Like every other basketball/sports dork on the internet, we’re working ourselves into a lather over the Lin-credible (Lin-credulously and Lin-tensely Lin-sane!) play of the New York Knicks point guard Jeremy Lin. We’ve provided a Sports Illustrated for Kids-style collection of quotes, facts and trivia on the latest flavor of the week, as well some Lin-teresting player-specific memery.
1. It’s quite auspicious that Jeremy Lin is a Knick, since New York was the first team to have a non-Caucaisan player on their roster, in 1947: Japanese-American Wataru “Wat” Misaka played three games for the Knicks in the second season of the NBA’s existence before being cut. Misaka’s life has been made into a documentary, which you can find out about here.
2. The Knicks were also the last team to feature a player from Harvard, Lin’s alma mater: Ed Smith played 11 games for the Knicks in 1953-54. This means that there’s a greater chance on making the NBA if you’re Asian than if you’re from Harvard. To wit, Yao Ming, Yi Jianlian, Sun Yue, Mengke Bateer, Wang Zhizhi, Yuta Tabuse and Ha Seung-jin are some of the Asian athletes who’ve played in the NBA in the last 15 years.
3. Like so many sports stories, Lin’s is the story of a Tiger-Wolf-Eagle-Snake Mother-Father figure pushing and mentoring their child to sporting success:
Though Jeremy’s father had never picked up a ball until he came to California to further pursue his dream of receiving a PHD, he had recorded numerous tapes of NBA Greats. Lin’s father was a student of the game, watching Magic Johnson, Kareem, and the great MJ.
Once Jeremy was five years old, his father immediately rushed him to the local YMCA and Jeremy and his brothers got right to work, starting with the basic fundamentals of the game. Jeremy’s dad wanted to put them to work until the game became second nature to his son’s so that the rest would come easy for them.
4. Jeremy played at Palo Alto High School, where he helped his team win the Division II California State Championship against Mater Dei in 2006, his senior season. Palo Alto, incidentally, is the alma mater of James Franco (Class of ’96), Joan Baez (Class of ’58), and Jon Huntsman Sr. (Class of ’55), the father of former US Ambassador to China Jon Huntsman Jr.
5. Grantland has been compiling the best quotes from Knicks legend and current Knicks commentator Walt “Clyde” Frazier, as he comes up with ridiculous new ways to praise Lin’s play. Below is a sampling of the quotes, all from the mind of Clyde as he watches the Knicks’ game against the Jazz:
“He’s going to be taking Lin out to dinner soon.” (In reference to Tyson Chandler’s respect of Jeremy Lin’s pick-and-roll skills.)
“I know he has a dinner coming now.” (The very next play, a Lin assist to Chandler. 28-20, Knicks.)
“Lin, making it look very elementary, Watson.” (Replay of previous play. Frazier is just unreal.)
6. When asked about his former point guard, Lin’s coach at Harvard Tommy Amaker can claim perhaps the best, most homoerotic sports quote (and most obvious “That’s what she said” opportunity) ever:
“It’s part of his DNA that he can go harder, longer than most people,” he said. “When you take a step back to take a deep breath, he’s still coming hard.”
Images from Insidehoops.com