Like most people, I stopped watching and caring about the NBA when Hakeem Olajuwon retired. Well, maybe Michael Jordan retiring had something to do with it too.
The NBA has struggled to recapture the sort of worldwide recognition that it enjoyed in the Eighties and Nineties. I think part of the problem is that it that it doesn’t have a Michael Jordan anymore. The kind of player whose popularity transcends the sport the way Tiger Woods and Ronaldo do. You don’t have to follow the sport to be aware of their accomplishments.
So the its strange to think that the guy who has momentarily reeled me back into the world of basketball is a Taiwanese Harvard graduate named Jeremy Lin. Not fitting the mould for a prototypical NBA player, he was undrafted and sat in the reserves for the Golden State Warriors and Houston Rockets before ending up with the New York Knicks. As recently as January, the Knicks were considering selling him on until a spate of injuries forced them to play Lin in the starting lineup.
He scored 20+ points in his first four games. His fourth game, was a star-making performance scoring 38 points against the LA Lakers in Madison Square Garden.
Not long after, he scored the game-winning points against the Toronto Raptors.
Time will tell if Lin can take his team to the play-offs but for now, its cool to see such an unlikely player emerge as a star in the NBA.