Who is this Jeremy Lin guy anyway?
Editor's note: Art Garfamudis originally wrote for Page 2 in 2008 before he retired to dedicate himself to preparing his safe house for any number of civilization-threatening crises. The depletion of his potable water, dried food and ammunition has lured him out of retirement to again present his unique perspective on the sports world in a new column, Art for Art's Sake.
Nine questions about Jeremy Lin
In case you've been living under a rock that contains the sort of minerals that block Wi-Fi, Jeremy Lin of the New York Knicks is blowing up -- and I mean that in the modern sense, not the World War II sense, which involves cordite and craters. In the course of a handful of games, he's become the biggest story in sports -- one so big that not even I can afford to ignore it without fear of a stern lambasting from my superiors. So, with that in mind, let's find out what the deal is with this guy.
1. Is being from Harvard a good or bad thing?
Here it is in simple language that even a non-Ivy Leaguer can understand: I don't trust Ivy Leaguers. Who was responsible for the mess this once-great nation is in right now? You got it: Ivy Leaguers. So, the fact that Jeremy Lin is one of them puts me on my guard right out of the gate with this guy. What's his agenda? All Ivy Leaguers have one -- it's why they went there in the first place.
But I'm gonna have to say that if he's got to be from Harvard, it's better to have him in the NBA than not, because it means there's one less Ivy Leaguer messing around on Wall Street or on Capitol Hill, putting our economy in the urinal all over again.
2. How many people saw this coming?
One. A fella named Stevie Mastricht. Everyone else had no idea, including college recruiters, pro scouts, general managers, coaches and fans. Mastricht figured it out, though, but nobody would listen to him because he talks to himself and has no fixed address. Also because he's been struck by lightning four times.
3. Is the NBA back now?
Back from what? Living under a bridge drinking from a paper bag? Because that's where it seemed like the NBA's been of late. Lin is going to get them up out of the gutter. He's going to make casual fans care. When your casual types start paying attention, that's when a sport crosses the line into true success. Sorry purists, but that's the way it is.
4. What does this mean for the Knicks franchise?
In the interests of full disclosure, the last time I paid attention to the Knicks, Harthorne Wingo was treading the boards. At least New York's coach will keep his job for a while longer now, and the team probably won't have to relocate to Syracuse, which is the way things were headed. At this juncture, you can approach the Lin situation two ways. You can either get all analytical and point out they're not even at .500 yet and wonder about chemistry when Carmelo Anthony returns ... or you can just give in to the feeling and pencil them in for the championship right now. I'm going with the latter tactic, because life's too short and you've got to enjoy a good ride when one pulls up in your driveway.
5. So then, is this some sort of conspiracy?
Do you remember 1985 when the NBA lottery system began and the Knicks got Patrick Ewing? Do you remember how happy commissioner David Stern was? What's been happening with Lin is a little harder to orchestrate than bending an envelope corner, but it does make you think a little bit, right?
6. Is Lin a fad, like pet rocks and pole sitting?
Nope, he's the genuine article. Is he always going to be a headline-grabbing machine like he is right now? Of course not. It's impossible to keep up this level of attention without moving on to acting all scandalous. The most scandalous thing Lin seems capable of is forgetting to say grace before lunch.
7. Did Lin break Kobe Bryant?
I don't know, but Bryant had only 10 points against Atlanta on Tuesday night. I don't want to say beginning of the end, but I might have just said it.
8. What about unfounded criticism?
A couple inches? I should be so lucky.
9. So, what happens now?
Beats the dog scrapings out of me. Problem is, there's no precedent. Nobody has ever come out of nowhere to do what Lin's done this early in his career. He's basically making this up as he goes along; witness that trip he threw down at the buzzer to beat the Raptors. ("Trip" is my own lingo for a 3-pointer -- it's copyrighted, so be careful how you use it.) I'm gonna guess he'll just keep getting better and better until he's so good he wrecks the competitive balance of the NBA. At that point, they'll just make him commissioner. And wouldn't that be just like an Ivy Leaguer to come in and take over?
Artemis Arthur Garfamudis originally studied typing at the Miss DuPrix School of Business on Route 22 in North Plainfield, N.J. He has since taken several refresher typing courses. It is with great pride that he types all his own columns.
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