New York Knicks point guard Jeremy Lin is a Harvard grad, yet he sleeps on his brother’s couch. He’s been cut by two teams already since being signed as an undrafted free agent out of Harvard and he’ll make a prorated salary of less than $800,000 (*violin*) with the Knicks, who signed him to be a third stringer back in December. And none of that means diddly, because Lin is the most popular man to wear a Knicks jersey since Patrick Ewing.
Since getting his big shot on Feb. 4, Lin is averaging 26.8 points and the faltering, struggling, sucktastical Knicks have won 5 in a row. And they’ve done it without Carmelo Anthony and Amar’e Stoudemire, who might as well both be on a cruise to the Bermuda Triangle right now, as far as Knicks fans are concerned.
Since the beginning of the weekend, the Modell’s Sporting Goods Inc. outlet on 34th street and Broadway in Midtown Manhattan, near the Knicks’s home court, has run through multiple shipments of Lin gear, including his No. 17 jersey and T-shirts celebrating “Linsanity,” the catch phrase adopted by the team since the Asian-American Harvard University graduate led the Knicks to a season-best five straight wins in eight days.
The jersey is the NBA’s top online seller since Feb. 4, when Lin first dazzled NBA fans. Sales of Knicks merchandise are higher than any other team in the league since then, with the team accounting for five of the 10 most popular items. (Via Bloomberg)
Oh but hey, I forgot to mention – did you know that Lin is Chinese? Because that’s apparently something that people care about, too. Not that he’s busting his ass to prove he was overlooked at every level of his basketball development, but because he’s a novelty that people can make jokes about, like the one above. For instance, Jason Whitlock set the bar for fun at Lin’s expense on Friday with a Tweet about the penis size of Asian men.
I can’t really act all high and mighty, because I’ve only seen Lin’s heroics in highlights, but I think it should be mandatory for everyone who makes a joke about Lin’s Chinese heritage to make two positive comments about his physical ability and exciting play, as well as one self-deprecating comment to point out that none of us are as nearly as talented as Lin is. Hell, even if we are as talented as he is, we can at least show him some respect as a peer. Take Kobe Bryant, who crapped all over Lin’s sudden popularity the other day.
*cracks open fortune cookie* “Haters gonna hate.” I’m not going to anoint Lin the king just because of five great performances, but he at least gets a solemn nod and a raised eyebrow. And I guess he also deserves at least one YouTube tribute to him.
Okay, fine. He can have two YouTube tributes.