Jeremy Lin: Why He is Overhyped

Jeremy Lin is a solid player, but Lin-sanity is overblown hype.

Jeremy Lin is a solid player, but “Lin-sanity” is overblown hype.

Nicholas Fuller

Jeremy Lin is a solid player, but "Lin-sanity" is overblown hype.

In sports, everybody loves a Cinderella story and it contains a simple script – from beginning to end.  It starts with the guy nobody noticed or anybody paid attention too, and it ends with that same guy who eventually rises above everyone else to greatness. These are the stories that captivate people’s imaginations and inspire others to pursue their dreams despite whatever barriers are blocking their path.

Jeremy Lin’s story is one of a kind, and the path he had to undergo in order to be where he is today is astounding.  Lin has broken conventional wisdom and the typical order of how the sports world works.  His play with the Knicks so far has been nothing short of great.  He has totally reenergized that team; his leadership is invaluable, and most importantly, the New York spotlight has not scared him.

Lin, however, has been portrayed as a savior and has been deemed immortal by the New York media.  He has only played for a month or so and already has gained what takes most really good players years to obtain—attention.  Delusional New York fans are already saying that their team is now a legitimate contender because of Jeremy Lin.  Some are even proclaiming that their team will now make it to the NBA finals.  The New York Knicks are a below .500 basketball team (18-20) in a weaker Eastern Conference.  Is Jeremy Lin really that good?

Apparently, he is that good.  Ian O’Conner from ESPNNewYork.com compared Jeremy Lin being subbed in to his first game as a Knick because of an injury to Tom Brady being put in for Drew Bledsoe after Bledsoe was injured.  How many championships does Lin have? Does have three like Brady? Does he have one or two?  Oh wait, he has zero.  Until he can prove himself in big games and down the road in the playoffs, Lin will be nothing better than an above average NBA player.  Nevertheless, the next time Lin has a good game will be the next time that another sports writer will start comparing him to Michael Jordan.

No doubt about it, Lin is a good player.  As a point guard, he distributes the basketball exceptionally well and can make that timely or clutch shot when his team needs it most.  His two main problems, however, are his lack of defensive skill and his turnovers.  On defense, Lin is often lost and he is by far the weakest link.  On some nights, Lin also has an outrageous amount of turnovers as a result of his somewhat sloppy dribbling skills.  Yet, despite these deficiencies, he makes everyone around him better.  Nevertheless, he still has some flaws which are seemingly ignored by many of the experts out there.

For example, last Sunday when the Knicks played the Celtics, Rajon Rondo put up some astounding numbers, with 18 points, 20 assists, and 17 rebounds.  Who was covering him all game?  Jeremy Lin.  No matter how good Rondo is, that is pitiful and pathetic defense.  Lin also had six turnovers in the game.  Along with that, Rondo not only contained him but made him a non-factor throughout the game.  He also missed six shots in overtime  as the Knicks fell in a 115-111 OT loss to the Celtics.  That does not sound like the Jeremy Lin everyone has heard about, does it?

Plus, the stats do not indicate a dynamic player in Jeremy Lin.  With the Knicks, he is averaging 14.6 points per game, 3.5 turnovers per game, 6.1 assists per game, and a shooting percentage of .458.  Those are all good stats (other than the turnovers), but they are not great.  The assists are impressive, but Jeremy Lin is not a great player.     

It is simply hard to justify all the attention he has been getting by everyone out there.  Lin has his very own “top 10” segment on prominent show SportsCenter on ESPN, and he has not even been in the league a full season. Lin also has some more nicknames than any player in NBA history.  Among a few of them are “Linsanity, Linderalla, Superlintendo, Linvincible, the Linstigator” and “Just Lin Baby”!

Other than those great nicknames, Lin-sanity is becoming tiring—and annoying.  He is becoming the Tim Tebow of basketball.  His great play has been overly exaggerated and his flaws have been ignored.  Whenever Lin plays poorly, his followers are as quiet as crickets.  Whenever he plays exceptional, they let you hear it on twitter.  But hey, give the guy some props.  He is certainly making a name for himself.