Dennis Massa's Jeremy Lin 17 Linsanity............. Written & sung by Dennis Massa
Jeremy Shu-How Lin (born August 23, 1988) is an American professional basketball player with the New York Knicks of the National Basketball Association (NBA). After receiving no athletic scholarship offers out of high school and being undrafted out of college, the 2010 Harvard University graduate reached a partially guaranteed contract deal later that year with his hometown Golden State Warriors.
Lin seldom played in his rookie season and was assigned to the NBA Development League (D-League) three times. He was waived by Golden State and the Houston Rockets the following preseason before joining the Knicks early in the 2011–12 season. He was again assigned to the D-League and continued to play sparingly. In February 2012, he unexpectedly led a winning streak by New York while being promoted to the starting lineup, which generated a global following known as Linsanity. Lin is one of the few Asian Americans in NBA history, and the first American player in the league to be of Chinese or Taiwanese descent.
Public imageLin has a YouTube account, and has made videos with YouTube personalities Nigahiga and KevJumba. In a video interview conducted by Elie Seckbach, he asked Lin how it felt to be representing so many people. Lin responded by stating, "It's humbling, a privilege, and a honor. I'm really proud of being Chinese, I'm really proud of my parents being from Taiwan. I just thank God for the opportunity." In July 2011, the overseas Chinese Vivid Magazine named Lin one of its top eight influential Chinese-Americans.
After he became a starter for the Knicks, the Associated Press called Lin "the most surprising story in the NBA". Bloomberg News wrote that Lin "has already become the most famous [Asian American NBA player]". Knicks fans developed nicknames for him along with a new lexicon inspired by his name, Lin. Most popular was the word Linsanity, the excitement over the unheralded Lin. Time.com ran an article titled, "It's Official: Linsanity Is for Real". Hall of Fame player Magic Johnson said, "The excitement [Lin] has caused in [Madison Square] Garden, man, I hadn't seen that in a long time." He appeared on the cover of Sports Illustrated with the headline "Against All Odds", which the Times called "the greatest tribute". He also made the cover of Time in Asia; Forbes wrote, "Congratulations Jeremy. You have now made the cover of Time the same number of times as Michael Jordan. Linsanity reigns on." Lin's story was also on the front-page of many Taipei newspapers. "I haven't done a computation, but it's fair to say that no player has created the interest and the frenzy in this short period of time, in any sport, that I'm aware of like Jeremy Lin has," said NBA commissioner David Stern.
The Knicks' success due to Lin's play reportedly contributed to the end of a dispute which had for 48 days prevented Time Warner Cable customers from watching Knicks games and other MSG Network programs. The team quickly began selling replicas of Lin's No. 17 jerseys and t-shirts, and the sales and traffic for its online store increased more than 3,000%; Lin has had the best-selling jersey in the NBA since February 4, 2012. Both Nike and Adidas introduced Lin-related athletic apparel, and expected that his fame would help sales in China. His popularity was attributed with growing the NBA's popularity there since Yao Ming's retirement in the offseason; the audience for NBA games on television and online in China rose 39 percent over the previous season.
Within three weeks of his first game as a starter, at least seven e-books were being published on Lin, and the Global Language Monitor declared that Linsanity had met its criteria to be considered an English-language word. He appeared on a second consecutive Sports Illustrated cover, the first New York-based team athlete and the third NBA player in the magazine's history, after Jordan and Dirk Nowitzki. An airline advertised "Linsanely low prices", bids for his rookie card exceeded $21,000 on eBay, and the press circulated rumors—denied by Lin—that he was dating Kim Kardashian. Foreign Policy speculated on his potential impact on Sino-American relations, and Jack and Suzy Welch wrote that Lin's rise was a lesson to business leaders to not let bureaucracy stifle unproven talent. Despite his sudden fame Sacramento Kings coach Keith Smart stated, “I knew [Lin] before he was Linmania. He’s still the same humble guy. The guy has not changed a bit, which is real special for a young man.”
Personal lifeLin is an evangelical Christian who was a leader in Harvard's Asian American Christian Fellowship during his time there. He credited his NBA success to playing without pressure. "I've surrendered that to God. I'm not in a battle with what everybody else thinks anymore," said Lin. He hopes to become a pastor who can head up non-profit organizations, either home or abroad, and has talked of working in inner-city communities to help with underprivileged children. Lin's younger brother, Joseph, plays basketball for Hamilton College, and older brother, Josh, is a dental student at New York University.
When Lin was asked if he was fluent in Chinese, he stated that he could understand it, but could use some help speaking it. In an interview conducted with NBADraft.net, Lin stated that he could only speak Mandarin, not Cantonese, and could read and write a little. He had also taken classes while attending Harvard to try to improve. Lin in early 2012 slept on his brother's couch in a one-bedroom apartment on the Lower East Side of Manhattan, New York City. The night before his breakout game, he slept on the couch of teammate Landry Fields. He relocated to his own condo in White Plains, New York, after his Knicks contract became guaranteed.