Viewpoint: NBA’s Lin, not race, deserves credit for media hype

By Tyler Alley
Sports Editor

You would think the sports gods had smiled enough on New York. The beloved Giants just won the Super Bowl – that would be enough to satisfy most fan bases.

Nope. The sports gods wanted to give the city one more gift in point guard Jeremy Lin.

Lin first arrived on the scene in the Knicks’ Feb. 4 game against the New Jersey Nets in which he scored 25 points and had seven assists off the bench.

Since then the Knicks have won seven straight games, Lin averages around 25 points per game, ESPN cannot go 10 minutes without finding a new nickname for Lin and, unfortunately, some very stupid comparisons and statements have come out.

The dumbest so far came from boxer Floyd Mayweather Jr., who tweeted, “Jeremy Lin is a good player but all the hype is because he’s Asian. Black players do what he does every night and don’t get the same praise.”

Yeah, Mayweather is completely spot-on with this statement. You never see Kobe Bryant, LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, Dwight Howard, Kevin Durant or any other black superstars on Sportscenter. There is definitely a race issue here.

Can Manny Pacquiao just please knock this moron out already?

The fact that Lin is Asian has nothing to do with his hype. In fact, some believe that his ethnicity has hurt him in his past. Lin told the San Francisco Chronicle he thought the fact that he’s Asian played a part in him not receiving any Division I scholarship offers coming out of high school.

The reason Lin is such a big story is because he came from nowhere. In a time in America when people are losing jobs and the economy is down, people love to see a story like Lin’s. His story could made into a movie — “Cinderella Man II.”

He got zero scholarship offers, then he was undrafted, picked up by the Golden State Warriors but eventually released, then picked up and dropped again by the Houston Rockets. Then he sat on the Knicks’ bench for most of this season and was reportedly sleeping on his brother’s couch.

Now he’s dropped 38 points and seven assists on Kobe’s Los Angeles Lakers.

After reading those last few paragraphs, does anybody think his ethnicity still plays a role in his hype? If so, in the words of Antoine Dodson: You are so dumb; you are really dumb. For real.

Another annoying statement is the comparison is between Lin and Denver Broncos quarterback Tim Tebow. The only real similarity is they are both strong Christians (Lin said in a video his favorite band right now is Hillsong). Please do not call him “Lin Lebow.” Lin is winning games for the Knicks and putting up big numbers.

Not to mention, football and basketball are two completely different sports. There’s no link.

I will let you all in on the little secret as to why Lin’s hype is so huge. He plays in New York. That’s it. If he was pulling off these performances for the Milwaukee Bucks, while still awesome, it would not be getting the same coverage. Sports fans know how frenzied the New York media can get over a rising athlete, and that makes it all the more impressive that Lin has risen above now-lofty expectations in such a media market.

Lin deserves all the hype he is getting because not only are his performances amazing, but he is extremely humble and always looking to give credit to his teammates. You’re a class act, Mr. Lin.

Tyler Alley is a senior journalism major from Humble and is the Lariat’s sports editor.