Jeremy Lin's rise has resembled that of a rapper making magazine covers off of one YouTube single. The hype has been immense, though warranted. If this kid's name were Ira Stein, a Jewish sports network would already be on Cablevision. He’s been so universally loved that it was a little bit surprising when he finally got booed last weekend, appropriately enough in Boston, home of the Celtics and thousands of angry guys who go by nicknames.
Knicks fans deserve something good after so many years of horrible management. Being a New York team, however, the Knickerbockers partially exist to be loathed by the rest of America. Until now, opposing fans have greeted Lin with a mixture of rapture and respect, because, c’mon dude, how you gonna hate this? As of right now the Knicks hold the eight-seed for the Eastern Conference playoffs. If their three-game lead holds, come spring, Lin's Knicks will be playing Chicago, Orlando, and/or Miami, and they’ll turn from feel-good story to an actual team opposing fans should think bad thoughts about. It's time the rest of the league takes Boston's cue and learns how to boo this guy—without resorting to “there’s a chink in the fortune cookie”-style racism.
He’s Like a Dweeb Jeter
Like Lin, everyone is supposed to say nice things about the Yankee captain (usually involving—barf—“intangibles”), though at this point Lin can only dream of being Jeter. Some similarities already exist: Both are smart on their feet, and both make plays that they shouldn’t be able to. Also like Jeetz, Lin has a lame policeman-style haircut. The two share a love for ill-fitting pants, too: Jeter's butt-enhancing, high-wasted pinstripes are scary tight, while Lin's XL 90s-rapper-shorts aren't as bad, but like everything else about Lin, you could hardly call them “cool.” Lacking the suaveness and class of Jeter—or even Joe Namath—Lin does not (as of yet) send each girl he sexes home with signed memorabilia. Lin, 23, is a serious Christian, and might even be a virgin, which means…
He Might be as Bad as Tebow
Wait, another evangelical-Christian-out-of-nowhere wonder story? Crucify me. Jeremy Lin's bracelet reads "In Jesus' Name I Play" and he has expressed interest in becoming a pastor. At Palo Alto High, Lin was a member of the Christian Club that opposed gay pride week, according to people who attended school with him. Lin's mother worked the PTA circuit to block the establishment of a Gay-Straight Alliance, and back then he also said evolution was "just a theory."
(God, why can't there be a Satanic sports star, just once? Some evil guy from Spokane with an upside-down cross tattooed on his neck who hits .400 while fighting charges for heroin possession. After homering he kisses his Pentagram necklace and smears lamb’s blood on his bat for luck. Lord, please no more Christian sports miracle workers.)
He’s Good for the Knicks Bottom Line
Another reason to hate Lin is what he’s done for the Knicks ownership. James Dolan, who, among other things, runs Cablevision's sport properties, including the NHL's Rangers and MSG (both the arena and network), ranked among the worst owners in pro athletics before Lin’s arrival, and is probably even worse now. Just like The (deceased) Boss and his Yankees, Dolan and the Knicks are to be despised as a single entity. The only thing is, the beast is growing: Jeter never bumped Big Stein into another tax bracket, but Dolan cleared about $20 million in Lin’s first two weeks of play thanks to increased interest in the Knicks.
He Draws the Worst Fans
Then there are the neo-Knick fans Lin has attracted. Seen at games: Brooklyn couples with artisanal babies made from free-range semen, Seth Rogen look-a-likes and their $9 prime rib sandwiches, high-fiving HBS bankers who ruined the economy, pretty girls who don't know the rules of the game (but are paying better attention than the above-mentioned bankers), and any number of other New Yorkers who are infinitely easy to dislike, all of whom will be paying more for the privilege next year. With guys like Mark Zuckerberg rooting for him, Lin deserves guys like Scotty from Nooseneck calling WEEI to make fun of him, his bad shorts, owner, and team.
He Might Not be Any Good After All
Truthfully, he might not even be worth hating: The Knicks have lost four of their last six games, and are once again teetering under .500. Lin's shooting around .350 in that stretch, or 100 points below the league average. He may wind up as just hype after all, and Knicks fans and ill-wishers won’t need any extra reasons to hate him—it’d be pointless, like hating Darko Milicic or whoever is playing center for the Spurs. In the meantime, someone needs to open a pop-up sports bar in Chinatown, and cash in one last time before the end of Linsa—I can’t even say it.
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