While procrastinating today I stumbled upon a fantastic article by Jason Friedman about our favorite debate topic, Jeremy Lin. Lin's meteoric rise to Linsanity and subsequent fade into NBA PG mediocrity has been dissected by apparently everyone with an internet connection. However, Friedman provides a great perspective on where Lin is now and the type of person he is.
I wanted to expand more about the experience of being an NBA Superstar. I sadly have no experience of being worshipped by thousands or millions of people. However, I do find the experience that a superstar goes through quite fascinating. You can read various accounts about the lives of an NBA superstar. Deadspin recently published an article from the 1992 Esquire magazine about the lives of NBA groupies. These players are often given everything they ever ask for in the blink of an eye. They are also looked as a way out for multiple relatives and friends that grew up with them. These entitled individuals are often expected to be role models. They are always on television and we often admire their ability to be transcendent in one area of life.
So even though Jeremy Lin has had a turbulent journey as an NBA player, it is always nice to see the respect he has for where he is and the opportunities he has. A part of me will want to root for him just because he seems to be a good person. A couple of months ago on Blazers Edge, the former Blazers Beat writer wrote about how difficult it is to not become disillusioned after following these athletes on a day to day basis.
I think I just lost faith in a lot of the NBA. I've seen a lot of bull----. From putting your heart and soul into a player and believing him when he talks about kissing his kids at night and all that, then you write that, and the next road trip you see him with somebody that's not his wife, basically getting it on. That's disheartening to me.
I wonder if I'm the only one interested in the lives of these athletes beyond their on court drama. I do recommend reading the Friedman article and appreciating some of our players beyond what they bring on the basketball court. We've had players like Dikembe and T-Mac who have gone above and beyond in terms of their charity work. Yao, Hakeem and Jeremy Lin have taken their turn breaking down perceived barriers. Outside of a stomping incident, the current Rockets seem to be a fun team to root for. And that for some reason matters to me.