The NBA’s Tebow?

“Linsanity” is sweeping New York City, the NBA, and much of the sports-world.  Even the talking heads at ESPN seem to be climbing on board.

Jeremy Lin is an undrafted point guard from Harvard, released by two NBA teams, who is now playing for the New York Knicks in the National Basketball Association.  A week ago he was sitting on the end of the bench, not playing, and in danger of being released yet again.  He had a ten-day contract with the Knicks and slept on his brother’s couch.

But what a difference a week makes. Forced into the line-up by injuries and the tragic death of a teammate’s brother, Lin has had one of the greatest NBA debuts ever. He has 89 points in his 3 starts. That’s the most by a Knicks player in his first 3 starts with the team since the NBA-ABA merger in 1976-77. Last night, against the Los Angeles Lakers, he scored more points in a single game than any Knicks player this season.  And the NY Knicks have guaranteed his contract through the rest of this season.

What most people do not know, but many are starting to realize, is that Jeremy Lin is a man of strong Christian faith.  That is news to those of us just hearing of him but not to those who are aware of his college career. In fact, he gave an interview back then about his faith. You can read Part 1 and Part 2 on patheos.com.

ESPN reports that comparisons are being drawn between Tim Tebow and Jeremy Lin, for their ability to help get the best out of their teammates and speaking of their faith when the camera is on.  After beating one of the NBA’s premier teams last night, the attention of Lin is only going to grow.

It will be interesting to watch how Lin’s story develops.  He burst onto the scene only a week ago but is likely to remain in the starting line-up for the rest of the season.  With Tebow’s notoriety in the past NFL season and now Lin’s NBA attention, I find myself wondering what God is up to.  It is interesting to have two examples — two spotlight players with strong Christian faith. Lin does not have to be Tebow.  He just has to be himself.  How his story and his career develop will be fun to watch.

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