“Linsanity” “Lincredible” “Linternet Boom” “Linderella”
No matter how you phrase it, Jeremy Lin is a current basketball phenomenon. The 23-year-old NBA rookie is one of the few Asian-American players in NBA history and the first player of Chinese descent. As an avid basketball fan, and a Korean myself, I can’t tell you how inspiring it is to watch Jeremy Lin on the court.
His meteoric rise to starting point guard on the New York Knicks is truly a rags to riches “Linderella” tale. He was an outstanding Ivy League player at Harvard setting League records in career points, rebounds, assists, and steals. But upon graduating he went overlooked and undrafted by the NBA. He was picked up in reserve positions but later cut from 2 other franchises, before being picked up as a reserve player for the New York Knicks.
Despite being largely ignored, former coaches remember Lin as an energetic player with an incredible work ethic. “He was always the first player to arrive at practice and the last one to leave. He put his whole heart into it every day relentlessly reviewing his films, identifying and attacking his weaknesses.”
At the beginning of the 2012 NBA season, Lin was a backup player getting only a few minutes per game. After starting as point guard in early February, Lin has led the Knicks to 10 wins in the last 13 games, an incredible team rebound from their 8–15 season start. To date Lin is averaging 22.4 points, 8.8 assists and 2.5 steals per game.
New York has been taken over by “Linsanity.” Knicks ticket prices and TV ratings have skyrocketed. Web traffic on the Knicks site is up 770% and Knicks paraphernalia sales are up 4000%. Jeremy Lin is also turning the team around with his aggressive, wholehearted, “can-do” attitude. Sports analysts describe him as “a great team player, a pass first player, not a limelight seeking chucker. He is clearly the dominant personality on the Knicks.”
Lin’s transforming effect on the Knicks is reminiscent of the classic Broadway musical comedy “Damn Yankees,” in which an unknown long ball hitter suddenly appears playing for the Washington Senators and turns the baseball team’s fortunes around. One of the most popular songs from that musical is “You’ve Gotta Have Heart.” The lyrics seem to describe Lin: “All you really need is heart. You can open any door. There’s nothing to it but to do it. You’ve gotta have heart, miles and miles and miles of heart.”
When asked about his instant star status, and the pressure that it brings, Jeremy Lin, a devout Christian, replies, “I’m proud to be playing for the Nick’s. I just thank God for the opportunity to play basketball. I’ve surrendered all the pressure to God, and I’m not in a battle with what everybody thinks about me anymore.”
Jeremy Lin’s wholehearted pursuit of basketball and complete trust in God remind me of a promise God gives to us. “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart as working unto the Lord and not unto men, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.” (Colossians 3:23–24)
God wholeheartedly gave us His all when He sent His son Christ Jesus here to redeem us from our sin. He wants our wholehearted dedication to Him in everything we do.
Please join us this Sunday at 9:00 AM or 11:00 AM. Pastor Karl Malouff will discuss having the right heart attitude, the last in our current series, “What’s the H in HRock Church?”)