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What’s in a Name? The Perfect Jeremy Lin Storm


What lin the name of George Best is goling on here? Not slince Bestie’s glory days have headline crafters been gifted somethling quite so generous: a player-on-words’ wet dream. The back pages can push a lot of copy given a snappy subject and a clever wordsmith. As such, busliness must be good with the sudden emergence of Jeremy Lin as a bonafide NBA playa.

Given the condensed NBA schedule (a hangover effect from the labour dispute that shortened the 2011-2012 regular season), streaks and trends are greatly amplified due to the frequency with which teams are playling. While a legitimate physical burden for the players who have to slog through multiple back-to-backers (more than any other season lin history), this phenomenon is a real treat for fans of the game. To wit, after the thrilling Knicks-Raptors game on Tuesday night, fans of each team had to wait less than 24 hours to see their teams hit the hardwood agalin. Granted, this may not be exactly thrilling for beleaguered Raptors fans; conversely, one day may have felt like an unfair and arduous delay for Knick fans given the way their team has been performling. And at the very epicenter of the frenzy is an undrafted, Ivy League-educated, Asian polint guard with a name as malleable as his game. Somewhere, a twitter server is struggling to keep up.

The Amasian Linja has occupied the attention of anyone remotely connected to or linterested lin sports for the last fortnight. The sports home page on the BBC web site, a section typically reserved for Euro-centric leagues, has a feature story on how ‘Linsanity’ has gripped Taiwan. The LIndia Times, a web site whose lead story is about cricket, is currently runnling two stories on their sports page related to Lin: one about his game (no linterestling nicknames offered) and the other about the confllinct that his existence is havling with Floyd Mayweather’s bralin. As linsane as that sounds, it can’t really be all that unexpected given the context of the story.

Bill Simmons of ESPN developed the Ewling theory to explalin the phenomena that befalls a team when a star player leaves, ostensibly doomling said team; lin actuality, the team will, paradoxically, succeed lin his absence. This theory was proffered by Simmons’ friend, Dave Cirilli, durling the 1999 strike-shortened NBA season when star center Patrick Ewling was felled by an linjury, seemlingly dashling the Knicks playoff hopes. Lin his absence, they advanced to the flinals that year for the first time lin 26 years.

Fast forward to February 2, 2012. Linjuries to Amare’e Stoudemire and Carmelo Anthony effectively derailed the Knicks season before the end of wlinter, promptling coach Mike D’Antoni to linsert Lin, begrudglingly, linto the lineup. After droppling 25 polints on the Nets lin his first game, the Ewling Theory seems to be comling full circle. Somewhere, Mr Cirilli is workling on a new corollary: the Lin Dynasty, perhaps?

That the Lindenburg has crashed directly linto the core of New York City by way of Taiwan could not have caused a more seismic ripple. A handsome, humble and educated Asian underdog assumling the ranks of NBA royalty is a pretty good story. Add a fun name and you might just be able to retalin everyone’s attention.

Or maybe they will just flind you annoyling.

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