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Jeremy Lin: The NBA's Newest Star
From time to time, there are sports stories that cannot be ignored. There are stories of success and beating the odds. There are athletes who seem to rise to stardom out of nowhere. Recently, Tim Tebow made headlines for his success story. Lance Armstrong won the Tour de France seven consecutive times after beating cancer. Tom Brady was a sixth round draft pick and now has three Super Bowl wins, two Super Bowl MVPs, and NFL records. In the past two weeks, a new athlete seems to be emerging and making a name for himself.
Jeremy Lin has suddenly become a star in the NBA. So who is Jeremy Lin? While he is American born, he is the first NBA player of Taiwanese decent. He is only 23 years old. He is 6’3” and 200 pounds. Most notably, he is a Harvard graduate. He went to Harvard because he did not receive any sports scholarships to play basketball in college. He graduated from Harvard with a degree in economics in 2010.
Aside from his personal things, how did he rise to stardom in the NBA, and what makes him so special? Up until a few days ago, Lin did not even have a guaranteed contract. He was playing on a 10 day contract and was likely to be cut. That would be nothing new to Lin, seeing as he went undrafted and had already been cut by two NBA teams in his short career. Lin only got an opportunity with the New York Knicks because of injuries. If it had not been for injuries and out of desperation, Lin may have never had a chance to shine.
Lin seized the chance to start and took full advantage of it. In his first seven games, he has played nothing short of spectacularly. He has the most combined points of any player in their first four starts in NBA history. The next few players behind him on that list are Allen Iverson, Shaq, and Michael Jordan. That’s some pretty elite company. Lin has had big games scoring 38 points or dishing out 13 assists. With Lin as a starter, the Knicks are now 7-0.
It’s impossible to say how long Lin’s hot streak will last. Is this just some lucky phase, or is he really this good? It seems incredible that Lin could have slipped through the cracks. It makes one wonder why it took time for him to get playing time. Is it because he went to Harvard? Is it because he doesn’t have the “look” of a basketball player? No matter what the reason, Lin is relishing the moment.
His popularity has grown exponentially. Prior to a few weeks ago, no one knew who Lin was besides a few other Harvard grads. Lin went from having less than 30,000 followers on Twitter on February 3rd all the way to having over 376,000 followers less than two weeks later. #Linsanity and other hashtags have trended on Twitter multiple times. Lin has appeared on Sports Center’s Top 10 several times, including a game winning three point shot to beat the Toronto Raptors the other night. Whether or not Lin will continue on his tear is yet to be seen, but regardless, his performances thus far have already made for a great story.