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Featured Gallery, NBA / Feb 15, 2012 / 3:00 pm

The Ugly Truth Of The Linsanity Debate: It’s Always Racial

Jeremy Lin

I’m not going to say Floyd Mayweather Jr. was right when he tweeted that Jeremy Lin has only become the hottest name in sports because he’s Asian.

I am going to say that Floyd limited himself – either accidentally because he didn’t put enough thought behind his words, or on purpose within the 140-character confines of Twitter – from what could have started an intelligent debate on race, sports and social conditioning.

Rather than firing a stray race bullet into the crowd, what Floyd and every other Jeremy Lin hater should cite are the historically ignored forefathers to Jeremy Lins that we’ve seen pass through the NBA before.

Flip Murray, a barely-heard-of second-round draft pick out of Shaw University, averaged 21.0 points over the first 14 games of the 2003-04 season for the Seattle Supersonics. Flip was thrust into the rotation when future Hall of Fame guard Ray Allen was injured, and upon Allen’s return, resumed his destined path as an expendable NBA role player.

Tarence Kinsey, an undrafted rookie out of South Carolina, averaged 18.9 points over the final 13 games of the ’06-07 season for the Memphis Grizzlies. “Mayonnaise” dropped 24 on the Lakers, and 28 apiece against the Nuggets and Warriors. He did this while playing with broken bones in his face and a damaged right eye that he sustained in a preseason scrimmage.

Ramon Sessions, the fifth-to-last pick in the 2007 Draft, averaged 13.1 points and 13.1 assists over the final seven games of his rookie season for the Milwaukee Bucks. In one game against Chicago, Sessions had 20 points, eight rebounds and 24 assists – six shy of tying the NBA’s single-game record.

Andray Blatche, a preps-to-pros second-round draftee who was going nowhere special for the first five years of his career with the Washington Wizards, landed the starting power forward job by default in February 2010 after Washington traded veteran Antawn Jamison. Blatche proceeded to finish the season averaging 22.1 points and 8.3 rebounds following the All-Star break.

All four of these men – and there are more like them – had brief, unexpected runs of inexplicable dominance in the NBA. All of their hot streaks lasted longer than Lin’s current six-game fairy tale that has captured the sports world’s fancy. None of them received a significant fraction of the media hype and public support that Lin has received. And all of them are Black.

Hold up, though. I’m not ready to make this a racial issue yet.

There are several factors, colorblind factors, contributing to Lin’s rise as an NBA supernova.

There is social media’s increasingly wide swath of influence, which has never been stronger than in 2012.

There is the fact that Lin plays for the New York Knicks, in the heart of the city that never sleeps on an opportunity to declare itself the center of the universe, instead of the Charlotte Bobcats or Utah Jazz.

[RELATED: We Reminisce – The Original Jeremy Lin]

There is the good timing of Lin’s hot streak coinciding with the typically slow post-Super Bowl sports news cycle.

There is the adorable side note that Lin comes to us from Harvard, rather than a basketball factory like Kentucky or UCLA or the Chinese government.

There is the fact that Lin is a 6-foot-3 point guard that the average man can relate to, rather than a 6-foot-9 behemoth seemingly bred to dunk a basketball.

There is the convenience of Lin’s open Christianity providing an easy (albeit lazy) link to the sports world’s most recent sensation, Tim Tebow.

And finally, there is the perception that Lin just seems like a nice, humble guy with good parents and a hard-working ethos. Which has little to do with race, as the same perception also applies to Chris Paul, Grant Hill, Stephen Curry and Barack Obama.

All of these factors help explain WHY Jeremy Lin has taken over your television and commandeered your Internet browser over the last week and a half. But more interesting is HOW it’s happened: The part that Lin’s new fans either don’t bother discussing or don’t know basketball well enough to discuss.

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  • Bill

    Comparing to the guys listed in the beginning, did anyone of them lead their teams to seven straight victories though?

    There’s no way Washington was any good after Jamieson was traded and Blatch started.

    Seattle without Ray Allen had only Rashard, Ridnour and Collison?

    That’s the main difference right now, ignoring race, it’s the fact that they’re winning.

  • quest???

    This is one thing I did not understand about Americans. Everything is about race, especially with african americans. From what I have seen it seems that african americans have an inferiority complex towards everything and this aids racism and racial stereotypes…get over it! we are all the same.

  • NYK

    of course race is an issue, how in the hell do you think this kid was overlooked by so many colleges, ended up going to harvard on his own, and even when showing heart playing in harvard was overlooked AGAIN and went undrafted, then cut twice in one preseason and ended up warming the bench on d’antoni until d’antoni did his own “hail mary” pass and dug deep into the last man on his bench and played Lin when his own job was on the line. How? Because he’s Asian!

    then, and only then, did Jeremy Lin get a chance to show the world what he’s always been capable of.

  • G

    You’re exactly right: “it’s not that he’s asian, it’s that he’s not black.”

    If he was an awkward looking white kid he would be getting the same hype. Carlos Arroya got similar attention when he led Puerto Rico over the US. And it’s why Sundiata Gaines didn’t get nearly enough attention when he hit a buzzer beater 3 to win his first game after being called up from the D League (albeit he didn’t string together 5 straight preformances like Lin has).

    Lin doesn’t look like what you expect an NBA player to look like. Is that because he’s Asian, yes, but it’s also becasue like you pointed out he’s not 6’6 and a freak athlete like Evans. So I don’t think there’s any denying that to the casual fan, or sports writer, the expectaions of him were significantly lower.

    And that was good enough to get him attention at the begining. But the rest he’s done himself. And now the Asian thing is past. If he had put up clunkers following his first game no one would be talking about this. But he didn’t he came out and balled, and the Knicks won. So it started out with him being Asian but that part is over now. Now its about what he’s doing on the court.

  • Dilatedmind

    While I agree with your points that it has a small dose of race on why it has become such a story, but at the same time you have to look at the Lin story as a whole. Flip already had a pedigree and was drafted. Lin has had to work for every moment of shine. He led his HS team to a State championship and received no D1 scholarships… could this have been because of race? I’m sure if Lin was black, he wouldn’t have gotten overlooked.
    Also, no other player has done what Lin is doing with his career starts, he’s won 6 straight, broke Scoring and assist numbers, as well as turnover… lol. but on top of this he did most of this without an all star. So to answer your question would Jeremy get this recognition if he were of a different race, I would say yes. But if he were any other race, he would have never had to struggle as hard to get into the lime light.

  • NBA Fan

    None of those guys played for a big market team either. It’s important to remember that Lin being Asian is only one of the story lines. He is an NBA player, who came out of nowhere, has led the NY KNICKS to a 7 game winning streak, etc etc…

  • http://www.zwani.com/graphics/funny_pictures/images/88funny-pictures128.jpg JAY

    There is some truth to Mayweather’s statement but, IMO, race has little to do with it. He implied that it’s the ONLY reason. IMO, his team is the biggest reason why we’re paying attention. the whole

    He sounded, to me, a bit jealous that ‘some chinese guy’ is taking the league hype away from the black players. Kinda like white people when Tiger busted onto the golf scene, totally disregarding the fact that Tiger was winning tournaments by 12 strokes regularly. To the white people it had nothing to do with Tiger obliterating the competition. Just like to Floyd, it has nothing to do with his Cinderella story.

    If he really wants to make this a racial issue… I’ll argue that dude wasn’t offered any scholarships due to his race. If this IS a race issue, then Jeremy Lin is getting all he deserves from all the idiots who doubted his ability because of his race. The kid is a PLAYER. Anybody who can’t see that doesn’t really know basketball.

  • one picture says it all

    black people like you are what makes the rest of the world think black people are retarded

  • high

    seriously? “if he was black he wouldn’t get the same amount of attention?”

    If he was black, he’d have been overhyped, recruited into a top collegiate basketball program, and OD on the sidewalk somewhere after a gang shooting. OR, more realistically, he would have the media in his ear telling him he’s going to be amazing ever since he was 15, a la oj mayo, lance stephenson, demarcus cousins, lebron james, etc. He lead his HS team to a state title and he didn’t get an athletic scholarship, you think that would happen if he were black?
    You come across as an incredible whiny individual who attempts to scream racism at every opportunity he gets.

  • shourjo

    So, there’s a racial element to it. You questioned your own reactions as well as the reactions of others with regard to the possibility of race being operative. And then what? That said, now what? The kid is balling. It’s a good story. He’s helped salvage NY’s season with his play. I mean, was there anything about NY’s season worth celebrating until this happened? Did you watch the game on Fri against the Lakers? It was a legitimately gutsy performance. These are legitimate stories. And, frankly, a bigger story than Flip Murray, etc. becuz of the impact of the team’s success on a big stage. So what if the hype machine isn’t color blind – your enjoyment of the game should be. Shouldn’t it? This nonsense of “I want Tyreke to outplay him tonight” with the understated “cuz he’s black” is … I don’t even know what to call it. What would YOU call it?

  • high

    this is also a website that massively overhyped LANCE FREAKING STEPHENSON. and you think Jeremy Lin is over hyped? put him on your cover and then watch him get benched for 2 years like that piece of shit player u put on your cover

  • yep!

    Only in the wonderful US of A does something like this feel good story have to right away be all about race!!! sad….it really is sad…Mayweather is a moron…about to spend time in jail..no one should listen to that retard…

  • Bee4Three

    Worst post i’ve ever read on dimemag.com
    embarrsising..disgusting. don’t know what to call it.
    why can’t people just enjoy this wonderfull story?
    stop hating!!

  • Jerry

    RACE RACE RACE

    Stop making it about race. Make it about PLAYING BALL.

    Why so insecure? Aren’t most players in the NBA black? And don’t they have most of the success stories? All of a sudden someone not black getting the headlines with tenacity, determination, skills and above all results is threatening?

    Also it’s disgusting to use Mayweather as a source of any kind of opinion at all. Lets look back: “As soon as we come off vacation, we’re going to cook that little yellow chump. We ain’t worried about that. So they ain’t gotta worry about me fighting the midget. Once I kick the midget ass, I don’t want you all to jump on my dick. So you all better get on the bandwagon now. … Once I stomp the midget, I’ll make that motherfucker make me a sushi roll and cook me some rice.”

    Please.

  • control

    If there is any colour that is influencing Lin’s rise and hype, it’s not yellow, it’s fucking blue and orange. Every time Floyd starts running his yap, it’s always about some bullshit that he shouldn’t even be talking about. Why would ANY basketball fan care about what some fool in a dying sport thinks?

  • Jnu

    Of course race has something to do with it. Although it’s not race specific.

    People root for the black team in Glory Road because they were, at that point in history, a minority that was trying to make it in a system that did not accept them as a whole.

    If most NBA players were Taiwanese and a black person were doing the same things Jeremy Lin was doing, I’d imagine they would get the same amount of hype.

    It’s about minority and majority here. Pretty simple.

  • Jason

    The difference between the players listed and Lin is they ARE NOT playing in New York City!

    New York City is the largest media market in the world which makes it EXTREMELY EASY to cover Lin’s story. Media executives attend Knicks’ games (The hot ticket in NYC since Carmelo came over) and are seeing a potential story first hand. Lin’s hype stems from his recent successes and his story (Harvard grad, Asian-American, sleeping on his brother’s couch, not expected to succeed) on the biggest stage in the world (MSG).

    Let’s be happy for the guy and stop pulling out the race card.

  • the cynic

    Floyd Mayweather is moron who beats women in his spare time, who cares what he says

    none of those guys turned crap teams into winners, none came from ivy league (all our supreme court judges come from just 2 ivy league schools), none had a fraction of the attention or pressure pushed on jeremy lin who is in NY, not seattle (they don’t even have a team anymore!). Every player you listed shrinks in the moment.

    Where race does matter is the exposure he is getting overseas. Every NBA player is hopeful that jeremy lin establishes himself as a viable star because it will expand their potential market, especially since the loss of Yao

  • Stephen Jackson

    Burton, you should quit.

    This is why things will take forever to change in America.

  • http://dimemag.com Austin Burton

    Over the years I’ve noticed that the people who get the most offended by someone bringing race into a conversation are the same people who are least impacted by racism.

    Human beings are tribal by nature. We just are.

    It’s why your average American pulls for Team USA in an Olympic sport they barely understand. It’s why your average American was emotionally impacted by 9/11 more than the other disasters and atrocities that happen in other countries all the time.

    It’s why Larry Holmes vs. Gerry Cooney and Jack Johnson vs. Any Decent White Heavyweight were huge boxing draws. It’s why we’ll turn to American Idol and automatically have a rooting interest in the singer who’s from our hometown.

    The majority of sports fans draw those tribal lines on a team level, or a national level, or a regional level. But many of us also draw them — subconciously or not — on a race level. Really examine the Celtics/Lakers, Duke/UNLV and Patriots/Ravens rivalries and tell me you can’t see it. Look at the Pacquiao/Mayweather situation.

    I’m always going to be honest with myself and with anybody who reads what I write. Yeah, I do want Tyreke to do well tonight against Lin. Part of it is because I know Tyreke and I’ve covered him since he was a kid; I want him to do well in every game. But another part is that I know if Tyreke becomes “just another victim” in Lin’s Goldberg streak, it’s a loss (even if just a small loss) for every kid who fits the Tyreke mold as the “Black basketball player” that so many people do not like. That’s the tribalism in me. I’m willing to explore that in print, and I won’t run away from it.

  • http://www.livingcheapla.com hakasan

    hate quoting myself, but here it is…

    “just want to point out that hindsight is 20-20…
    who would have guessed drafting jordan 3rd overall was a mistake… ben wallace/jose calderon/darrell armstrong/bruce bowen/avery johnson/brad miller/john stark all went undrafted and have/had very good nba careers…

    i think it’s awesome that lin is doing great in the L right now, but… i don’t think it’s crazy that a high schooler avg 16/8/8 with 5 steals with no particular freakish physical attributes did not get a D1 scholarship… there have been POYs every year out of the Ivy League, and how does Lin’s 18/6/5 and 3 steals distinguish him from anyone else? also… maybe the reason he didn’t get PT at GSW is because he’s playing behind Monta Ellis and Stephen Curry… arguably the best guard tandem in the L for the past few season…

    arguably, it was actually better for Lin to play at harvard where he was the star and received all the attention to nurture his game as opposed to not being a focus on a tournament bound school interested in getting the most out of their freakish freshmen…

    so… what i’m trying to say is that it is great to see Lin balling at such a high level, but i really don’t see how it is considered a fatal mistake for people who didn’t give him a chance before…

    linsanity!”

  • TJ

    The biggest different between Lin and those guys is that he is playing way better. None of the guys you mentioned went from D-league to 27ppg and 8.5 apg over a 6 game stretch.

  • Big T

    Race is and always will be a factor in the way people view things. What’s acceptable behavior for certain ethnicities isn’t acceptable for others, which has always been a double standard… and it’s not just Americans either.

    I read an article the other day about Jimmer also, how he’s being singled out on Sacramento because of his color and in return, has been logging consistent DNPs. It’s interesting and pathetic how issues can evolve and bloat into a racial situation. But like I said, it’s always going to be that way.

  • Steve M.

    I commend this article for correctly identifying all the ingredients that have gone into the recipe for Linsanity, but I think it’s gotten the measurements and preparations all wrong. Race is a factor, sure, but I don’t think it’s that he’s “not black” so much as it is that he’s a contextual minority: Asians are still relative rarities on NBA rosters, which has added to the thrilling “wtf” quality of the whole phenomenon. Look, it’s no secret that there’s a perception that black men make for better basketball players, and you’re being a PC pussy if you don’t admit to yourself that there’s some justification for that perception. Sure, there are bigots who overerate competent Caucasian players because of some lame identification with the color of their skin, but I think an overwhelming majority identify with the inherent “underdog” quality associated with /difference/. I think that’s the key word here: “difference.” Novelty makes for a more interesting story. I also think the article ends with a laughable, unpersuasive justification for the authors’ distaste for Lin’s magical run. Let’s face it, the overall impression left by this little essay is that Mr. Burton harbors racial resentment toward the kid. And just like the aforementioned “black men make better ballers” stereotype, the place from where that’s coming is understandable to a degree. Shizz is complicated.

  • http://www.livingcheapla.com hakasan

    2 additional points…

    1. not to take away from flip’s run… but wasn’t ray allen hurt in the off season, so seattle had some time to work him into the offense, whereas lin had what, 10 days to prep in the ny system?

    2. as a fan, i want both players to do well… dueling match ups are always more exciting than a one sided beatdown… but don’t you think that if somehow lin edge tyreke tonight that it would speak more to the “every kid who fits the Tyreke mold as the “Black basketball player”” to concerntrate more on things like working on the fundementals of the game, playing heady basketball, getting an education, and hardwork?

  • http://dimemag.com Austin Burton

    @hakasan — To your first point, Lin has been with the Knicks all season, getting spot minutes here and there. So he had time to get adjusted to NY’s system just like Flip had time to adjust to Seattle’s system.

    To your second point, there is a lot of truth to that. But I worry about when somebody like Lin (or even Steve Nash or even Ben Wallace) succeeds behind the neatly-wrapped “he just works hard” and “He has heart” narrative, it takes away from other apparently more gifted players who also work hard.

    For example, when Tebow went on his run, everybody was saying “Tebow has more heart than anyone” and “Tebow works harder than anyone.” To me it was an implication that supremely gifted guys like Adrian Peterson don’t have as much heart and don’t work as hard, which short-changes the amount of work they put in.

  • the cynic

    When did dime bring AB back?

    @AB

    only morons (just about every sportscaster) said ish like “Tebow works harder than anyone”. IMO guy is in the bottom half of QB work ethic. Tebow survives on his athletic ability.

  • http://www.livingcheapla.com hakasan

    @AB

    pt. 1 — fair enough.
    pt. 2 — i think when physically gifted athletes work hard and excel at the highest level, hardwork is not a part of the dialogue because their achievements simply trenscends hardwork. i don’t think anyone questions the fact that AP works heck hard to keep in tip top shape… their competitive spirits won’t allow for it…

    but especially for the NBA, how long have fans/critics been saying that the level of fundemental basketball has been going down? when players don’t have a legit jump shot/free throw? when players are criticized for not working on low post moves? when vinsanity openly admitted that he took nights off when he played in canada? don’t you think that even a bit more emphasis on hard work would benefit the sport in general?

  • http://www.livingcheapla.com hakasan

    and i have to say that i’m a sucker for the hardwork storylines… back when grant hill was this amazing athlete, i was never a fan… but now that he somehow overcome numerous surgeries and still playing at a high level in the L, i actually admire the latter part of his career much more…

    but then again, my favorite players growing up are charles oakley and anthony mason…

  • EGB

    Austin, this by far is the worst article you have written among many others. It’s because of black people like yourself who make idiotic commentary to a broad range of people that make the America solidify it’s position that black people are dumb.

    One Picture put it best: black people like you are what makes the rest of the world think black people are retarded.

    You wanted to play the race card, there’s it is.

    It doesn’t matter if Lin is Asian or not. He’s on a tear; even if he’s up against bad teams. It’s no different than Kobe dropping 80 sum points on the Raptors. We like that, we celebrate it; then the hype fizzles away like with everything else. So don’t worry, basketball is a black sport and it’s going to stay that way. Every now and then you’ll have a some white boy like Larry Bird that can rain on anybody, a Filipino head coach coaching 3 all stars on one team, or Asian dude like Lin. Don’t hate the hype that comes with a feel good story because if you were really pro black, you would be figuring a way to write about the 12th man on the worst team in the league.

  • UIL33

    This article gets to the core of Lin hating by some members of the black community. I wont pretend that race doesn’t have anything to do with his current stardom, it is a small part of this thing called Linsanity. But on the flip side, it had EVERYTHING to do with why he had been overlooked on his journey here.
    I COMPLETELY disagree with “its not b/c he is Asian, its because he is not black.” That is complete BS. If JLIN17 were black he would have had the “basketball” breaks that Asian Americans ballers never had. He would have gone to a D1 school with a ride. He would have been hyped like LaBron out of high school. He would have been drafted by a team in the NBA. Bottom line is, you can’t have it both ways! Stop playing the race card only when things are going against you (or when the spot light is no longer on you), and putting the race card away when things are going your way. Unadulterated hypocrisy!

  • A

    Most points by any player in his first four starts since the 1976 NBA-ABA merger. Enough said.

  • UIL33

    @EGB
    well said.

  • UIL33

    “I’d like to think that any point guard good enough to make an NBA roster and play 38 minutes per night under Mike D’Antoni would produce similar stats and magical moments against that kind of opposition.”

    Chris Duhon and Nate Robinson both had their chances…
    I don’t remember a damn thing they did in NY under D’Antoni. Oh yeah, but Nate can dunk.

  • UncheckedAggression

    I liked the reductionist portions of this article, but disagree with some of the main points.

    Of course race is playing a big role here. But I think the fact that he is Asian has much more to do with it than him not being African American. Lin has always had a ton of support behind the scenes. Every Asian American ball player I knew back in Cali was familiar with the kid and followed him. When the Warriors picked Lin up, I talked to a few of them about it. I could tell they were gonna go nuts if it turned out that Lin was even 6th man material. Funny thing was, I was the one that kept arguing that the dude was gonna make it. Even they doubted Lin and I couldn’t understand why. I always thought he was athletic enough, skilled enough, and a hard enough worker that he should make it just fine. Then he got let go…

    I underestimated just how biased “basketball” in general is against Asians. It’s kind of sick to see, but I shouldn’t be so surprised, I guess.

    As far as this Linsanity stuff goes… Wow. It’s pretty crazy to see. As I was telling a friend recently, it’s like a perfect storm of him being in NY, winning games during a desperate time, and being Asian. Asian American fans have been waiting for someone like this, and they are embracing it to the fullest. But the story has also captured the imagination of damn near everyone. Just enjoy it.

    I still don’t think Lin is the player so many people think right now. But he will probably be a good guard for a little while. Honestly, part of the reason he’s doing as well as he has lately is because he has not been given enough respect by defenses. The Laker game was especially pathetic–it looked like Lin was getting the Rondo treatment.

  • UncheckedAggression

    UIL33–I agree.

  • the_don_mega

    jsut lie @JAY said… race might’ve played a part in the whole situation but it’s not that much… I think the whole “he plays in NY and NY=hype/attention” part of it closes the argument…

    factor in that he plays for the Knicks… who are in trouble of being irrelevant this season (despite their FA signings)… coming out of nowhere to save their season… and it all rolled along from there… for me… the 4 major factors for his sudden rise would be…

    1. NY hype machine
    2. the whole “savior/hero” factor
    3. underdog story
    4. race

  • http://www.livingcheapla.com hakasan

    umm…
    can someone please tell me examples of D1 talent being featured right now with high school averages of 16/8/8/5… what was lin’s measured vertical and 3/4 court speed when he was in HS? i don’t care what color you are, with those stats, you’re not getting featured in D1.

    look at his harvard numbers… him not being drafted can’t be a surprise… if he was avging 50/15/15/5stl in the ivy league, then argue that he should have been drafted… chris dudley, the last ivy player to be drafted in the 4th round averaged 18pts/14rbs his senior year…

  • UncheckedAggression

    Hakasan–I guess you’re shitting on the points average? Because averaging 8 rebounds, 8 assists, and 5 steals is damn impressive. Plenty of highly successful ball players had worse numbers than that in HS. And doing it in the Bay would DEFINITELY draw attention.

  • James Blackburn

    The media was never mentioned- that is my Lin is everwhere- there is more media now then ever

  • NTstateOFmind

    claiming tribalism as a copout to racism
    …I see what you did there, ima use that one too

  • high

    this is article is a complete joke.

    This would the equivalent of someone claiming that Tiger Woods only gets hype because he’s black. or that JACKIE ROBINSON was hyped only because he’s black. No shit, race has SOMETHING to do with it, but to single it out and sit there and whine about it is incredibly irresponsible and immature. Every race has had its hardships and has been oppressed at one point or another throughout history. This is not an excuse for you to disproportionally “pull the race card”. Racism is abundant on this planet and NOT JUST TOWARDS BLACK PEOPLE. Black people were racist when they wrote Lin off. Now you can claim that White people are being racist by taking capitalizing on financial advantages of the racist Asians who want to see another Asian beat black people at basketball. Are you stupid? or is that really that hard to understand?

    You are simply and idiotic racist (yes you are definitely racist)can appears to formulate coherent thoughts by using eloquent speech. In reality, you offer no substance for your hate towards Lin, other than the fact that he is Asian. You are envious of his attention over other athletes. You would have no problems, however, if he were black and garnered so much attention.

    Quit Complaining, grow up and stop being RACIST.

  • RC

    I think his gf turned into one of Lin’s groupies that’s why he’s mad….

    Chill out bro… a 3 page article really???? life’s too short dude… think about it…

  • deeds

    Leave it to Austin Burton to make it about race…

  • DDP

    “I don’t think I’m the only Black man in America who, even if it’s just a slight tug of pride on my racial hardwiring, hopes Tyreke handles himself well tonight against Jeremy Lin.”

    It’s halftime, so things may change, but so far Evans (4 pts on 1-7 shooting, 3 assists, 2 boards, 2 TOs) is getting dismantled by Lin (6 pts on 2-4 shooting, 9 assists, 2 boards, 1 TO). You know what that says with respect to race? Nothing.

    It really is amazing how racially insecure Burton is, though. The league is 75% black, the best players are black, the biggest contracts and endorsements go to black players, who are made into global icons. Relax, man, Jeremy Lin isn’t taking it all away from you.

  • DurrtyInjun

    Yes the hype is greater because he has the underdog, new thing in town (being asian) aspects going for him, but as I think I may have seen only one other person post, he is WINNING…while putting up ridiculous numbers and leading the team, IN NYC!! Any unknown pg in the same situation regardless of race would be getting hyped by this point.

    And Austin, I know you wont agree with this, but you have shown yourself to be culturally ignorant with most the points you make. Don’t feel bad though because its hard for most people to view things outside the viewpoint of the culture they are immersed in.

  • http://www.livingcheapla.com hakasan

    i’m just saying that those are good hs numbers but not great hs numbers, especially without crazy physical attribute numbers… and yes, i rounded everything up…
    according to wiki it’s more like 15.1pts, 7.1ast 6rb, and 5 stl…. unfortunately, you can find a player with those averages in pretty much every high school league in the country…

    melo averaged 25 and 10 as a junior in hs, john wall averaged 19+, 9ast and 8 rebounds, brandon jennings averaged 32.7/7.4ast/5.1rb… dRose 25/9.1rb/8.8ast, Beasley 28pt/16rb, deandre jordan 26pt, 15rb, 8blk, kevin love, 33.9pt, 17rb, 4ast… these are the stats that gets you a featured spot on a D1 team/legit hype…

  • H Dubya

    I knew as soon as I saw the title that Burton would get a lot of hate on this one but really I don’t see what’s so bad about it. The most “racist” thing he says is that he wants Tyreke to play well against Lin, which isn’t racist IMO. It sounds like the Lin fans are taking any kind of slight now as racism against their guy.

  • control

    If someone wants to see an asian guy get hated on because they are asian, check the (american) porn industry…haha.

  • uqk

    where’s the annual ZBo allstar snub/mancrush article?

  • UIL33

    Hakasan, for every D1 scorer you list, I can find one who was recruited with numbers closer to Lin’s. Nate Robinson, Saun Livingston, just a few quick wiki lookup. Aguing over stats is kind of stupid. The kid is balling now, so whether or not he had monster numbers or not in HS, those colleges missed something. Did race factor? I’d say it was a part of it!

    That’s another fin funny thing, is the race card only reserved for black people?

  • uqk

    7th straight win

  • JD

    Shit AB you just lost all credibility with that article.

  • north

    I remember Flip going on that tear years back. People I know were talking about it everywhere. Fantasy teams were scrambling for him, people were offering mad trades to get him. The hype was there. For NBA-heads it was. Issue is now, with twitter, youtube, heck even the internet being the most important news source in nearly everyone’s life, the hype machine is bigger.
    Wasn’t it just months ago that everyone was ripping on Rubio for basically the same stuff? He’s only hyped because he’s white. Years ago it was Nash.
    Basketball is a universal language. I’ve seen it played in South America, Africa and Asia with my owns eyes. As far as I’m concerned there are no races on the court only players.

  • Mike E

    Seriously this wasn’t the best article I’ve ever seen on Dime but come on, really??? To “high” and “egb”, get the fuck outta here. Austin was spot on in his assessment that people that get offended by race are usually the ones least impacted by it. It’s not a hypothesis, it’s the truth. It smells of idiocy when someone goes,”See this is why America thinks blacks are dumb” or retarded or whatever derogatory term is in vogue at the moment. Race does play an issue in everything in this country. It’s why our President gets about 400 times more death threats than anyone before him. It’s why an unarmed Sean Bell gets shot 100 times. Who gives a shit what “America” thinks? The truth of the matter is just for every black that complains about race being a factor in sports (and everywhere else), there is a portion of the society that thinks because racism is covert and not overt that we shouldn’t complain about anything. It’s the same reason that someone can bring up the holocaust (which lasted 4 years) which gets no reaction outside of sympathy but people start rolling their eyes when someone black complains about 400 years plus of oppression. GTFOH.

  • tp

    This “article” is SUCH BULL****

    I was WAITING for this from you guys after that Mayweather comment. I’m not even going to dissect your “arguments” on a point by point basis. What a shame, really! You call this journalism, but this is totally masked racism.

    This only reminds me of the year Kobe got robbed of the MVP by Steve Nash. Instead of finding reasons to vote for the real MVP, everyone wrote articles as to why Kobe shouldn’t have been MVP. Stop discounting what you’re seeing, your eyes aren’t deceiving you.

    Lin is balling. The Knicks have won 7 STRAIGHT, and most of them without Stat and Melo. Don’t get it twisted, he was a true underdog who got to where he is in SPITE of his race. Stop pretending that you don’t have a little bit of racism in you, we all do. And get off Mayweather’s ****, seriously. I love a lot of the work Dime puts out, but this one sucks, and all of the Mayweather jocking sucks too.

  • http://www.bettlejuiceXs3.com Chicagorilla

    Of course Lin benefits from being Asian and dominating a sport that is predominantly black and full of super athletes. But the kid can actually ball. So all is forgiven. I won’t allow the media to trick me into liking a guy like John Wall, Dirk, Lebron, or Kobe because of all the hype and ignoring the problems with their game. In the same sense that i won’t allow the media to trick me into disliking Russell Westbrook, Ron Artest, KG, or Jeremy Lin.

  • Breezy

    I don’t think it has anything to do with him being Asian its just that he is an average joe. I do hate fans though because i saw potential in Lin when he was in the summer league. Didn’t watch him in college, let’s admit who watches Harvard play. He is getting a lot of press but it is comparable to the way the media was blowing up Norris Cole when he was just very average I can’t imagine how they would treat him if he was playing like Lin. Lin seems to be the real deal though, we will see what happens when the playoffs come. By then we will see what kind of player he is or what kind of player he will become.

  • JD

    @Mike E

    Dude in that 4 years 6 million jews died… That’s more than the population of some countries so I can see why it would still be ‘brought up’.

    @tp

    agreed.

  • 4M

    Maybe if Lin gets a DUI or gets involved in a drive-by shooting, Austin Burton would feel a little better.

  • hahns

    man, as an asian-american im incredibly encouraged by all the comments on this post.

    i dont want to try and address all the points in this article, but as a 5’7 asian american, every time i walk on a court with black guys its all about respect- and i get none. so youre damn right race has something to do with it because no one respects the asian basketball player.

    but if this was an undrafted black ball player from harvard you better believe he’d be getting hyped up too. none of the players named in the article above rescued a storied franchise and saved their playoff hopes. none of them dropped 38 on kobe when all eyes were on him.

    some black people play the racism card when its white vs black but aren’t willing to admit they they’re racist towards other minorities. and i dont want to single them out, a lot of asians are racist against other minorities too. thats why i think jeremy lin has been such an amazing story because hes unifying fans of every background. him being asian is a necessary ingredient to the linsanity, but it is certainly not a sufficient ingredient.

  • http://deleted dagwaller

    Austin, I was hoping for more.

    For much of the 00s, Derek Jeter played very good baseball. He’s probably the most visible star of the decade, despite not even being the best player on his own team. He happens to play for the Yankees.

    Paul Pierce and Dirk Nowitzki each had their turns as “Is he the best in the league?” after their titles. They happen to play in Boston and Dallas.

    Earlier this year, Andrew Bynum had a nice little run and people were saying that he was the best Center in the NBA. He happens to play for the Lakers.

    If the Knicks had started 10-0, Melo would be the biggest story in the NBA.

    The Spurs are 2nd in the West, ahead of everyone’s darling, the Clippers. They’re ahead of the defending champs, who are incidentally ahead of the Lakers.

    Yet all you hear about is, “Are the Clippers better than the Lakers?” “Is Chicago good enough to beat Miami in the playoffs?”

    Forget all about actual or perceived talent.

    Media drives the headlines. Readership/viewership/subscription is what drives the media. If you want people to read, you write stories about their teams. Which teams have the most fans? The teams with the largest cities behind them.

    Chicago, Miami, Dallas, L.A., and most of all, New York City.

    That’s it. No need to go in on race. It’s not “always racial”, as your headline claims.

    Your point came down to, “there have been other (black) phenoms, and I’m just angry that they didn’t get the HYPE that Lin is getting.” So maybe it IS always racial. It’s just always racial to you.

    Trust and believe that if any of those guys played in NYC, they’d be blowing up right now the same way.

  • http://deleted dagwaller

    @ your point about the Ravens/Patriots rivalry – I’m from MD, so I root for the Ravens. Tribalism exists in many forms, as you pointed out. You’re just missing the main “tribal” reason Lin is being exploited.

    Or, as I suspect, you know the reason, you’re just using this as a platform for debate haha.

    Love your articles, but they do border on trolling, sometimes.

  • SWAT

    @ dagwaller…good shit fam. Take a second and look at the squad dude won games with-fields, Novak, bill walker…are u kidding me? Yet u don’t mention that in ur 3 page rant. damn AB u need to do a lil soul searching son and ask ur self what is the real reason u don’t like dude

  • Mike E

    @JD Point well taken. It wasn’t the best reference but the tone of those posts annoyed the hell out of me.

    @Hahns I think the main ingredient of “Linsanity” has been his play period. He’s kicking a lot of ass right now and the Knicks are WINNING. It’ll be interesting to see how well they do as the season goes on.

  • leech

    Wow, Austin, very disappointed in your perspective. You were my favorite Dime author because you are very articulate and not afraid to express views that were contrary to the mainstream media. But it seems that you’re just hating on JLin just to hate, and are unwarrantedly focusing on race.

    I don’t have a problem with you having your favorite players who are black, or come from your 206 area code. You are correct that many fans like players they can relate to. Short folks may like Nate Rob or AI b/c of their diminutive stature, slow-footed shooters may like Glen Rice or Mike Miller. Bias is inherent in sports. I am an Asian American from Takoma Park, MD. I was never a fan of Yao (or Yi Jianlian or Wang ZhiZhi or Yuta Tabuse or whatever their names were), because I didn’t identify with them. I rooted for Steve Francis, although I recognized that he was not someone I would want to emulate, and root for Kevin Durant. I have no problem with you not being a Jeremy Lin fan; perhaps there is nothing about him that you can identify with. If you were a Knicks fan, you may feel differently.

    One major distinction between what JLin and what Flip and Ramon did when they made their improbable runs is that Lin has turned around a team that was unbearable to watch into one of the hottest teams in the league. He is playing with other underdogs and together they are outperforming expectations in a big way. They are winning.

    If an undrafted black or white guard from Harvard took over the Knicks squad like Lin has the past ten days, the story would be 90% of the feelgood story that it is now. Lin being Asian American adds an additional layer of being novel – it makes him seem more of an underdog, which casual fans will embrace. I think it’s an amazing story, and feel better about being a fan of Lin because he seems like a humble guy. I tend to like humble athletes like Durant, Grant Hill, Nash, Ginobli, Steph Curry, Battier (exception being Kobe — I like watching him even though he seems like an asshole).

  • jeremy

    Wow austin, lemme just say this i was a real fan of your articles. but this one you just wrote was out of pure hate. you really make yourself out to look like a racist. your article makes me feel really disapointed and im kinda getting a kick out of all these commenters above me that are roasting you

  • http://www.zwani.com/graphics/funny_pictures/images/88funny-pictures128.jpg JAY

    #37… I agree with that order exactly the way don_mega has in his list.

    Put the Lin in Milwuakee, with no winning streak, and Lin would only be relevant to Asians. Not the whole world.

  • http://www.zwani.com/graphics/funny_pictures/images/88funny-pictures128.jpg JAY

    BTW, I totally respect AB for having the balls to post an article like this… but I just don’t agree with it.

  • http://www.zwani.com/graphics/funny_pictures/images/88funny-pictures128.jpg JAY

    @hakasan
    I don’t understand how you could justify Lin not getting ANY Division I scholarships. Put his numbers aside for one second… he was his team’s captain which beat Mater effin Dei in the CALIFORNIA State Championship (not Alaskan Championship), and he also won player of the year awards. NOT ONE SCHOLARSHIP! Not even from the Quinnipiacs of the NCAA. I know dudes in Canada when I was growing up, when the attention up here was next to nothing, who average less than what Lin averaged and got multiple offers… of course, those kids were black.

    That said, it would be interesting to know if any of Lin’s high school teammates were offered scholarships. They won the State Championship… I’m pretty sure there would have been a couple guys on there who got offers. If there were, I’ll go waaaay out on a limb and bet that those guys weren’t asian.

  • http://www.livingcheapla.com hakasan

    @uil33

    i’ve been praising lin’s accomplishments all along, and just because the colleges missed lin’s talent early on, does not mean that they made a mistake… all i am saying is that it does not shock the conscience, regardless of race, that a hs player with lin’s stats did not get a d1 scholarship…

    the two examples you listed made no sense… i’ve said all along that lin’s hs number combined with his physical stats is not a guarantee for a D1 ‘feature’ spot… you want to compare lin’s athleticism to nate robinson? you must be crazy… shaun livingston pre injury was hailed to be the next magic johnson, playing PG at 6’7”… mvp of the mcdonalds all star game, and top 100 Legends of the IHSA Boys Basketball Tournament…

  • http://www.livingcheapla.com hakasan

    @Jay,

    i’m just going based off wiki here, but it seems like lin only sent his resume/dvd to the ivy’s and the schools in the pac 10… and that plenty of teams offered for him to walk on… i still think it’s totally justifiable… colleges, like the nba, tend to think that all they want is physical potential and not actual accomplishments… look at where jj redick, shane battier, jimmer, were drafted and how is that comparable to their college careers?

  • ERIC

    you can talk about a cupcake/jersey shore-like schedule, but those ‘crappy’ nba teams have legit talent, when the knicks were trolling out lineups like lin, fields, jefferies, chandler and walker/novak. the fact that lin led this pathetic display of nba talent to 7 straight wins over NBA teams (the top 10 NCAA teams have more talent) is unreal and pure linsanity! suck it!

  • http://www.livingcheapla.com hakasan

    @hahn,
    are you any good at basketball?
    i’m not sure which gym you play at, but respect on the playground is earned not given…
    i think inherently in basketball, being short means you have to do more to earn respect… regardless of race… but if you can throw down a tomahawk, drain j’s from 3pt line consistently, or drive in the lane and score at will, you earn respect… it’s not about how you walked into the gym, but how you walk out of the gym…

  • http://www.livingcheapla.com hakasan

    @Eric,

    you must be joking right? there’s no way that the any of the top 10 ranked ncaa teams is even better than the bobcats…

  • derik

    Shaun Livingston’s senior year: 18.0 ppg, 6.3 rpg, 5.4 apg

    1. Duke recruit

    2. The next Magic Johnson

    3. Mr. Basketball of Illinois

    4. McDonald’s All-American

    5. 4th pick overall by the Clippers in the 2004 NBA Draft

  • leech

    @hakasan
    You don’t find it surprising that the leader of a California state champion HS team didn’t get a single D1 scholarship offer? Not saying he needed to be recruited by Kentucky/Duke/Kansas/UNC or other powerhouses, as 15/7/6/5 is not jaw-dropping, but Cali has some good HS bball talent and JLin’s squad took on all comers (including Mater Dei). A 6’2/6’3 combo guard that is athletic enough to grab 5 steals a game would typically be worth a look at one of the 344 D1 programs, wouldn’t you think? He may still have chosen to play at Harvard instead of taking a scholarship at, say, Creighton or St. Mary’s, but how does he not get a single D1 offer?

    As a comparison, here are Steve Blake’s senior year stats in HS: 8.8 points and 7.3 assists at Oak Hill (he played for Miami Senior HS as a junior, alongside Udonis Haslem, but I couldn’t find stats). He got recruited heavily and ended up playing for Maryland in a very tough ACC conference. No jaw-dropping stats, but he got credit for his team’s success. If Blake was an Asian American, would he have gotten the same recognition? Jeremy Lin’s experience suggests that the answer is “No.”

  • http://www.livingcheapla.com hakasan

    @leech,
    again, i’m just going off of wiki, but it seems like lin only sent his resume to pac 10 and ivy… and unfortunately, small schools like creighton usually don’t have the recruiting arms to reach all the way over to cif…

    you do know that oak hill is a ‘basketball high school’ right? it’s like asking why the top of the class at west virginia state can’t get a job at goldman sachs but the middle of the road harvard grad can…

    again, hindsight is 20/20…

  • control

    derik

    6. 6’7 and played point guard

  • UIL33

    @hakasan,

    we stray from the topic when we argue about his statistic worth as a HS player.

    my point, and I think the many here is that its bullshit to (As AB covertly and Maryweather openly) discredit JLINs accomplishment by saying that he is where he is b/c he is Asian or he is not black. And then on the flip side, say that his race didn’t play against him in his basketball career.

    In life it is always racial. And the Lin story does speak to race in American society. but not about the cloaked racist suggestions by AB. This article is a reflection of his own insecurities and racial bias. The Lin story brings hope to minorities like Asians that you can accomplish anything if you have talent, work hard, and believe in yourself.

    http://www.cnn.com/2012/02/13/opinion/jeremy-lin-race/index.html
    now that is an article that correctly speaks about Lin and race.

  • hahns

    @hakasan i know where youre coming from and i agree with you to a certain point, but how many times have you played w/ a guy and judged him on how he looks (not talking about race, but his gear, his warm up shots, whatever). i know i certainly do it- but imagine that everyone just assumes you’re no good just because your asian. i think thats why lin “came out of nowhere” and so many scouts overlooked him.

    and yeah i can play a little- why would i be complaining about not getting respect if i sucked.

  • Abe504

    I think this is the same hype norris cole got in the early part of the season when he was puttin up 20pt games, its just exploded more because he plays in NY and came from harvard. Race has something to do with it but you just help to like the story as a whole. Harvard produced more presidents than nba players, its a great story

  • Eddie212

    Personally I don’t care if J-Lin is Asian or Black or White or whatever. I don’t care if he plays for the Knicks or the Lakers or the Cavaliers. I don’t care if he went to Harvard or Murray State or Duke.

    I wish everybody would stop going overboard on the hype because IT’S ONLY BEEN SEVEN GAMES!!!! It’s been less than two weeks am I right?

    I’m starting to cringe everytime I hear that J-Lin is “turning the Knicks around” and “saving the season.” Aren’t they still a barely 500 team?

    A 7 game win streak isn’t a big deal in the NBA. Teams win 7 in a row all the time and it doesn’t get this much hype. Players play 7 good games in a row all the time and it doesn’t get this much hype. When the Rockets won 22 in a row a couple of years back — with Yao Ming, BTW — it didn’t even get this much hype. Chris Paul and Deron Williams average 20 points and 10 dimes for an ENTIRE SEASON and it doesn’t get as much hype as J-Lin dropping 20/10 in SEVEN GAMES.

    THAT’S why I’m getting tired of “Linsanity,” not anything to do with his race or his market.

  • pow

    @Leech (post 66)
    Spot on my man. You wrote down everything that was on my mind as I read this article.

    Look, I completely understand the motivation behind this article, and I no don’t think it took a lot of balls to post it as JAY mentioned. Whenever a wave of popular opinion hits there will always be those naysayers who want to shut it down. AB doesn’t want to be another “me too!” fan and it’s pretty clear that he’s grasping at reasons to make it seem like hes an enlightened fan in a sea of bandwagoners; just look at how many times he uses the term “popular belief”, as if the fact that this love of Jeremy Lin is popular inherently makes it false. The fact of the matter is there is very little you can do to detract from how amazing this Jeremy Lin story is, and lamenting the fact that social media didn’t explode over Flip Murray is just silly (the social media machine has only been truly in place for a few years).

    True, you can never separate the race factor out of this Lin story, but all it does to dismiss it solely on the basis of race is just foolish.

  • http://www.livingcheapla.com hakasan

    @uil,

    agreed, hs stats vs college recruiting is not the main topic of this article. agreed, ab got it wrong, but i disagree that the cnn editorial got it right…

    i think lin is doing great in the NBA, but i personally don’t think asian americans need a sports hero to tell us what we can or cannot achieve. while i don’t understand it, i recognize that there is a segment of the asian american community who apparently needs such a hero, and you know what, i can live with that. what i cannot stand is an editorial like the one on CNN that makes the sentiment of a percentage, perhaps a large percentage, into the sentiment of the collective.

    if anything i think these editorials make asian americans as a whole look like a group of people who needs protection, who is entitled to special treatment, when in fact all we need to do is to excel. where are all these voices when lin was sitting on the bench?

    just like lin’s not running to the player’s union to ask for playing time, and let his game do the talking,

    i’m an asian american, i’m strong, i create value that people can’t get elsewhere, i let me speak for myself, and i hope more asian americans, more minorities, more people can be more like this…

    @hahn,
    judging someone by his gear/looks/height/built blah blah blah all ends when the game starts… imagine getting boxed out by some 4’11 short shorts /chuck taylor wearing shaggy looking dude… only to get on defense and get juked for a layup… sports is fair, you’re either good or you’re not…

    MJ/Kobe/Bird all used ‘disrespect’ as fuel and thrive in it… there’s nothing more satisfying than dominating and making people respect you because you’re that’s good…

  • http://www.livingcheapla.com hakasan

    @eddie212,

    in case you don’t follow sports center, what lin did in the first few starts is significant because no one has done it since the aba/nba merger… if the bobcats sign someone from the D league that dude breaks lin’s scoring record and leads the bobcats to a 7 game winning streak, he’d be hyped up too… ny market helps, for sure, because when’s the last time knicks won 7 straight? there are plenty of franchises that have not won 7 straight in many seasons…

    didn’t the rockets win 22 with both yao and tmac?

    how about this… if 7 wins is not enough to justify ‘hype’ where do you set your standards? what would lin have to do for you to say this guy warrants discussion?

  • Eddie212

    @hakasan — I didn’t say J-Lin deserves no hype. It’s just TOO MUCH hype for such a small accomplishment.

    When the Rockets won 22 games, I don’t remember them leading Sportscenter every night and dominating the headlines of every sports website: ESPN, Yahoo, FOX, SI and the rest. I remember the Rockets got SOME hype like: “Hey the Rockets won again.” It was no where near the J-Lin type of hype: “OMG the Rockets are changing basketball as we know it! They’re inspiring children in Houston to start dreaming of playing in the NBA!” There wasn’t a nickname for what the Rockets were doing.

    The Spurs are on a 9-game winning streak right now. Where is their hype? I haven’t seen a picture of Tony Parker or Tim Duncan anywhere on a big-time sports website since this streak started. No one says Parker should be moved into the All Star Game starting lineup and Duncan should be MVP.

    I read a story on FOX this morning about J-Lin’s last game. The writer said something like: “Over the past 12 days Lin has proven he’s no flash in the pan.” WHAT? Having only done this for 12 days, J-Lin is still well within Flash In The Pan range.

    I’m just saying, let’s see how J-Lin holds up after a month before we start crowning him King of the NBA.

  • http://www.livingcheapla.com hakasan

    @Eddie,
    i don’t see anyone crowning lin the king of the nba… far from it… if anything people are focused on the surprise factor that a non-star can sustain 7 games at this level.

    no one is taking away from spurs winning 9 games in a row, but haven’t they done that every single year since tim duncan joined that team? remember when the bulls had that 70 win season? people were definitely talking about that…

    the thing about hype is that… hype only happens when it’s a novelty… when it’s a regular event, then it’s expectation… when kobe hits game winners now, people expect it, and when he misses, people are disappointed.

    if lin sustains this 20/10 pace for the season, sports center will still report it because 20/10 nights get mentioned on sports center, but it won’t be with the exclaimation that it’s getting right now (because right now it’s novel)

    on the last day of the season, if the knicks finishes around .500, news media will attribute at least 7 games to lin, but won’t make it into a huge story… but if the knicks finishes around .750… then you bet there’s going to be a huge media session on it… especially if lin finishes 20/10.

    but enough speculation. just wanted to point out that hype is created when there is hope for something unprecedented/unusual being done. when was the last time knicks won 7 straight?

  • http://www.zwani.com/graphics/funny_pictures/images/88funny-pictures128.jpg JAY

    @hakasan
    The guy I mentioned in my last post who got scholarship offers didn’t even have to send a resume out. Scouts saw him a couple of times and he received the offers. His teams didn’t even win a championship. Yet, he was offered full rides. And this is Canada… not California. Not the Canada of today which is producing many highly regarded prospects. This is the Canada of 20 years ago. Before the Raptors’ presence helped speed up the development of players.

    I’m just looking at my experience. Less accomplished player, in my experience, have received offers. Non-MVPs. Non-champions. Guys I know who weren’t even the best players on mediocre teams have received offers. Yet, not Lin. You just know that scouts were in the building when his team beat Mater Dei. And he got nothing. I’m still a bit surprised that you understand it. How many D1 schools are there? About 400? Not one offer.

    “melo averaged 25 and 10 as a junior in hs, john wall averaged 19+, 9ast and 8 rebounds, brandon jennings averaged 32.7/7.4ast/5.1rb… dRose 25/9.1rb/8.8ast, Beasley 28pt/16rb, deandre jordan 26pt, 15rb, 8blk, kevin love, 33.9pt, 17rb, 4ast… these are the stats that gets you a featured spot on a D1 team/legit hype…”
    – FYI, there are many other players out there who get scholarships… not just the All-Americans, Nike/ABCD/Reebok camp attendees.
    You’re comparing his numbers to All-Americans. The blue chippers. Nobody is saying Lin was a blue chip prospect. Nobody is saying he should have national hype as a high schooler. But his HS numbers are definitely worth something. There are only a handful of college powerhouses… and the rest are mediocre to garbage. Not even a garbage school offered him anything.

    “look at where jj redick, shane battier, jimmer, were drafted and how is that comparable to their college careers?”
    – I’d say their drafted positions were pretty accurate. They were highly accomplished, and highly regardld. And all of them were lottery picks. They weren’t the top picks but that’s because GMs thought other guys had better potential <– which is understandable. Are you implying that college coaches passed on an accomplished player like Lin because they wanted guys with potential? There's no such thing as recruiting players on potential in college. Players cycle through the college program within 4 years… MAX. They don't have time to wait for someone to reach their potential. Your comparison to Battier, Jimmer, and Redick are moot points. If you still think it's a valid argument, please explain, and I'll revisit the argument. But I don't see it.

    Like you mentioned, hindsight is 20/20…. and someone should have offered him a scholarship.

  • WinDelRoj

    All I know is that above all it is refreshing to see a HARVARD man being thrust into the spotlight. Using his brain as well as his god given physical tools to play this game. It brings some added validity to this sport. It has turned too cookie cutter everyone looking for the “next (athletic PG, big center, high flying PF” instead of trying to build a team around intelligent individuals who want to operate together. God forbid, be an extension of the coach on the floor……

  • http://www.zwani.com/graphics/funny_pictures/images/88funny-pictures128.jpg JAY

    @Eddie: “It’s just TOO MUCH hype for such a small accomplishment.”
    Small accomplishment? That team was built and coached with Amare and Melo as its centerpieces. They were horrible. Then those two go out, some undrafted no name steps in and leads them to 7 straight wins. Not just winning games. They had NO chemistry before Lin stepped in. ZERO. Then he comes in and instantly that team is changed.

    That’s equivalent to Stockton and Malone losing game in an ugly way… getting injured… then an undrafted Scottie Thurman steps in and leads them to 7 straight wins. Sounds ridiculous, right?? That’s what is happening.

    And that’s NY City… where the spotlights are hotter than anywhere in the league. Small accomplishment?? That’s hilarious. But I’m just judging from what I’ve seen before. You must see this every day to not be impressed by what Lin is doing.

  • John Carter

    I have to laugh whenever people who use anonymous nicknames in an Internet forum say stuff like, “Who cares what {Random Famous Person} says?” then uses some irrelevant fact about that famous person to back up their point.

    In this case it’s Floyd Mayweather as the random famous person, and either the fact that he’s headed to jail or that he’s a boxer is the back-up point.

    It’s SO stupid. First of all: “Who cares what YOU have to say?” is what I ask the anonymous Internet poster.

    Secondly if Floyd can’t have a basketball opinion because he’s a boxer, why should you have a basketball opinion as a 9-to-5 office worker? I’m assuming nobody on the Dime forum is an actual NBA player, so if that’s how you feel, nobody should ever have an opinion here.

    Sorry, that shit irritates me. Mayweather is just as entitled to his opinion as you are to yours. Difference is that Mayweather has actually done SOMETHING in his life that people give a shit about, whereas most of you have done nothing.

  • hahns

    @hakasan

    i think you seem to be missing the point of my post. you earn respect game by game i get that- but lin proved himself on the hs level, was very successful against kemba walker and john wall when they went head to head- yes he got respect from those games on a micro level, but “respect” cant just be a game by game thing- at what point does someone want to pick him over another superathlete b/c they think the fundamentals of his game are more valuable. honestly i think youre being really naive if you dont think being asian had something to do w/ jlin being overlooked.

  • http://www.livingcheapla.com hakasan

    yes, i’m saying that college coaches/recruits pass on ‘accomplished’ players and recruit potential.

    yes, i’m also saying that i just don’t think smaller d1 schools recruit out of area…

    i confess, i don’t follow high school basketball… but… who else have gone on to receive basketball scholarships out of palo alto high?

  • http://www.livingcheapla.com hakasan

    i think lin has earned the respect of the nba… and him being asian has nothing to do with the fact that teams are prepping to defend him night in and night out…

    in your local gym context… if you play at the joint consistently and have shown that you’re a good player, you’d earn respect and get picked over someone worse than you. i don’t believe for one second that if you’re dominating night in and night out at your local gym that guys would pick some randoms over you… except of course if that random dude is… jeremy lin… i’d take jeremy lin on my team over you any day… sorry…

  • hahns

    forget the local gym context- im not talking about myself anymore. but lin wasnt just playing in one “gym”

    lin won on the hs level (first gym), succeeded on the college level (second gym), lit up the summer league (third gym) but still wasn’t given a legit shot.

    so yeah- NOW he has the respect, but after how long? if you dont think he was overlooked partly bc he was asian, you have blinders on man.

  • cdubb

    I might be the first one to say this, but I totally dig this article. Great piece, AB. Keep it up

  • http://yahoo.com Aqboy

    NBA is colonise by Black, White and Some really really big Chinese. and having an asian guy that not as big as Yao Ming having a name in the nba and scoring 38 pts against Kobe the next “Michael Jordan” this is really something.

  • EGB

    Austin Burton should be fired!

  • vince

    @ #2.

    We are not ALL the SAME. We are all different. When people started trying to make all people follow the same rules and lines because someone thought that was the right way to go, things started to get fucked up.

    We are all different. And that’s the beauty. Get it through your thick skull.

  • Ian

    sorry i didnt read the 99 posts if someone mentioned this. no one has ever done this before in his first seven starts not black , white or whatever asian is supposed to be. you have dudes on the list that finishes seasons when games prob dont matter for some of those teams, or dudes that were drafted and didnt have to go thru all the shit linsane in the membrane did. this has never been done before by anyone and how many of them won all the games they started? if a black player did this he would be getting all the attention also.

  • Phileus

    I’m surprised nobody has pointed out the obvious similarities to Barack Obama:

    Smart, hard-working individual from humble/immigrant origins who lived the American dream (Harvard!), broke into a world his race has traditionally been excluded from, and then received inordinate press coverage partially because of his “surprising” success in that field — surprising, only to those casual observers who look only at race and not at individual skill.

  • Phileus

    The point is, Austin, that we’re in an era of constant (but constantly slow) social change. Asian-Americans have long looked for their own heroes in popular culture and have rarely had one. Who’s the last Asian-American to win an Oscar for Best Actor or Actress? Who’s the last Asian-American to win a major award in a major American sport? Who’s the last Asian-American president?

    Each non-WASP group waits for its own popular heroes to rise up and validate their American-ness. I think Lin does this for a lot of people. You’re missing the point because of your particular prejudices. The fawning over Linsanity is not because he’s “not black” but because he’s Asian-American.

  • Jerry
  • BuzzerBeater

    Wow. Lin was days from being cut, and we would’ve never had the chance of witnessing Linsanity if that was the case. And now he’s exploding into 26-8 PG. How much talent does one need in order to overcome the perception of which player “looks like a better player”? If Toney Douglas and Iman Shumpert did play just good enough as PG, or Davis being healthy, or Bibby didn’t play like he’s 67 years old, none of the Linsanity would happen. Yeah I am sure those like AB would’ve popped a “I TOLD YOU SO” if Jeremy Lin ever come down to earth, and the basketball world be restored back to whatever the norm is in those people’s heads. Well, thankfully after a win against Mavs today and a 28-14 performance, this should give you an answer. Let’s put stats aside and just look at him: he’s got all the tools – from driving down the lane and finishing to dishing to shooting from distance. Why not compare these tools to all the players that you’ve mentioned? Or maybe your “hate” for Linsanity is that even after knowing about his game for all these years, you’ve still failed to recognize his talent? Just embrace it, dude.