Gumbel : Jeremy Lin’s Alright, But He’s No Joba

Posted in Baseball, Basketball, Sports Journalism, Sports TV at 11:29 pm by

(Jeremy Lin is no match for the sheer magnetism of the young man above)

OK, that’s not exactly what Bryant Gumbel had to say at the conclusion of tonight’s “Real Sports” on HBO.   But in tackling the subject of Knicks PG Jeremy Lin — who finds himself on the cover of Sports Illustrated for the second week in a row (c’mon, when did Louis Orr pull that one off?) — Gumbel is rather insistent that once baseball season takes hold, the Harvard grad’s heroics will be an afterthought (transcript courtesy Fang’s Bites)

As Mavericks’ owner Mark Cuban suggested last week, Lin is getting a ton of attention not just because his is a great story, but also because he plays in the media capital of the world, and in this capital, Lin has had the town to himself since his run began.  Which is why it’s going to be interesting to see if his exploits continue to be headlined after New Yorkers start hearing news about Joba Chamberlain’s surgically repaired right arm, A-Rod’s troubled knees and Derek Jeter’s battle with age.

Baseball may be ho-hum in some places, but this is still very much a pinstriped city.  Yes, fans here love an underdog and a winner, but history suggests that nothing in sports surpasses Manhattan’s obsession with the Yankees.  The Knicks, thanks to Lin, are the hot team.  The New York Rangers are among the Stanley Cup favorites and the New York Giants just won the Super Bowl.  But make no mistake, the Yankees are the big bully here in Manhattan and opening day is just six weeks away.

I’m gonna assume Gumbel actually converses with however many New Yorkers he can actually stomach to make eye contact with, and unless he’s living in a very different city than the one I’m familiar with, 100% of the population aren’t baseball fans.  Of those who are partial to baseball, a healthy percentage — despite the best efforts of a bumbling, incompetent, unethical Brooklyn Dodgers-obsessed family — are more interested in the New York Mets.  And others still, manage to follow more than one sport at one time.

All of that said, if Lin continues to rack up double-doubles and the Knicks play anywhere near the level they’ve managed since his emergence, it’s hardly a stretch to think the team will remain a very hot topic.   During the playoff runs of the 1990’s, do you recall interest in baseball stifling local enthusiasm for either Knicks squad?  Me neither. For decades we’ve been told that NYC is a hoops city.  If you’re to believe Bryant Gumbel, this long-standing love affair takes a back seat… to Joba Chamberlain’s rehabilitation.

8 responses to “Gumbel : Jeremy Lin’s Alright, But He’s No Joba”

  1. Anthony says:

    What’s amazing to me is how you never mention Lin’s obnoxious Christianity and praise for the Lord while going out of your way to mention Tebow’s doing so at every possibile opportunity. Hypocritical bullshit.

  2. GC says:

    Here’s a CSTB post referencing Lin’s religion : http://cstb.wpengine.com/lin-the-pride-of-chinas-communists-christians-alike

    Here’s another : http://cstb.wpengine.com/an-attempted-buzz-kill-of-jeremy-lin

    Incredibly, here’s a CSTB post that decries attempts to portray Tebow’s legion of followers as a bunch of wild-eyed hate-mongers :


    As far as Lee’s Xtian beliefs being “obnoxious”, he’s yet to celebrate a three-pointer by taking a knee. And while it’s still early, I’ve not managed to catch his anti-abortion TV commercials (perhaps because he’s yet to make one).

    That a third of all the Jeremy Lin related posts on this blog have cited his religious beliefs would indicate (at least to anyone with a grasp of reality) that said matter is hardly being swept under the rug around here.

  3. Anthony says:

    What the fuck are you talking about? The first link references his religion and has nothing to do with criticizing it. The second is simply a critique of a shitty Buzz Bissinger column explaining why you think it doesn’t matter because Lin has (supposedly) brought the Knicks back to relevance. The third has nothing to do with Lin’s faith at all, it’s you commenting on Jews commenting on Tebow’s beliefs. I guess I’m missing where in any of these posts you are so happily insulting Lin for expressing his religion beliefs like you so do with Tebow. Why is that?

    I’m not religious at all and give fuck all about either of them but it just seems like an odd discrepancy. I wouldn’t care but you so incessantly harp on Tebow being overtly religious it seems like total hypocritical bullshit to turn the other cheek with Lin.

  4. Nick says:

    These things are subjective (although they sure don’t feel that way) I’d say, but I find Lin’s public displays of Christianity a lot less irritating and noticeable than Tebow’s. One of the more obvious differences is that Lin never made an ad for the execrable Focus on the Family. He also isn’t nearly as showy about his connection to Christ. And his supporters haven’t made it an issue as much as Tebow’s.

  5. GC says:

    When and if Jeremy Lin a) makes his faith the focus of an in-game and/or post-game celebration or b) uses his celebrity to mount a public campaign against abortion rights, I can promise you I’ll have something to say about it.

    “The first link references his religion and has nothing to do with criticizing it. ”

    why would I have any interest in criticizing Lin’s religion? Where have I actually criticized Tebow’s religion? There’s a world of difference between mocking a public figure’s insistence on putting his religious faith front and center and criticizing the religion itself.

    “I guess I’m missing where in any of these posts you are so happily insulting Lin for expressing his religion beliefs like you so do with Tebow. Why is that? ”

    I guess you can conclude one of the following ;

    a) I have a boner for Jeremy Lin
    b) I hate the Denver Broncos, Florida Gators, Jesus Christ, Urban Meyer and Tim Tebow, not necessarily in that order
    c) as Jeremy Lin is neither attempting to outlaw abortion, convert non-Christians, or use a basketball game as a vehicle for expressions of faith, I’m not at all inclined to have a problem with his worshiping whoever and whatever he wants.

    I think a rational person would pick “c”, but if you decide “a” or “b” is more fitting, I really don’t give a shit.

  6. Rog says:

    Geez, can we just go back to trashing ESPN and Jason Whitlock for insulting the dude’s race? Ah, those were the rational days. BTW, I’m sure Jesus gives a fuck.

    For me, the real (and only) story is that Lin was undrafted and from a non-sports powerhouse league (Ivy). After seeing him play for the first time on Sunday, I know that he’s got talent but does he have the endurance to play a (truncated) NBA season? Is he a temporary spark plug a ‘la Benny Agbayani or is he fer reals? Let’s focus now on the bashing that the owner will get if he rewards Lin with a long-term contract or for trading him for Mike Bibby. That’s the New York way. Focus.

  7. Dave says:

    Why is it that almost no one on the internet has reading comprehension skills?

  8. Rog says:

    It’s the law, Dave.

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