A month ago the name Jeremy Lin meant nothing to me. Today, I’m reading any story I come across about him and there is lots to read. “Linsanity” has millions of people talking about this basketball player from Mountain View, California.
It’s easy to get caught up in the hype because Lin has led the New York Knicks to 5 straight wins and counting. Something they haven’t done since 2010. But it’s the back story that has me cheering for Lin.
At Christmas, Lin was considering taking a break from professional basketball. His time in the big leagues hadn’t exactly been going the way a pro player would hope. He wasn’t getting playing time during games, had been traded to his third team in a year and couldn’t even get on the court in practice. He hit a low when he got sent back to the D-League (the NBA hinterlands where players go to never be heard of again).
Then fate or luck or God (as Lin might suggest) stepped in and due to injuries he got called back up to the big leagues. He initially didn’t get much playing time and when he did he wasn’t impressive. Then when an injured team-mate encouraged the coach to give him more playing time some magic happened. He scored 25 points and 7 assists in the Knicks win that night. Since then the magic has continued happening.
In interviews Lin talks about the difficulty of dealing with other people’s expectations, of the pressure he put on himself and of the power of letting go and not trying to control everything. He prepared everyday for his opportunity by training hard, focusing on being a good person and believing in himself. That’s the part of this story I love.
In my opinion we haven’t seen many good role models in professional sports lately. I have high hopes for Jeremy Lin.