“[I]f you can’t look at Jeremy Lin and see why America is the greatest country in the world, well, then you don’t understand America.” – Jay Kang in Bill Simmons’ Linsanity Mailbag
I first saw the name Jeremy Lin on some tweets. I didn’t pay much attention. Then I found highlights from his first couple of games set to a rap song. I was on board.
Then the “flash in the pan” lasted a little bit longer. The Knicks kept winning. Jeremy Lin kept leading, giving us the best live-action Disney movie since Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Tony Danza, Danny Glover, and Angel Doc Brown gave us Angels in the Outfield. And the movie’s not over yet! AND JEREMY LIN MIGHT JUST BE AN ANGEL!
After he took out the Lakers in primetime, I bought a Jeremy Lin t-shirt jersey. I consumed all the media I could about him. I told everyone I know about him. People who don’t like the NBA asked me more and more about him. Writers aptly pointed out what the GOP could learn from him. It has become a story through which preachers spread the Gospel. A unique take on the “Race in America” debate pops up everywhere, from the realm of sports to the topic of Asian-American faith traditions. He pops up on John Piper’s blog. He is humble on and off the court while firmly stating his faith. But then, he cold-bloodedly calls off his team for an iso, and drains a game-winner confidently.
This isn’t March Madness. This isn’t a Cinderella college basketball story. This is the NBA. And while the shortened and condensed season, a vetoed NBA trade, and a myriad of other factors have brought us this once-in-a-lifetime story, this is still the world’s biggest stage. This is where the greatest basketball players in the world are playing.
And Jeremy Lin is winning. He’s leading. He’s not a perfect basketball player, but he’s only started seven games at this point. We make excuses for superstars who struggle and stumble out of the gate. So let’s look past the kid’s turnovers and look at what the New York Knicks were before they gave him a shot. Let’s look at what’s happening now. People in bars in Nashville are asking the bartender to switch to the New York Knicks game. Jeremy Lin is a phenomenon, and one that I hope has a long career. His soft-spoken and firmly stated testimony is both inspiring and convicting to me as a Christian.
And, maybe he can be the divisive factor that will finally give us a Mayweather/Pacquiao fight. After all, after Money Mayweather’s ridiculous tweets against Lin, Congressman Pacquiao tweeted and Facebooked his support for Linsanity. Deep down, I believe that Jeremy Lin can, while bringing Americans together, also continue to create an environment where we can finally see the Fight of the Century everyone wants.
If you’re thinking that’s impossible, that there’s no way Jeremy Lin can do it, please keep thinking that. Because we have already seen that it is really fun to watch him show us exactly what he can do.