By Eric Boyd Forum Guest Writer
Much has been said about Jeremy Lin’s effect on New York, from many people. New Yorkers are buzzing, ESPN is raving, and everyone is eager to put in their two cents about the most surprising and exciting player to emerge this NBA season not named Blake Griffin. In the midst of these two cents were a couple of pennies from Floyd Mayweather that have sparked a debate. Floyd Mayweather's problem with 'Linsanity' stems from the question of whether the excitement is merely because of his race.Jeremy Lin is a good player but all the hype is because he’s Asian. Black players do what he does every night and don’t get the same praise.
And you know what? He was right. BUT, he missed the point. Anyone who says that the Jeremy Lin hype isn’t somewhat because he’s Asian is ignoring the fact that, well, Jeremy Lin is Asian. But he’s good. Really good. In fact, he’s good enough that eventually (like, soon) it shouldn’t even be a reason why he gets so much press.
This happens in sports though, and usually it’s an African-American on the other end. For instance when Tiger Woods emerged. Many of us were young then, but there was a lot of talk being made about the black golfer who was actuallypretty good. We don’t play golf. We play basketball. Asians don’t play basketball right? They just do, uhh, accounting. (sarcasm alert) Or with Jerome Iginla, the black All-Star hockey player. You see him on screen and think, “Oh wow, look, a black hockey player.” It’s an interesting story because we don’t see it all too often.
So yes, the hype may be because he’s Asian. But that’s just hype. The real story is about a guy who was given few chances to prove that he belongs. Yes he may be doing things that Black players do every night, but he’s doing it against the expectations that he can do it. No one is saying, “Damn, he’s pretty athletic for a black guy,” when John Wall dunks. They do when Jeremy Lin does though, in all unfairness to him. Not to mention that everything in New York seems to be overhyped anyway. And as with Jerome Iginla, and Tiger Woods, his race will eventually become a nonissue compared to his actual playing ability — how it should be.