Jobu weighs in on Jeremy Lin, the New York Knicks’ latest sensation.
Here at Jobu’s Rum, we don’t normally give into hype, unless you count our coverage of Yoenis Céspedes, Jesús Montero, or really any other hot commodity in the sports world (sigh), but I had to at least comment on the current situation with the New York Knicks, and the league’s latest sensation, PG Jeremy Lin.
I’m by no means a Knicks fan. My early life in Uruguay and the NBC game of the week combined to, oddly enough, make me a Boston Celtics fan. Because they are my local team I have kind of a love/hate relationships with the Knicks. I want them to do well because a lot of my friends are big Knicks fans, but I don’t want them to do well enough to challenge by beloved C’s.
When it comes to fantasy basketball, however, there are no favorite teams. Your job as a fantasy basketball owner is to build the best team possible, so that you may take home the prize at the end of the season. My pickup of Jeremy Lin early last week (always hop on the hot hand if you have a roster opening) may just have given me the leg up i need to contend with the big boys of my league.
I’ve known about Lin since the 2010 NBA draft (where he went undrafted), because I happened to watch a draft preview that featured him as a possible late flyer or free agency signing. The piece mentioned that Lin was trying to become the first player of Taiwanese descent to reach the NBA (one of few Asian-American players period), and the first from Harvard since Ed Smith in 1954.
Lin’s story is a great one for the city of New York because it is a true underdog story (at least when it comes to sports). Getting great grades in High School and graduating from Harvard put you in a great position in life, but not always necessarily in sports.
After a pretty stellar high school career, which included a CIF Division II State Championship, Lin did not receive any scholarship offers. Although several schools offered him a chance to walk-on, only Brown and Harvard even offered him a guaranteed spot on their teams.
No matter, Jeremy went on to a pretty stellar college career too. He ended up as a multiple-tim Ivy League All-American, including during his record-breaking senior season. According to Wikipedia (we only use the best sources here at Jobu’s Rum), that year, Lin became the first player in the history of the Ivy League to notch at least 1,450 points, 450 rebounds, 400 assists and 200 steals in a season. Unfortunately for Jeremy, no NBA teams really cared, because he went un-drafted in June.
He ended up signing with the Golden State Warriors (his hometown team), but his rookie year left a lot to be desired. While on the shuttle from Golden State to their D-League affiliate, the Reno Bighorns, Lin only managed to get into 29 NBA games, and only averaged 26 ppg. He was waived on the first day of camp before the 2011 season.
After being claimed and released by the Rockets (on Christmas eve no less), Lin finally landed in New York. The Knicks didn’t seem to have much use for Jeremy, so they too sent him to the D-League. He was recalled on January 23rd and, after only playing sporadically, had the biggest game of his life on Feb 4th. His 25 point explosion not only won him the Knicks starting point guard job, it got him noticed by me. The next game, Lin put up 28 points and 8 assists against the Utah Jazz, and I picked him up for my fantasy team (i know a good hot streak when I see it).
Since then, Lin has done nothing but wow crowds and score points. Overall, the Knicks are on a five game winning streak, and they’re playing without Carmelo Anthony and Amar’e Stoudemire, their two best players. Jeremy has led the Knicks past the Nets, Jazz, Wizards, Lakers and Timberwolves, averaging 26.8 points and 8 assists per game during that stretch.
He has become a cultural phenomenon in New York. Lin-sanity has taken over the city, and the New York Post is having a field day with the young guard, breaking out their book of terrible puns for their sports section. Spike Lee is even involved, asking fans to tweet puns on Lin’s name (normally I don’t support anything Spike Lee does, but this one is actually fun).
Jeremy Lin has invigorated the city with his play, and it’s been a hell of a ride, but I’m curious to see what happens when the Knicks get their big stars back. I have no doubt Stoudemire will fit in very nicely with Lin. The last time Coach D’Antoni had an impact point guard paired with Amar’e Stoudemire, things went very well.
I’m very curious to see if Carmelo Anthony will be able to mesh with Lin as well. We all know Carmelo likes the ball, but this team seems to be running very smoothly with Lin at the helm. I expect ‘Melo to take one for the team and yield to the kid, but athletes can often be divas, so we’ll see. Either way, expect Lin’s ppg to drop, his assists to rise, the sales of his Jersey to skyrocket and my fantasy basketball team to greatly improve it’s chances of winning my league (oh, and I guess the Knicks might make the playoffs too).
Feature image courtesy of: Getty Images
Second image courtesy of: Andrew Theodorakis/New York Daily News
Harvard image courtesy of: http://www.fanbase.com
Fans image courtesy of: The Associated Press
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