Take Linsanity for what it is: A really nice story
We are witnessing, and being inundated by, a truly perfect storm with this whole Jeremy Lin thing that’s hitting town today.
It a very nice story (undrafted kid perseveres, takes NBA by storm for a week so far) dropped into the middle of the (oft-over-the-top) media centre of the universe at a slow time in the North American pro sports calendar and – presto! – it’s Linsanity.
I think it’s a wonderful story, no question about it. I hope the kid goes on to have nothing but success in his NBA career and that he plays for a decade or more and is held up as a shining example of someone sticking it out until the find the perfect situation for themselves.
Which is precisely what Lin has done. He joined a point guard-starved team that plays a system perfectly designed for his talents at a time when the two biggest names on the roster were out with either family tragedies or injuries. You cannot script it any better and Lin has benefited – as has a good-story-starved New York media – like no one before him.
But is Lin’s ascension, as has been suggested, really an indictment of the NBA talent evaluation system overall? Does the fact he’s had four excellent games and one good one in his first five mean there are dozens of other talented young forgotten players out there who’d do the same thing given the same chance?
Look, drafting and finding free agent players as we’ve said for time immemorial is an inexact science. You do your diligence, decide what your team needs and make a choice based on all kinds of factors.
Lin was caught in numbers games pretty much everywhere he went. The Warriors had Monta Ellis and Stephen Curry; the Mavs (as Dwane Casey points out in today’s tome) had committed – rightly or wrongly – to Roddy Beaubois when they had Lin at summer league. Houston? Kyle Lowry and a full roster.
Almost everything in pro sports – heck, almost everything in life – is about timing. Some guys get a chance at precisely the right moment, some never do. Too bad for those who don’t but life ain’t fair all the time.
I think we need to commend and celebrate Lin for what he is: A young player who stayed with his dream and took advantage of his shot when it finally came around.
There is no bigger story here, I don’t think. The evaluation system has its flaws, we all knew that; and hindsight’s a wonderful thing. But to think this exposes some horrid flaw in the system ignores one point: Stories like Lin’s come around once in forever; if the system was really screwed don’t you think there would have been others before.
Like Lin for what he is: A good player on a sub-.500 team playing a style perfectly suited for him after bouncing around a few places that weren’t.
Watch out for arrows today, okay?
I (heart) you.
Oh, I didn’t check with anyone at Customs and immigration but what if the Knicks landed and when they checked passports they found out that Lin’s name is actually Joe Boyd?
Might explain a few things, no?
(That may need some googling)
I’m not sure if the Blue Jays were in on this Cuban kid Cespedes or not but the outfielder signed with Oakland yesterday so it’s a rather moot point at the moment.
However, I do like that they’ve re-signed Casey Janssen to a relatively inexpensive, short term deal ($5.9 million over two years with a club option on a third, Griff says). By some quirk of scheduling and the games I saw last summer, Janssen looked all the world to me like a very good setup man; good stuff, the right disposition for the job (did I sound like Dwane just now?) and I think he’s going to be a key guy in what seems to be a vastly improved bullpen this year.
The coolest thing? We’ll get to see him and the others pretty soon; pitchers and catchers are on their way to Dunedin right now.
Know what really bites?
Forgetting you’re almost out of coffee and having to make half a pot of weak stuff at 5:30 in the morning.
What a dope.
Speaking of, I waver between the Colombian and Ethiopian and Dominican blends for the drip system here. What’s the best I can get?
Not sure if many of you heard the idiotic statement, or tweet, put out by boxer Floyd Mayweather yesterday suggesting all the love for Lin was race-related and how if he wasn’t Asian this might not be that big a story.
I tell you, some people should not be let near a keyboard, or at least have every public utterances vetted, don’t you think? I am all for free speech and making an ass of yourself whenever you like but, really, someone in the public eye, who has fans who actually believe things you say carry some weight needs to think a bit.
Anyway, I guess part of me is a bit surprised someone else hasn’t done this before now. It’s the world, sadly, we live in.
Yawn. Double yawn.
Wondered when this was coming:
Q: When Jerryd Bayless first suffered his ankle injury, a fan asked your opinion on Jeremy Lin. You didn't think it was a good idea to pick him up? At the time, I thought Lin would be better offensively than Carter, the Raptors' third string PG. Also, Lin has a future in the NBA whereas Carter is near the end of his career. What's your opinion now Doug? How did the Raptors miss out again?
Geoffrey E, Toronto
A: Yes, I didn’t think it made any sense to pick up Lin, or any other point guard, when Bayless was hurt and I still don’t. No sense, to me, in waiving a guy and paying him not to play at that point to add a third point guard to a team that has next season as its priority and not necessarily this one.
And, yes, Lin is without question thriving offensively in a system built perfectly for his skills, as I mentioned above; he may or may not have had that success here, you don’t know and I don’t know.
So, in late-December when Jerryd was first hurt – and with an injury he did and will come back from – picking up an unemployed point guard who’d been cut by a couple of teams didn’t make sense to me.
Hindsight. It’s a wonderful thing, isn’t it?