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LINSANITY IS NOTHING BUT MEDIA HYPE

In Pro Basketball on February 25, 2012 at 7:49 am

If Jeremy Lin didn’t play for the New York Knicks or if it was the middle of football season would “Linsanity” exist? I think that question has a pretty simple answer. NO!! This is not meant to be anything against Jeremy Lin. Lin seems to be a fine young man, with a degree from Harvard, who happened to land in New York. The truth is Linsanity is nothing more than media hype created by an industry, ESPN and other sports media outlets including the cover of Sports Illustrated among others that really has nothing else to report at this time. ESPN tries to promote the NBA because it broadcasts its games and in many cities the NBA is meaningless. They do not give coverage to the NHL because they don’t broadcast it. The Daytona 500 was still a few weeks away when Linsanity was created, Spring Training was still a few weeks away and football was over. The truth is they had nothing else to report on!!!

On Thursday morning I actually heard ESPN announce that the Thursday night game between the Knicks and the Miami Heat was the most anticipated game of the season and being broadcast live on TNT. Since when does a game between the 1st place team in the Southeast, the Heat with a 26-7 record, and the Knicks, 2nd place in the Atlantic with a 17-17 record, become an anticipated game? The game played out just as you would’ve expected with the Heat beating up the Knicks 102-88.  Unfortunately Linsanity was exposed for the hype that it is, shooting 1-11 from the field and committed 8 turnovers while finishing with 8 points. Again, this isn’t a reflection of Jeremy Lin but a reflection of the media that created something that a 23 year old cannot live up to. The fact that the media is trying to create hype around the New York Knicks is another story. The Knicks are not a good basketball team right now. They have several good players in Carmelo Anthony and Amar’e Stoudemire but haven’t done anything until getting a boost from Lin. The Knicks go in to the All Star break 17-18 and are 3.5 games behind the Philadelphia 76ers in the Atlantic Division.

As far as Lin, here is the rest of the story. Lin is not a rookie. He played in 29 games for the Golden State Warriors in 2010-11. He didn’t start any games and averaged 2.6 points per game and 1.2 rebounds per game while playing 9.8 minutes per game. He moved on to the Knicks this year and didn’t start the teams first 10 games. He has now started 11 of the teams 21 games. His season averages are 14.4 points per game, 2.8 rebounds per game, 5.8 assists per game and 3.6 turnovers per game.  These are hardly numbers that create any “Insanity”.

I wish the best for all of the young players trying to make it in professional sports because I understand how hard it is to make it to that level. I also hope that Lin takes advantage of all of the endorsement opportunities ($$$$$) that are being created for him by being in New York but the pressure being put on this young man by the media is something that will be difficult for him to deal with and surely something that will be impossible for him to live up to.

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