Jeremy Lin: Linsanity Shouldn’t Be A Surprise And Could Be A Wake Up Call For The NBA


For the past two weeks, the success of New York Knicks guard Jeremy Lin and the newly coined term ‘Linsanity’ has been the talk of the NBA, because it’s all come from seemingly nowhere. That’s a sentiment shared by NBA fans, my grandmother, and analysts alike, and really, that’s pretty sad.

Jeremy Lin was overlooked by every NBA franchise several times in the 2010 NBA Draft and was signed undrafted by the Golden State Warriors. He got no real shot to play there and was dropped by the Warriors, one of the worst teams in the Western Conference.

Eventually he found his way to the Knicks, where thanks to serendipitous (to Lin and the team it turned out) injuries to Iman Shumpert and Carmelo Anthony, Lin not only moved into a starting spot, but took over the NBA spotlight. He put up big numbers, such as 38 points versus Kobe Bryant and the Los Angeles Lakers, and the Knicks’ record went from 8-15 to 15-15, with Lin playing significant minutes. And many people have been calling this a miracle.

But Lin’s success is not a miracle. The only thing that should be unexpected about this story is that he didn’t get his shot earlier.

Lin is an intelligent guard who used all four years of his college eligibility to improve his game at Harvard University, while almost single-handedly making one of the nation’s most academically celebrated schools relevant on the basketball court. When Harvard earned an upset win over Kemba Walker and the UConn Huskies in late 2009, Lin recorded 30 points, and he still managed to fly under so many people’s radars.

Scouts are clearly missing the value of a player staying in college and fully developing his game. Everybody wants to find the next big sensation in high school and pluck him from the big college he plays at for one year as the necessary pit stop before going to the NBA, or straight from high school, when previously players were allowed to make that jump.

But you’re telling me after really looking intelligently at Jeremy Lin’s college career, a scout or analyst should expect more from a Kwame Brown (#1 overall pick- 2001) or Daniel Orton (first round pick- 2010) ???

I watched live on television as Jeremy Lin completely picked apart highly-touted guard John Wall in the several minutes they matched up against each other during a 2010 NBA pre-season game. Looking at the match-up objectively, most people probably would’ve picked Lin as the strongest player of the two. Yet, it took nearly two years before Lin would get a legitimate shot at playing, pretty much by accident.

Scouts often jump on the bandwagon of who are supposed to be the stars coming into the League. And if they do try to look outside the obvious, it’s to find a tall and athletic foreign player who’s been playing basketball for a shorter time than Lin’s spent just playing at Harvard.

But maybe this “Linsanity” will be a wake up call for players, scouts and surprised analysts around the country. Developing your game and not rushing to get to the NBA pays off. It might just have everyone from analysts to grandmothers talking about you.

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