Monday, February 13, 2012


The fact that his story has grabbed the attention of the country is just remarkable.  His popularity seems due to a perfect storm of underdog circumstances and solid character traits.  He's a Chinese-American guard in a decidedly non-Asian profession.  He went undrafted after a 4 year career at Harvard, a school obviously not known for bball.  He had been waived by two teams, including his hometown team, and sent to the NBDL four times in 2 years.  He had only scored in the double digits twice before Feb 4th.  He is the anti-typical American superstar primadonna, instead always displaying self-deflecting humility.  He is a committed Christian, giving Tebow fans another hero.  And it happened to him at a success-starved team in the nation's largest sports market.  Besides, regardless of his ethnicity, background, or personality, his meteoric performance out of nowhere would've been a huge story in itself.  He may end up being the most dramatic rags-to-riches story in NBA history.  (Kurt Warner's rise from grocery store shelf stocker to Superbowl MVP probably rates as #1 in sports history).  This is why I love sports.

He isn't another Yao - a commie-bred basketball-playing machine (for the record, I love Yao).  No, he's a son of a hard-working immigrant chasing the American dream and the best possible future.  He's one of us.

So how will it all pan out?  I have no clue.  Will he be averaging 28 points a night, dropping 38 every few weeks on primetime TV, becoming the next superstar guard?  The stat listed below is indeed astounding.  But I doubt it.  We don't even know what will happen when Carmelo comes back.  I'd be absolutely ecstatic if he held a starting job and had 16 points and 8 assists a night over the course of a decade-long career.  I can barely wrap my mind around what he did to Kobe last Friday, much less entertain an overnight transformation into NBA superstar.  No, I'll stick with my more modest prediction.  However, with the Chinese voting block likely out en mass for the NBA All-Star game next year, I'd be surprised if he wasn't an All-Star starter, assuming he keeps his Knick starting job.

- The only player in history with at least 20 points and 7 assists in his first 4 starts.

- Most points in their 1st 4 starts in modern day NBA (1976 on):
Jeremy Lin 109
Allen Iverson 101
Shaquille O'Neal 100
Michael Jordan 99

Look at those names.  Lincredible.

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