“Linsanity” has erupted in New York City over Jeremy Lin, a point guard for the New York Knicks who has come out of nowhere to lead the team to five consecutive victories. He came off the bench to score 25 in a win over New Jersey last Saturday, scored 28 in his first career start on Monday, had 23 points and 10 assists on Wednesday against Washington, scored 38 on Friday night in a win over Kobe Bryant and the Los Angeles Lakers, and on Saturday, he scored 20 points including the go-ahead free throws with 4.9 seconds remaining to clinch a come-from-behind victor over the Minnesota Timberwolves. The second-year player out of Harvard has scored more points in his first four starts than any player in history since the merger of the NBA and ABA in 1976.
Lin’s story is incredible. According to his Wikipedia profile, he didn’t receive any scholarships out of high school, and despite a solid collegiate career at Harvard, he was not selected in the 2010 NBA draft. He was picked up briefly by Golden State, and then Houston, and landed in NY toward the end of last season. Lin didn’t even start the season with a guaranteed contract — his rise from bench-warmer to superstar seems like a fairy tail.
And one more thing: Jeremy Lin is a Taiwanese American, the first American player in the NBA to be of Chinese or Taiwanese descent.
So it’s only fitting that the same week Pete Hoekstra launched, and then folded, his horrendously insensitive ad, which stirred up all sorts of criticism of racial and cultural bias, that we’re given an opportunity to see an Asian American rise to prominence with a tremendous achievement that’s as emblematic of the American dream as anything I’ve ever seen.
Michigan can, and must, do better than Pete Hoekstra, and we’ll be here for the next 9 months to make sure that happens!