Jeremy Lin’s nemesis is not Kobe or Dirk

Feb 17, 2012, 5:53 PM | Updated: 9:15 pm

Jeremy Lin is not supposed to happen in the 21st century.

We live in a world dominated by technology, communication
and knowledge. We live our lives with few surprises.
Information is power and knowledge guides us through our
days. The weather is tracked, traffic monitored, crops
projected, money exchanged, illness predicted, minutia
Googled and in the hyper-aggressive world of professional
sports, players evaluated.

Rarely do we see a professional athlete rise from relative
obscurity to capture the imagination of sports fans across
our land, transcending New York, basketball, the
Association and David Stern.

Jeremy Lin is doing the impossible: playing like an All-
Star after getting cut by two different teams and unifying
a downtrodden team of renown. And he’s doing it in a
market/league where known commodities are coveted,
acquired, groomed, stroked, praised, promoted and paid.
The NBA is the best basketball our species can produce and
millions of dollars are invested every year in finding
humans that can play like Jeremy Lin.

And that’s why this story is the best story of 2012.

Jeremy Lin has turned competing against the best athletes
in the world into his own personal playground. Owners,
general managers, scouts, coaches and players not only
populate this playground but rule it with an iron-fist.
The playground is known; it has a chain-link fence around
its perimeter. The pecking order is firmly established.
Jeremy Lin has either forgotten or ignored his place
within this paradigm. Somebody forgot to tell the kid from
Harvard that 30 teams passed him by in the NBA Draft…
twice. The powers that run the playground didn’t pick him
last in a pick-up game, they didn’t pick him at all.

But there have been others. Jeremy Lin is not alone.

Kurt Warner walked onto the NFL playground in 1999. The
skeptic in us all, including those that ran the
playground, watched and waited for Warner to implode.
Week after week, pundits, experts, analysts, players,
coaches and Joe in Creve Coeur warned us of Kurt’s
imminent demise. And week after week Kurt Warner defied

Tim Tebow captured the imagination of a grateful nation
this past season. All he did was win games. But Tebow was
a known commodity coming out of Florida. To many, Tebow
was an icon, winning a national championship and the
Heisman Trophy while being selected in the first-round of
the NFL Draft out of Florida.

And the Tebow tale differs from the Jeremy Lin legend in
another way: Tebow never played or dominated like Lin.

In 7 games, Jeremy Lin is averaging 24 points and 9
assists. He has hit game winners and guided, directed and
inspired the Knicks from the brink of the abyss to a .500
record. New York has won 7 consecutive games and Jeremy
Lin has played well in all of those wins. He has been the
difference and the Knicks have won games despite not
having Amare Stoudemire and Carmelo Anthony.

And therein lies the rub.

The only thing that might move Jeremy Lin back into the
corners of the playground is not Kobe Bryant or Dirk
Nowitzki. Jeremy Lin’s adversary is much more ancient than
the NBA. With all he’s overcome to get to this point, Lin
must now fight what all of us have struggled with and/or
experienced: pride and ego.

Amare’s pride and Melo’s ego.

Penguin Air

Ron Wolfley

Follow @wolf987FM...
Ron Wolfley

Tiger Woods is the Lord of the Headlines

Tiger Woods is still dominating headlines but the golf world has moved on. In terms of production, this is a man that hasn't been relevant in years but whatever he does cameras, microphones and interest follows him like TMZ on Travolta.
7 years ago
Follow @wolf987FM...
Ron Wolfley

Adrian Peterson’s perdition

There's a ton of subterfuge swirling in and around the Adrian Peterson affair. Rumors and innuendo seem to be the currency used to build arguments as to where Minnesota's talented back is headed. So let me add to the speculation:
7 years ago
Follow @wolf987FM...
Ron Wolfley

The curious case of Chris Borland

Good for Chris Borland. He made an immediate decision through a long-term lens and he seems to be at peace walking away from the game he loves and played so vigorously.
7 years ago
Follow @wolf987FM...
Ron Wolfley

Markieff Morris: Do your job

"Do your job," Bill Belichick said, running his harry hands through his greasy hair. "Nobody is responsible for how you play but you…not your mother, not your aunt Edna…do…your…job."
7 years ago
Follow @wolf987FM...
Ron Wolfley

The threat of Los Angeles is a powerful one for the NFL

The NFL has always been a progressive sports league but what they have done with the L.A. market may be their masterpiece.
7 years ago
Follow @wolf987FM...
Ron Wolfley


Recently, LeBron James tweeted something out that clearly referenced Kevin Love. He implored the social media populace to stop trying to "FIT-OUT" and start trying to "FIT-IN."
8 years ago
Jeremy Lin’s nemesis is not Kobe or Dirk