By the time the NBA All Star Weekend came around, Linsanity was almost a month old. In that month, the story of a 23 year old Asian American who went unnoticed by numerous talent scouts and coaches had gripped the world. That is – only after he was incidentally inserted into a New York Knicks game by head coach Mike D’Antoni as the floundering Knicks looked certain to fall again to the New Jersey Nets.
D’Antoni has since admitted that it was the suggestion of Carmelo Anthony rather then his basketball smarts that led to the decision. But whomever’s idea it was Jeremy Lin’s star has been shining brightly ever since.
JLin was also a last minute addition to the Rookie/Sophomore game during All Star Weekend, making the trip to Orlando with teammates Melo (an All Star starter) and Landry Fields (also on the Rookie/Sophomore team). For those who watched he still looked somewhat out of place though it had nothing to do with his ethnicity.
Amongst all the flash and glamour, all the posing from the likes of Kobe Bryant, LeBron James, Dwight Howard and to a certain extent even Carmelo – JLin just looked normal. He was not alone though – Ricky Rubio, another rising star who as a Spanish native is different for the NBA, also seemed out of place and ill at ease in interviews. Both were huge talents without the huge egos.
The fact is though that JLin’s backgrounds speaks volumes to about 98% of the other players in the NBA. Hardworking, egoless guys who have held a dream since high school that people then spent years trying to shoot down. There are a lot of fourteenth and fifteenth men in the NBA – the guys who might see a few minutes every half dozen games or so, or who will be inserted when a blowout win is assured. Their own team fans know who they are but when they are on the road people rarely know their names. But they still suit up every night, hoping to get into the game because all they want to do is play ball.
That was the position Jeremy Lin was in until that Nets game. He’d seen some playing time, but only in garbage time. Now look where he is. Therefore you know that aside from everyone outside the NBA his, Linderella tale is inspiring those ‘end of the bench guys’ and they’re getting a lift from it too. If Lin can win, why can’t they?
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Jeremy Lin (New York Knicks) and the Power of Negative Personal Branding
Jeremy Lin – New York Knicks – 100 Million Dollar Man?!
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Jeremy Lin – New York Knicks – The Asian American Effect