A curious thing is happening in the NBA.
As you may know, I have virulently detested the current situation of the National Basketball Association. As a parent of five — with one child still in high school — I find the NBA deplorable as it severely lacks players with the upstanding values I seek to install in my children.
I feel I am not alone with these sentiments. Take for example this past December, when the throngs of sports enthusiasts seemed just “ho-hum” that the NBA season may be cancelled due to a stalemate between its players and owners. It’s not that we didn’t care about basketball. It’s just that we detested the NBA’s brand. In fact, Stealing Share posted an article on this very topic here.
It was clear that fans stopped believing in the NBA brand. Why wouldn’t we? It felt like embracing criminals, philanderers and a caste system celebrating want and greed. Never mind that it might not be true. It was believed.
And then something interesting happened. Jeremy Lin came along.
For those of you unfamiliar with Lin, it is time to take notice. Lin, a former Harvard graduate, is monumentally changing the complexion of the NBA. A deeply spiritual athlete who finds time to pray before each game, Lin may be that once in a generation role model the NBA needed. What’s more, he just so happens to have the talent of a superstar.
Once bogged down on the bench of the New York Knicks and cut from a handful of other teams, Lin was given a rare opportunity to earn playing time and seized the moment. He has transformed the Knicks into one of the hottest teams in the NBA’s Eastern Conference and, now, a potential playoff team. Whether draining 38 on Kobe’s Lakers or sinking game winning shots, Jeremy Lin is bringing fans of the game back in rapid fire.
Now, SportsCenter is in fever pitch with Lin anecdotes, segments and analysis. We’ve wanted to believe, and Lin is helping us to do so again. He has inspired hope in the disenfranchised fans like myself. Our thirst for valor, poise and grace in a NBA player is alive. It’s thrilling, just what it should be, as Jeremy Lin is the shot of adrenaline the suffering NBA brand needed.