Knicks Star Jeremy Lin Captures Big Apple's Heart | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio
Filed Under:

Knicks Star Jeremy Lin Captures Big Apple's Heart

Play associated audio

The New York Knicks have won seven games in a row after struggling all season — and some would say they've struggled for years.

Point guard Jeremy Lin, the man few knew a week and a half ago, scored a 3-pointer in the last seconds to win Tuesday's game against Toronto. Wednesday night, Linsanity returned to New York City and Madison Square Garden.

I confess, I had never heard of Jeremy Lin until three days ago. Yet watching this Taiwanese-American from Harvard during the last quarter of the Knicks game, I, like everyone else, was blown away.

Outside the NBA store on Fifth Avenue, people were walking in and out to buy the top-selling jersey since Saturday: Lin's No. 17.

New Yorker Bruce Haymes said this is a city where big dreams happen.

"To have someone that was just off everyone's radar is just so unusual here. This kind of, like, from nowhere to something big, just feels real New York," he said.

Haymes came into the store for a shirt for his 8-year-old son, but the smalls and mediums had sold out.

Many Asians entered the store, many from Taiwan ecstatic about this first Taiwanese-American to play for the NBA. A 17-year-old Taiwanese exchange student said he cried the first time he saw Lin play.

"The last day, he made a game-winning 3-pointer, I jumped off my couch," said Oneal Ho, who is also from Taiwan. "My Facebook is like, every time time when Jeremy Lin has a game, my Facebook is all about him, so I am looking for his jersey and I am going to a game."

As crowds of people entered Madison Square Garden, excitement mounted.

Damir Hot is a Sacramento fan but said he's still rooting for Lin. "I have been following basketball since as long as I have been living. You don't see this," he said. "Look at the smile on my face. See that smile? I just can't wait to see him play."

Twelve-year-old Zach Allen of Oceanside, Long Island, held up a Lin towel and said he likes Lin's style: "I like how he doesn't dunk that much and he's not cocky."

There's more media here than anywhere else, and Lin is a great story: a rare Asian-American and Harvard grad in the NBA, unnoticed, dropped from two teams. But something else is going on in this city with all this "Linsanity," "Divine Lintervention" and so forth.

There's a wistfulness that suddenly, out of nothing comes something; a team that was nowhere comes into the light.

"Madison Square Garden is the most famous arena in the world, and it has been a little bit shameful that we have had a team like this for the last 10 years," said fan Jason Kimi. "Finally we are showing everybody in the whole world what New York is all about."

Outside the entrance, Casey Dinkin stood with her guitar. A lifelong Knicks fan, she was hoping that playing some songs might gain her a ticket. She even made up a song about Lin.

"Scoring so many points per game, and no one knew your name," she sang. "We are going to win a championship now, thanks to you. Jeremy Lin, we have been waiting for someone like you."

As sports blogger Bryan Harvey wrote the other day: "In a world of infinite data and endless observation, Lin has now broadsided us like an unseen torpedo, fired from a submarine we didn't even know existed."

Copyright 2012 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

NPR

Making A Change To Keep A Constant Consonant

Given two words, change the first consonant sound in each word to the same new consonant sound and you'll phonetically name two things in the same category.
NPR

Need A New Sweet Potato Recipe For Your Thanksgiving Table? Try Gnocchi

Because some cooks like to mix it up for Thanksgiving, we offer a Found Recipe from our archives: Julia Della Croce's purple sweet potato gnocchi.
WAMU 88.5

Marion Barry, Legend Of D.C. Politics, Dies At 78

The former mayor and current Ward 8 Council member had visited a hospital earler on Saturday and died around midnight at United Medical Center.

NPR

Car Ride Service Puts Gender In The Driver's Seat

Car share programs are extremely popular, but so are concerns for safety. NPR's Tess Vigeland talks to Stella Mateo, founder of SheRides, which allows passengers to choose the gender of their driver.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.