Saturday, March 10, 2012

Hypes and fads

Years ago I remember many of my university peers where reading the Harry Potter books at the height of their popularity. Even though I watched the movies, I never got into the book hype and got round to reading the series. I truly believe the reason why a lot of people read their books was because it was the fashion and they didn't want to left out when talking with their friends.

Another fad that has gotten the whole world, and especially basketball fans in Asia, is the rise of Jeremy Lin, the point guard for the New York Knicks. Out of nowhere, he has been scoring points and dishing out dimes as if he was an All-Star player. More importantly he was getting the Knicks winning again and back into the playoffs. Thankfully the commotion has died down, especially since opponents have become aware of him and started to defend against him better. Nowadays his numbers are down and the New York Knicks are back to losing.

So why all the fuss about Jeremy Lin? There have been other player like him before, who come out of the blue to surprise everybody. So what makes him different. Is it because he is Oriental (I didn't use the word "Asian" as it means different things to different countries. In the UK, if you say Asian you mean anything pertaining to the Indian subcontinent whilst in USA you mainly mean anything looking Oriental)? This maybe the main reason since there have been few Asians making a big impact in the NBA. On the flipside, he's of Taiwanese of origin only - he was born and brought up in California. He's upbringing and style of play have not been influenced by his ethnicity

Is it because he's undrafted? This is unlikely to be major factor, since there has been many players how have been undrafted who have gotten to better things. One case is Ben Wallace, formerly of the Detroit Pistons who was Defensive Player of the Year many times and actually has won a NBA championship ring.

Is it because he's an unconventional player in his origins - a non-white player from a Ivy League school. This maybe a contributing factor since not many Ivy League graduates become great players. The last player from the Ivy League was Chris Dudley (who?) from the Portland Trail Blazers in 2002-3. There have been great Ivy League NBA players such as Bill Bradley and Geoff Petrie but that's about it.

Anyway the Knicks are back to losing again and Lin is still doing too many turnovers to become a great player. Let's just see how it goes.

Hypes and fads come and go, so don't always catch the wave and surf it to the end otherwise you might crash onto the rocks

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