Friday, February 17, 2012

Because This Game Is for Fans, Lin Should Be All Star

The team he’s joined collapsed beneath injuries and awful defense, but it’s well established that point guard sensation Jeremy Lin has galvanized New York with all the Linsanity sweeping the nation. The spectators, coaches, and team executives are amazed by a miraculous turnaround, with the success of the new rising star.

And nothing is more rewarding than Lin playing in the All-Star Game when, in reality, it’s a weekend virtually for the fans. He is, after all, the game’s attraction, and with that said, folks all over the world are anxious to see him change the dynamics in New York and also entice fanatics. The interesting question today is whether the sensational phenom should be given a spot in next weekend’s NBA All-Star Game. Certainly, he should be honorably added to the all-star roster.

But this confirmed my belief that NBA commissioner David Stern, who is responsible for the globalization of basketball but also doesn’t think Lin should even be participating in the Rising Stars Challenge featuring rookies and sophomore players on Friday night of All-Star weekend – in fairness – is keeping to his standards. There is a general rule for a last-minute invitation for a meaningless event, but every now and then, it’s not bad breaking the rules and adding a player to the event that agog fans are excited to see after watching Lin’s marveled journey.

In fact, when looking at his achievements – which we have often witnessed with all the swirling hype of his overnight sensation, one might argue that Lin definitely belongs in the All-Star game. If anything, he has ripened into a true point guard and fulfilled an NBA spectacle. For what we’ve seen in the past weeks, it’s become a feel-good story in basketball, so he’s worthy of playing in next weekend’s events and should be given the opportunity to step on the court with the best-represented studs in the league.

It’s refreshing to see someone come from out of nowhere and develop into an NBA star, and a selfless individual who deserves every bit of good future. Even if he barely rose to the occasion, Lin continues to prove he is a complete ballplayer with the intangibles of an ideal playmaker, leading the New York Knicks to seven straight victories that have pretty much stunned populace all over. Maybe the folks should realize Lin, which has been the hottest commodity in the NBA as the first Taiwanese American to play in the professional ranks, that he is America’s feel-good story.

It’s not a difficult decision right now, certainly not for Lin and the Knicks – this is the point in time when we should appreciate what he’s brought to the game – providing aspiration and exhilaration. It isn’t quite fair to exclude Lin from the All-Star festivities, but it is nonetheless, the teams have already been selected by the league assistant coaches and, in fairness, Stern probably has no intent in snubbing another player for a burgeoning guard who came out of nowhere in recent weeks. Just as importantly, he is the ultimate dictator, Stern, that is – a man who has full control of the league that almost plunged into a disaster from the prolonged lockout to result in a condensed season. He has ruled an association for quite some time now, and nonetheless, Stern has a strong influence on the NBA under his regime. It wasn’t long ago, for example, that he and the league vetoed a trade to shoot down a blockbuster trade for the Lakers.

And now this … yes, he has the all the power in the world, when it comes to the basketball empire. It’s his call, which means he has the final word on whether or not Lin is deserving to play in the All-Star game and be about of the NBA’s biggest weekend. It would be, in a year that he has absorbed our attention and stunned us with his sudden emergence, a lifelong dream for Lin to play in an exhibition game. This time around, only if Lin plays – of course – the presence of the first ever Asian American could boost TV ratings and the game’s brand.

Ten days until the game in Orlando, an announcement should come no later than Monday on whether he’s an all-star participant. There’s should be no doubt that he deserves to play in it, because in reality, he rightfully so belongs in it – incredibly exceeding his role as a complete point guard to reach this point in his heartwarming career. It took only a week for him to become a superstar in New York, where he is already treated like a celebrity and braced for salvaging an unfulfilled and moribund season.

This wasn’t anticipated from a player cut twice in such an unpredictable career. This wasn’t expected from a player from the Ivy League, an athlete who is probably smart at reading textbooks and studying the concepts of mathematics and law studies, but it happened all so quickly and now he has proven that he deserves a spot in the Feb. 26 All-Star Game. What’s unbelievable about Lin, of course, is he’s done things that’s never, ever been done before in NBA existence. Yeah, we should note he scored more points than any player in NBA history, since the 1976 NBA-ABA merger. Obviously, it feels like a fun-loving tale written each day in the league.

When Lin left us engaged and awed, he scored as many as 89 points in his first three games and immediately was viewed as the savior of the Knicks, but he’s not worthy of the All-Star game. That right there is shocking. When he left he had a shooting spectacle and enticed spectators at Madison Square Garden, as we not only witnessed his utmost performance to prove he’s a scorer with unprecedented accomplishments that can’t be ignored or else consider it an insult. It’s a disappointment, a huge disappointment if he’s not invited to the festivities next weekend when he scored an overwhelming 136 points in his first five games – to be exact.

That’s how well he has played – proving to me he’s a terrific point guard producing the unthinkable of something that’s never been done in league history, which means he’s All-Star material – whether you like it or not. There’s no sugarcoating that he’s 5-0 while scoring 20-plus points in five of those games. This has been a unique story in its own way, partly because Lin is Asian American and has lifted a lackluster franchise midway in the season that now seems hopeful. It’s a reason the Knicks have won all seven games, mind you, without the services of Carmelo Anthony and Amar’e Stoudemire for most of them as well. That’s why you hear all the Linsanity of late.

It’s Lin, folks.

It means we should see Lin next Sunday playing in the exhibition game that no player ever takes seriously.