrafted Harvard product had a heavy workload in a compressed season, which might have contributed to his injury. "I still may have gotten hurt. That's hard to say," Lin said. "I mean, I think obviously a condensed schedule can be harder on people's bodies. I don't know if that was the exact cause. I don't know if I would have still gotten hurt if it was a normal season. That's kind of hard to guess."

Image Sources: NBA Player Files Gallery

Text Sources: New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Times of London, National Geographic, The New Yorker, Time, Newsweek, Reuters, AP, Lonely Planet Guides, Compton’s Encyclopedia and various books and other publications.

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© 2008 Jeffrey Hays

Last updated April 2012

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