9. JEREMY LIN
Lin’s inclusion on this list speaks to the tremendous ability society has to create an image of swagger in a player. The Linsanity movement took a Harvard grad off of riding pine and into prime time faster than I’ve ever personally witnessed. A lot of it has to do with the media market of New York City, of course, and the classic underdog profile that Lin brought along with his sudden success. But credit him for playing as big as his profile became long enough for him to become a household name.
He’s a point guard that’s wonderful at running the pick-n-roll, and is the player that sunk a thousand columns over the summer when he ended up with the Houston Rockets. He will always be followed, to some degree, by those who saw even part of his rise to fame. He has the base following to display that he has his own swag, but the situational swag given to him by his rise will never leave him. His ascent was too dramatic.