Quotable Quote of the Month

What does it take for Republicans to take off the flag pin and say, 'I am just too embarrassed to be on this team'?".- Bill Maher

Friday, February 24, 2012

Please Take A Moment To Vote In the Two Jeremy Lin Polls ... Thank You

Please note that this post is "future dated" because it's poll-related. For posts which were written after this one, but have their actual date attached to them, please scroll down. Thank you.

Ever since "Linsanity" took the world by storm, I've been planning on writing a post about the man who inspired the term... New York Knicks point guard Jeremy Lin. As of this writing, the New York Knicks are 8-1 since February 4 (the date Lin began playing substantial minutes for them). The superb numbers Lin has put up in his first eight NBA starts had the crew on NBA Sunday comparing his stats to the first 8 pro starts of Hall of Fame point guards Earvin "Magic" Johnson, Isiah Thomas, and John Stockton.

Lin's success hasn't gone unnoticed by the non-sports media either, receiving coverage on regular newscasts, inspiring jokes by late night TV hosts, as well as a skit on the 2/18 edition of SNL. The meteoric rise of Jeremy Lin and the way his success has captured the imagination of sports fans and non-fans alike is a combination we don't see too often in sports. The other similar instances in my lifetime that come to mind are Mark "The Bird" Fidrych and William "The Refrigerator" Perry.

Jeremy Lin's "out-of-nowhere" success is all the more amazing given his previous "underdog" status:
  • Despite being named first-team All-State and Northern California Division II Player of the Year during his senior year in high school, Lin failed to receive any college athletic scholarship offers. He wound up attending Harvard (which like other Ivy League schools, does not offer athletic scholarships)
  • Although he had a successful hoops career at Harvard, Lin was undrafted in the 2010 NBA Draft
  • After his first year, he was waived by the Golden State Warriors and the Houston Rockets in the preseason before joining the Knicks early in the 2011-2012 season. 
  • The Knicks considered releasing Lin before his contract became guaranteed on February 10 so they could sign a new player.
Because Lin is one of the few Asian Americans in NBA history, his phenomenal success has brought the often uncomfortable subject of race into the conversation. On Lin's Wikipedia page, there already is a section on the racial issues that have come up before and after Lin's rise to prominence in the NBA.

Two of the stories which have arisen in the wake of "Linsanity" are the subject of the two poll questions I've posted. One involves whether or not the Jeremy Lin hype is caused by race. The question first arose after heavyweight boxer Floyd Mayweather wrote the following on his Twitter page, "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."

The other poll deals with ESPN firing one employee and suspending another over the use of the term "chink in the armor" in relation to Lin.  On the night of February 18, Anthony Federico posted the following headline on ESPN’s mobile website: "Chink in the Armor: Jeremy Lin's 9 Turnovers Cost Knicks in Streak-Snapping Loss to Hornets." By Sunday afternoon, Federico was cut loose by ESPN. Also on 2/18, ESPNews television personality Max Bretos posed the following question about Lin live on the air: "If there is a chink in the armor, where can he improve his game?" As a result, Bretos was given a 30-day suspension.

After voting in the polls, please feel free to share your thoughts in the comments section of this post. In the clip below, the panel of ESPN First Take discuss the role that race plays in the Jeremy Lin hype.

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