Understanding Linsanity: 'He Makes Us All a Little More Free to Dream'

More

Why are fans so taken with the Knicks' new superstar point guard?

roundtable_jeremylin_post.jpg

AP Images

Every week, our panel of sports fans discusses a topic of the moment. For today's conversation, Jake Simpson (writer, The Atlantic), Patrick Hruby (writer, ESPN and The Atlantic), and Hampton Stevens (writer, ESPN and The Atlantic) talk about the forces behind Jeremy Lin mania.


Hey, guys,

What do you get when you cross New York basketball, Harvard, Asian-American culture, the Internet, and a point guard who's overcome more obstacles than Rudy and made a more improbable run than Tim Tebow? You get a little LIN-sane in the membrane.

I'm speaking, of course, of Jeremy Lin, the Knicks' guard who has become national news after a six-game stretch that defies rational thought. Six games of 35-plus minutes, six wins, five starts, a 38-point masterpiece against the Lakers, a game-winning free throw against the Timberwolves, and a game-winning three-pointer with half a second left on Tuesday against the Raptors. Not to mention a cultural tidal wave that has gripped New York—to the point where the guy at my local deli can talk about nothing else.

What fascinates me most about Lin is that there are so many explanations for the Linsanity sweeping the nation. First Harvard grad to play in the NBA since 1954. Only Asian-American currently in the league. Point guard for a Knicks franchise that hasn't won it all since 1973 and a fan base desperate for something to get excited about. But to me, it seems like the real impetus for Linsanity is that the kid is the American Dream personified. Undrafted and cut by two different teams in the last two months, Lin has persevered, and when he was finally a shot he made the most of it and then some. That, not his race or alma mater, is what fans are relating to.

You agree, Patrick/Hampton? Or do you spy another cause of Linsanity?

–Jake

Jump to comments
Presented by

Sports Roundtable

Patrick Hruby, Jake Simpson, and Hampton Stevens 

Get Today's Top Stories in Your Inbox (preview)

CrossFit Versus Yoga: Choose a Side

How a workout becomes a social identity


Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register. blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

CrossFit Versus Yoga: Choose a Side

How a workout becomes a social identity

Video

Is Technology Making Us Better Storytellers?

The minds behind House of Cards and The Moth weigh in.

Video

A Short Film That Skewers Hollywood

A studio executive concocts an animated blockbuster. Who cares about the story?

Video

In Online Dating, Everyone's a Little Bit Racist

The co-founder of OKCupid shares findings from his analysis of millions of users' data.

Video

What Is a Sandwich?

We're overthinking sandwiches, so you don't have to.

Video

Let's Talk About Not Smoking

Why does smoking maintain its allure? James Hamblin seeks the wisdom of a cool person.

Writers

Up
Down

More in Entertainment

Just In