I’m sure by now everyone has heard the story of Jeremy Lin. The problem is it may be too much of a story.
Don’t get me wrong, it’s a great story. But it’s being blown way out of proportion and everyone is trying to cash in. The “Linsanity” is it’s been dubbed, is all over the airwaves on the national sports media circuit. Even the national news media has tried to dip into it despite having no clue who Jeremy Lin is or even an understanding of the game of basketball. The whole process can be amusing to watch, and annoying at the same time.
The fact that New York is the place where Lin appeared on the map didn’t hurt. If he was lighting the court up in a place like Oklahoma City or Milwaukee, you wouldn’t hear much about him. The fact that it’s Broadway appeases the big media outlets. In this case a media star is born.
Lin didn’t really become good overnight, he always been good. The Harvard grad impressed the Dallas Mavericks so much during summer ball in 2010 they wanted to keep him. Former Mavs head coach Don Nelson instead lured him to hometown Golden State with a better deal. Not seeing much playing time with the Warriors, he was released by them and the Houston Rockets before landing in the Big Apple. He got his chance there and is making the most of it.
Once Lin started playing lights out, people started to notice. When people start to notice, sometimes it becomes a frenzy that can quickly get out of control. All the “Lin” puns you can think of started appearing on your TV screen and through the radio airwaves. While it was fun, the media machine got to the point where they started reaching to keep it going. It went from “fun” to “annoying” in a New York minute. It also led to trouble.
You knew it was bound to happen, and it did. Controversy happened when an ESPN writer lost his job over a headline that many felt was questionable, the infamous “Chink In The Armor” article that ran after a Knicks loss. The PC machine started up and ESPN decided to part ways with the writer. Funny how everyone was up in arms over that yet a picture of Lin in the middle of a fortune cookie that said “The Knicks Good Fortune” which ran in one of the New York papers, was never mentioned. Nor was the “Amasian” headline, again in one of the papers. But then we get into politics and that’s a whole different story. Bottom line is the writer didn’t deserve to be fired because there are a lot worse things being said through media outlets over a number of topics that go unnoticed. The Worldwide Leader dropped the ball in this case and the practice of a company trying to cash in on a phenomenon a little too much reared its ugly head.
It’s not that anyone is rooting against Lin to succeed, except when he’s playing their team. This kid finally got the chance to shine and he’s doing just that on what many believe is the brightest stage in the world. It’s a fun, feel good story. But you can’t keep reaching for ways to parade the story out there. It’s too much unwanted and unneeded pressure on the kid. When he started to have a few bad games, which happens to everyone, there will be the “what’s wrong” factor. “Maybe he isn’t what we thought he was” question also comes into play. It isn’t fair to him or anyone in that situation. Settle down and let the kid do his thing.
“Linsanity The Story” is greatness. “Linsanity The Coverage” is just the opposite.
Written by C. James