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PUBLISHED ARTICLE: Sensational Linsanity Makes a Case for Teamwork
21-Apr-12 [ by Larry Chao ] 23935 Read and 1 Comment

Jeremy Lin has created quite a sensation.  From nowhere‚ this no-name‚ nerdy Harvard-educated basketball player has taken U.S. professional "National Basketball Association" (NBA) by storm‚ and has captured the attention of a global audience from New York to Shanghai.


So dramatic are his accomplishments on the basketball court that they have been dubbed "Linsanity" by his fans and the media.


How did such an outstanding player go unnoticed and escape the scrutiny of experts‚ scouts and coaches at all levels of play‚ who are paid to recognize and develop talent?


Some say that his Asian-American heritage‚ as well as his Ivy League background did not fit the prototypical NBA player and therefore‚ no one took him seriously.


Lin was not even drafted by a single NBA team to play out of college.  Finally‚ one NBA team‚ the Golden State Warriors‚ decided to roll the dice and give him a tryout in their summer league.

From there‚ Jeremy Lin bounced around‚ eventually landing with the New York Knicks‚ where he rarely played.  But when Jeremy Lin?s chance to shine came last month in a game against the New Jersey Nets‚ he was ready.

Leading up to this game‚ the Knicks had lost their last eleven out of thirteen games.  They were dreadful.  Their two recognized stars‚ Carmelo Anthony and Amare Stoudemire had not been playing due to injuries and for personal reasons respectively.  Knicks coach‚ Mike D?Antoni decided to use Lin in a last ditch attempt to turnaround the team?s fortunes and perhaps save his own career.


What happened next was nothing short of amazing. Jeremy Lin led the Knicks to an unexpected victory over the Nets.  In the ensuing games‚ Lin continued to dominate and lift the Knicks to victories.


Some people‚ including boxing champion Floyd Mayweather Jr wrote off Lin?s accomplishments as very average. 


?Jeremy Lin is a good player‚ but all the type is because he?s Asian.  Black players do what he does every night and don?t get the same praise‚? said Mayweather.


Well‚ not exactly.  After his first five games‚ Lin had scored a total of 136 points - more than any other player in the history of the NBA.


While Linsanity has been about how an unlikely Asian-American underdog defied the odds and became an overnight sensation‚ Jeremy Lin is also living proof that teamwork matters.  When Jeremy Lin plays‚ he makes his teammates play better.  Lin has dished out over seven assists per game and his teammates have averaged more points and played better with him than without him.


?Jeremy Lin puts everyone in the right spot and calms us down‚? said Knicks coach Mike D?Antoni.  ?He?s making things easy and the rest of the guys around him are playing the way we want to play.?


With Jeremy Lin‚ the Knicks found the missing ingredient to create strong team chemistry and start winning games.  This story would have a happy ending‚ except as of the end of February‚ the Knicks have lost their last three out of five games.


What is most interesting about these last games is that the Knicks two superstars‚ Stoudemire and Anthony‚ have resumed playing.  It seems instead of working as a five-man team under Lin‚ the Knicks are trying to let these two stars do it all.


With this letdown‚ one wonders whether the Knicks are better off as a team revolving around Jeremy Lin with no superstars‚ or a team dominated by two superstars.


The jury is still out. New York Knicks fans hope that Jeremy Lin can gel with the team?s superstars and make the team even more competitive.  Egos will have to be kept in check and sacrifices made.


In the interim‚ Jeremy Lin has made a case for the importance of teamwork‚ over individual stardom; for working together for the greater good.  Perhaps this is a lesson for all of us‚ as we seek to balance our individual need for achievement‚ with the needs of the organizations we work for.

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