I am new and I made this post about a sports what if. No one commented on it and I was hoping to spur on a discussion. I am not trying to be self-aggrandizing, just get some feedback/opinions on the topic. Thanks
An Underrated Subplot of Linsanity
Jeremy Lin has done something in two weeks that most athletes fail to do in an entire career. He has transcended sports. Gone mainstream; like my Desperate Housewives watching, shih-tzu owning girlfriend knows about him, mainstream. America's fascination with Lin has three major factors; his race, his underdog story and his New York address, and each person will undoubtedly assign varying levels of import to each. The point of this narrative, though, is not to dissect Lin's fame, but to recognize and accept it. Even if he never scores another point, he will be a cult hero in a basketball starved city. The way that Lin has energized the fans at The World's Most Famous Arena is part of the magic of it all. They were hungry for a basketball savior after the extremely lean Isaiah Thomas years, and 40 years of ultimate futility. Lin has taken on a role that was once offered to the NBA's best player, LeBron James.
For all of his recent exploits, Jeremy Lin is not the best player in the league, the best player at his position, or even the best player on his own team. He is very good and his aggressive, heady style of play, combined with the winning, has won the hearts of the fans like few before him. Imagine if the best player in the league, LeBron James had taken his game to New York. Knicks fans were counting down the days to when the self-proclaimed king would be a free agent, hoping he would look to New York as his free-agent destination. What if Lebron were throwing up near triple-doubles every night? How much would the savvy fans of the Garden have deified James? His deft passing and acute court vision? His romps through the air on fast breaks? Though nowhere near the national story, Madison Square Garden would still be going insane every night, but it would have been happening for the past year and a half. The best player in the league comes to the World's Most Famous Arena, with learned fans, hungry for a positive basketball experience? Oh, what could have been for LeBron and the Knicks.
Jeremy Lin and Lebron are completely different. Jeremy Lin had to work and keep fighting to get his chance in the league. He is taking complete advantage of it. Lebron has been famous since the beginning of high school and has it given to him. Yes, he is a good player, but Lebron doesn't want it like Lin. Lebron has a history of quitting near the end of the game and not being able to handle the pressure. Lin seems to strive under these conditions. Lin is a team player. Lebron is already causing problems in Miami with his teammates and might be hinting that he wants out of there already. I doubt Lin will ever have the talent of Lebron, but it's crazy to see how Lin is taking advantage of his while Lebron doesn't always.
I agree with everything that you have said. Maybe my main point was muddled, but it was how much LeBron could have owned the biggest basketball stage. Considering Lin has only had a two-week run of amazing basketball, LeBron's season and a half of near triple-doubles at the Garden would have made him legendary already.
Good article. I disagree strongly with the above poster though. No teammate has ever complained about LeBron. He's the most unselfish superstar since Magic Johnson. To say things like 'LeBron doesn't want it" is absurd. He wasn't considered a choker until his last series with the Cavs. He has 'choked' in the Finals last year, and 'quit' in Boston the year before. I feel like people don't remember him going for 25 in a row against Detroit, or his desperation 3 to beat Orlando. They only hang on the negatives. I'm not even a fan of LeBron at this point either.
To answer the initial question. If LeBron was in NY he would probably be getting more praise then he is now, yes. But he would also take more criticism as well. He already gets blamed for a ridiculous amount of things, just imagine what the NY media could do.
Don't you think he would have been championed for going to save basketball in New York? Getting some criticism for how "The Decision" went down, but people ultimately accepting his new role as basketball savior to one of the league's most visible franchises.
I'm sure Lin's race plays a little part in his popularity but I really hope that people are enamored by him because of his rise to stardom from relative obscurity not because of his ethnic background.
Lin was cut by both Golden State and Houston before he found a seat on the Knicks bench. Injuries thrust him into the lineup and he has taken it from there.
LeBron was a huge high school star that received media attention while still in high school.
Everyone knew that James would be a factor in the NBA, nobody knew that Lin would.
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