A Star is Born

Jeremy Lin has taken the NBA by storm. For those who aren’t basketball lovers, here’s the quick 411 on Linsanity.

Lin is an Asian American from California. He went to Harvard and was an undrafted point guard. After being cut by two teams, Lin signed with the Knicks. He was on the verge of being cut by the Knicks too, who were searching for a point guard. Now, due to injuries, the current coach put him in the game during a blowout where he played well. He started the next game and he is now 8-3 as a starter, including a stretch of 7 wins in a row. His most memorable moment was hitting a game winning shot to push the win streak to seven. The Knicks, once buried in a disappointing season, now have renewed playoff hopes.

So what’s made his story so special? Well, he’s the first Asian-American (US born) to be so popular. He’s very humble, deferring all credit to his teammates and accepting responsibility for poor play. He plays with a youthful unselfish energy his teammates are responding to.

New Yorkers are loving him because he was so NY…lighting up the Garden with his play while sleeping on his brother’s couch! People identified with the vibe that he is just like us, on the daily grind while chasing his dream. While his run is only two weeks old, as a long time Knicks fan – from the Ewing days until now –  I say they have found the point guard they were missing. Let Lin play.

I guess deep down people just want the real celebrity and that feel good story. Sure, there are the Paris Hiltons and Kim Kardashians and Courtney Stoddens of the world, but people go for the Lin and Harrison Ford types more because they were in my shoes. Ford was a carpenter before becoming a movie star, and has stayed pretty humble and down to earth.

Anything can happen in a NY minute and that’s why many folks are Linning it as they ply their trade, doing the gritty stuff to pursue their dreams as they toil for that one moment to shine. Victor Cruz, a Hispanic football player, burst on the scene in the NFL for the eventual champion NY Giants with a similar story earlier this month.

People are doing the Cruz Salsa and Linning it a ton in NYC in February. I’m not a jersey guy but a Cruz and Lin jerseys are at the top of my shopping list. You cannot help but cheer these guys on and hope their success doesn’t change their stories.

Yes, every day a star is born here, especially in NYC. But you cannot help but root for a guy like Lin. Here’s hoping that Linsanity will rock the Garden for years to come. He doesn’t have to be great, just really good. His story – rooted in his grit and humility and talent – has already made him a NY legend.

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