I’m beginning to understand the fascination with Jeremy Lin. It’s not just that he’s an Asian-American dude who’s ballin’ in a sport dominated by brothers. It’s that he actually PLAYS it like a brother.
We’ve seen plenty of white guys who could play some basketball. Larry Bird took no prisoners. Jerry West was lethal. Steve Nash and John Stockton…impeccable. In terms of Asian players, Yao Ming was an All-Star, but he was just a big tree. No flavor.
None of those guys really played with a “brothers’ kind of swag. Lin is hitting fadeaway jumpers, then trotting backwards with his tongue wagging..ala Michael Jordan. He’s taking it to the rim and dunking strong. He’s penetrating inside and hanging between defenders before dropping in teardrop layups….brother style.
In his post game interviews, he’s certainly gracious. But haven’t you noticed a little “brother swag” in the way he speaks. He’s got a rhythym in his game all the way around. The fact the he went to Harvard and went undrafted and played under the radar adds to the story. The fact that other teams passed on him and that he was sleeping on his brother’s sofa adds to the script.
But the fact that this dude of Asian heritage has some playground in his game…now THAT is what makes his game and story sexy. He’s got a game the “brothers” respect. Even Lebron James told me yesterday that Lin is a good player. Lin also has a story that makes everyone else stand up and take notice.
When you see a brother who can dance, you’re impressed. When you see someone of another heritage dance LIKE a brother, you take note even more. No matter his background, Lin has earned his street cred the hard way. When the Knicks come to town Thursday to play the Heat, I know what I’ll say to Jeremy Lin.