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Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Editorial: Jason Terry Not Buying into Lin-Sanity

When a third-string, Ivy-educated, Asian-American basketball player who was seriously contemplating switching professions just two weeks earlier gets catapulted to stardom on a global scale in a matter of days, there will no doubt be naysayers. Dallas Mavericks guard Jason Terry is one such cynic who warns against an inevitable downfall of the Lin-Mania. When asked about how much of Lin's recent spurt of success is a result of New York Knicks coach Mike Dantoni's highly renowned offensive system, Terry answered, "To me, it's 100% what it is."

Terry went on to adjust his comment, crediting Dantoni with only "Ninety-five Percent" of Lin's success.

Either way, it seems quite apparent that Terry is not a believer just yet in the incredible underdog story that is Jeremy Lin. So who is right: The millions of NBA fans around the world who contend that Lin is the next NBA superstar, or the countless number of naysayers who say Lin's success will not survive the test of time?

Jason Terry isn't buying into the hype of LIN-sanity just yet.
Photo Courtesy of guxed.net
Jeremy Lin's numbers over the last nine games are ridiculous. And I don't mean ridiculous for someone who was once the twelfth man on his team, but ridiculous for a top-tier NBA player. In those nine starts, Lin is averaging 24.6 points per game and 9.4 assists per game. He has logged more minutes in his previous nine games (38.9 mpg) than he has in an entire NBA career, combined. Lin also became the first NBA player to score at least 20 points and dish out seven assists in his first five starts. Above all, a struggling Knicks team with Lin off the floor is 7-2 in games Lin has started. As a great man once said, "the stats don't lie."

But even after Lin lit up the Mavs this past Sunday at the Garden for 28 points, 14 assists and 5 steals in the Knicks 104-97 victory, Terry remained skeptical.

"If you play 46 minutes a game in this league, you have an opportunity to put up some nice numbers," Terry said. "Again, it is what it is. He'll have to maintain this pace. It's going to be tough. Ask anybody: Give them an opportunity, ball in their hands, 20-plus shots and you better do something."

While I'd be the first to admit that I'm a sucker for any underdog story, there is something to Terry's point. Jeremy Lin is the missing piece to what was once a cluttered puzzle. When Lin came in to the third quarter of a game against the New Jersey Nets just over two weeks ago, he was exactly the spark plug that his 8-15 Knicks needed. With all the high-profile acquisitions of the past year-and-a-half, from Melo to Stoudemire to Chandler, the Knicks were still lacking a point guard. Lin was now placed into a system that revolved around the point guard. He was provided an opportunity to fill that void, and all he had to do was play basketball. You could say this was nothing more than "right place, right time."

Jeremy Lin dunking in the
Knicks 104-97 victory over the Mavs.
Photo Courtesy of Debby Wong
But for the sake of argument, let's go with Terry's notion and assume that Lin's days of superstardom are numbered. Let's assume that Lin is simply benefiting from a genius offensive scheme cooked up by Dantoni that makes point guards play like hall-of-famers. And let's say that the media and NBA representatives have overhyped Lin's greatness for the sake of improved interest and ratings. I'll even concede Terry's point that many NBA players could compile decent numbers if given 46 minutes of playing time a game; these points may be valid.

But the bottom line is this: Lin is humble. He is religious, hard-working and close with his family. In an era in sports plagued with indecent and even criminal athletes, Jeremy Lin serves as a testament for youth to the benefit of hard work, determination and - oh yeah - education. This could not have happened to a better all-around person. Whether Lin can continue to live up to the hype for years to come remains to be seen. But to the Jason Terry's of the world who want to rain on Lin's parade and highlight all the potential pitfalls of this great story, give it a rest. Let Lin enjoy his moment in the spotlight and let us all hope that more athletes like him can rise to the top of the sporting world.

Original Source

Zachey, Jeremy Lin, Jason Terry

What do you think? Is Lin for real or will his success be short-lived? Share your thoughts in the comment section below.