Basketball fans — particularly New York Knicks lovers like myself — have been captivated by surprise basketball sensation Jeremy Lin. For the unfamiliar, he is the Harvard University basketball player who was undrafted, cut by two NBA teams, and came out of nowhere to propel the Knicks to five straight wins behind sensational games where he has had more than 20 points and 7 assists in each. In a blink he went from sub on the verge of being cut, to superstar. (He had no contract and was sleeping on his brother’s couch last week)
His underdog status as an overlooked Ivy-league Asian American, combined with his spectacular play has quickly made him the King of Madison Square Garden — and deservedly so.
He is also very open about his Christian faith and considers Tim Tebow a hero. (Uh oh)
Of course, Tebow has become a lightening rod with his overt and ostentatious displays of religious fervor. We can only hope that Lin has a more moderate brand of faith and comes across as less zealous than the seemingly brain-washed Tebow, who has yet to say one original sentence that does not appear pre-approved by the Family Research Council.
Lin must understand that he plays in New York City, America’s greatest melting pot. Thus, he can either be King of the fundamentalist Christians or the King of MSG, but he can’t be both for long. Mainstream Americans are fine with moderate faith, but recoil at wild-eyed fanaticism.
So far, Lin has been humble and endearing, with no signs of becoming an obnoxious culture warrior. I’m not the only Knicks fan that hopes it stays this way. The last thing New York or America needs is another self-righteous, preaching blowhard.
After all, isn’t that what members of Congress are for?