A place for me to talk about San Francisco Bay Area sports.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Lin-vy: Happy and Yet Sad

First off, I must note that I never saw this coming.  So please don't think that I'm saying that.

But as a long-time Warrior's fan, I can't help but think that GSW, despite new ownership, contiues to stand for self-inflicted gun-shot wound.  The jinx, seemingly, continues.

From the first ever NBA lottery where the Warriors would have previously been handed Patrick Ewing (though they made off pretty well with Chris Mullins) to all the high picks who went awry for one reason or another to the Chris Webber trade and the disastrous after-effects when he forced a trade, to the owner who caused that to happen by picking up his option to buy the team when the former owners were negotiating to sign Webber to a long-term contract and then let lapse because of that sale, then continued to mishandle the team for a long time afterward, it seems like the team has been paying negative karma to make up for their wonderful underdog Championship of 1975.

I thought that things might be different with the new owners, when I celebrated the fact that Cohan was selling, then when Lacob bought the team.

Not that I think that he has not been making good moves so far in trying to turn the team around.  I basically like most of the moves done so far.

But as a life-long San Francisco Bay Area homie (born and raised and still living here) and Chinese-American, I was happy that Lacob pushed to sign up Jeremy Lin when he went undrafted.  Not that I expected a lot to happen from it - I'm no basketball expert and I've never seen Lin play - but there are not a lot of Chinese-Americans in sports, so it is nice and a small sense of pride to see one in the pro scene, even if on the bench.  And I was aware of Lin's star power while he was in high school, I saw his name a lot as I normally devour the sports page regularly, then occassionally followed him when he was in Harvard, as the Mercury is good at following local kids playing elsewhere.

So it has been very gratifying to see Lin do so well now and getting a lot of attention.

But, as all sports fans are wont to do, all I can wonder is "what if"?  The talk before the season was that we could have gotten a big player who we needed in the middle by trading Curry.  And I was for keeping him, so it is not that I disagreed with going with Curry as the key cornerstone of the Warriors future, even above Monte.

Warrior's Jinx

But it just seem like the Warriors are jinxed in some way, where they could have traded Curry and gotten the big guy they wanted and then Lin could have took over and dazzled everyone, while doing the pick and roll with the big guy.

The question I have to ask, though, is multiple.  Why didn't the Warriors see this?   All the interviews I have seen quotes people who now sees the magic Lin weaves on the court.  I understand part of that is justification after the fact:  I'm sure there are a lot of point guards who showed their magic to someone but just never could do it on the big stage.  

Still, Mark Jackson, whose hire I supported as well, was a former point guard, shouldn't he have noticed something different on the practice court, or on tape, or at least checked out Lin (and maybe he did) before the Warriors just dumped him in HOPES of landing a big player free agent, whiffing when the Clippers matched the contract. 

I guess that is also what makes it worse, they lost him trying to get that big man, but as Yoda noted, there is no try, only do or do not.  And the Warriors do not, once again.

They at least tried to get him back, but first the Rockets claimed him then the Knicks.  And it is not like the Knicks knew what they had either, as the coach went to almost anybody else before he decided, you know, what the heck, let's play Lin and see what happens, it couldn't be any worse. 

And it turned out to be anything but.  Far from it.

The Knicks are the very happy recipient of huge basketball luck once again, only this time not from lottery luck, as when they ended up with Patrick Ewing instead of the Warriors, but still, as a Warriors fan, that still hurts some and then to have this happen.  Just more salt in the faded and scabbed over wound, made fresh again.

So as a Warriors fan, I'm crestfallen, once again that the team missed out again (not quite the same, but like when we lost Gilbert Arenas).

But as a Bay Area inhabitant and Chinese American bamboo/banana/twinkie, I am ecstatic that Lin is doing so well, and hope he can continue showing what he can do.  This ABC (American Born Chinese) will root, wistfully though (and I have to think he's similarly wistful), him on to continued good playing and hope that he can make a name for himself in the NBA.

The Dream of a Warriors Fan

My only hope now is that he pulls a Webber and goes free agent (sorry, don't know NBA rules, but I do know that he's only signed to a year contract, much like Arenas, hence the idea) and the Warriors sign him as a returning local hero, then they can trade Curry for the big guy they need. 

Well, one can dream at least.  I really don't see how he can't not sign with the Knicks long-term at season's end if he's still playing like this.  Not that I don't believe that he can't do it, but more that his performances in his first few starts are so great that his name is one of a few, and the others are good to great players, so given how he was passed over so much, you have to wonder if this is all a fairy tale and the shiny carriage will turn into a pumpkin. 

Then again, this is the NBA we are talking about.  It is not like these players are not that good, for goodness sake, he outplayed Kobe!  Sure, one game he can surprise someone, maybe two, but by the third game, and given all the press he was given, you have to be more prepared for recently uncovered Jeremy Lin, one would think.

But who knows, maybe it just took some time.  He wasn't Superman in his 5th straight win, and in that game the other night, he grinded it out.

However, he still had a lot of points (20) as well as assists (8).  So it was not like he was shut down, but he was merely good, instead of great.  But that would still be good enough to carve out a good career as a star in the NBA, plus he should be set for life when the corporations in China sign him to a contract to represent their company. 

But I'm sure he doesn't have dollar signs in his eyes.  I'm pretty sure that he's just enjoying every second of his opportunity to show off what he can do, the business side will take care of itself when that time comes. 

Hopefully he can keep this going.  Again, I'm no expert, just a fan, and I envy the Knicks.  I certainly will be rooting him on, albeit with a certain sadness that apparently only Warriors fans can feel in the NBA.  

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