Return of the King

Jeremy Lin

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People are drawn to the world of professional sports because of the incredible backstories and amazing performances that athletes display. No more incredible than the unlikely story of Jeremy Lin and his road to the NBA. An Asian-American player, from Harvard University, who was able to carve out a piece of the league for himself despite being undrafted and racially discriminated by coaches, players, and fans.

Even if you are not a sports fan or basketball fan, you most likely have heard about Linsanity. On February 4th, 2012, due to a slew of injuries and losing season, then coach Mike D’Antoni gave Jeremy Lin an opportunity to play as the Knicks were already having a losing season and “were playing so bad” that D’Antoni figured he would throw Lin in to see what happens. It was at this moment that the phenomenon which would later be known as Linsanity began. Lin seized this chance to showcase his abilities in scoring, shooting, and decision making. Over the next 12 games that Jeremy played up to the All-Star break, the Knicks would finish with a 9-3 record despite the absence of superstar Carmelo Anthony and Amare Stoudemire. When the All-Start break started, Jeremy had averaged 22.5 points and 8.7 assists leading to him be named the Eastern Conference Player of the Week. After the break, the Knicks replaced coach Mike D’Antoni with Mike Woodson who preferred to run less pick-and-rolls for Lin causing his performance to decline. Furthermore, after a game in late March, an MRI would reveal a meniscus tear in his left knee that resulted in Jeremy having a season ending surgery, concluding his miraculous run in New York.

After the 2011-2012 season, Jeremy would go forth to play for the Houston Rockets, Los Angeles Lakers, and Charlotte Hornets. On each of those teams, Jeremy was able to display the ability to put up effective numbers when given minutes. However, the debate lies whether these sparse performances are true representations of Jeremy’s abilities or if they’re more attributed to sheer volume of minutes and opportunities.

Per Wikipedia, the clustering illusion is “the tendency to erroneously consider the inevitable ‘streaks’ or ‘clusters’ arising in small samples from random distributions to be non-random.” This effectively means that people tend to develop a false conclusion of something based on a non-representative (small) sample size because of our tendency to “under predict the amount of variability likely to appear.”

Now that Jeremy recently signed a deal with the Brooklyn Nets and is presumptively the starter, Jeremy has the opportunity to prove not only himself but countless doubters. Will Jeremy be able to bring back Linsanity or was everything that happened in the past, just another underdog story? I for one hope that Jeremy brings Linsanity 2.0 instead of Linsanity 2.No.

Reference:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jeremy_Lin
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clustering_illusion

Author: Nhan Le

By way of Anaheim, CA.

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