Friday, February 10, 2012

Jeremy Lin of the New York Knicks.

I'm not much of a sports fan but once in a while, the world of sport delivers a metaphor that it's interesting to explore.

About two weeks ago, the ever-struggling New York Knicks basketball team picked up a player called Jeremy Lin. Lin was an unusual, not particularly promising point guard. For one thing, he went to Harvard. Great basketball players don't usually go to Harvard. In fact, the NBA hadn't seen a Ivy Leaguer in their midst for nearly ten years. Secondly, Lin is an Asian-American. The book "Great Asian American Basketball Players" is even thinner than the volume titled "Great Jewish Jockeys." Finally, Lin had already been cut from two or three other squads. At best he was looked upon as a guy who would play about six or so minutes at the end of a game.

Instead, New York is gripped by something called "Lin-sanity." For the last three games, Lin has averaged over 20 points and seven assists. He has led the Knicks to three surprising victories and out-played some of the most heralded opponents in the league.

It remains to be seen if Lin is more than just a "flash in the wok."

But what's interesting to me is that he was almost passed over simply because he did not look or have the heritage he was supposed to have. He probably can't jump over a moving car and dunk a basketball with fury.

Nevertheless, Lin, for now is defying perceptions. Scoring points and surpassing expectations.

Sometimes things that don't look the way things are supposed to look do the things they're supposed to do.

In other words, sometimes reality trumps perception.

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