As much as Jeremy Lin has become the feel good story of the lockout shortened NBA season, he already has his detractors. The Negative Nancies that are already sick of hearing about the New York Knicks point guard are rumbling. The overwhelming non-stop coverage of his incredible play isn’t his fault. The seemingly 24/7 magazine, newspaper, website, and television coverage that he’s received is Tebowesque. And it’s that Tebow comparison that is causing the unwarranted slow burning dislike for Lin.
People hate Tim Tebow more for the coverage he receives than for the person that he is. And that’s unfair. Some people hate Tebow because he seems too good to be true, and that’s even sillier. Lin is starting to receive the same kind of treatment.
During Sunday’s nationally televised Bulls vs. Celtics game there was a moment when the announcers talked about Lin, complete with a graphics display about his historic start. Almost immediately the social media outlets like Twitter and Facebook started in with the, ‘What does Lin have to do with this game?’ type stuff. It was similar to the Tebow talk that infiltrated nearly every NFL game played after the Broncos inserted him into the starting lineup. People grew sick and tired of hearing about Tebow, but at least Tebow was in the national spotlight since his days at Florida, so I can understand some of the distaste from his over-saturation. The spotlight shining on Lin’s career isn’t really a week old and there’s some already turning on him.
Like Tebow, Lin has a strong belief in his faith, and like Tebow he has no qualms about mentioning his faith when he has a microphone or a recorder thrust in his face. But unlike Tebow, Lin hasn’t had the experience dealing with the media nor the comfort level gained from that experience. Lin still comes off soft spoken whereas Tebow comes off unflappably confident. Could Lin eventually grow into and relish a bigger persona? From Michael Luo of the New York Times:
…my gut tells me that Lin will not wind up like Tebow, mainly because Lin’s persona is so strikingly different. From talking to people who knew him through the Harvard-Radcliffe Asian American Christian Fellowship, and watching his interviews, I have the sense that his is a quieter, potentially less polarizing but no less devout style of faith.
Don’t judge Lin because we’re having him thrown in our faces with every flip of the channel or turn of the page. Don’t judge Lin because of his faith. And don’t allow your misguided feelings towards Tim Tebow cloud your judgment about Jeremy Lin.