LAS VEGAS – This week, journalists of color are gathered in Las Vegas for a convention, Unity 2012. It’s an event that happens every four years.
Ideas are exchanged, there’s a lot of networking and reuniting with friends in “the biz” and informative workshops led by experts in their fields and professionals.
Typically there aren’t any, or very few sessions, that deal with sports topics. But one on Aug. 3 dealt with the topic of former New York Knicks-turned-Houston Rockets guard Jeremy Lin.
Lin, of course, is the basis for Linsanity, the brief-but-widespread craze that swept the NBA and particularly, New York, when he burst onto the scene as a high-scoring point guard that few had ever heard of.
There is no such thing as a $25 million underdog. Cinderella’s slippers are made of glass, not diamonds. And there is nothing magical about Jeremy Lin anymore.
As soon as the New York Knicks decided against matching the Houston Rockets’ three-year, $25 million offer to Lin on Tuesday, his Taiwanese-American heritage, his Harvard education and all the zip codes he collected on his way to making an NBA roster instantly became footnotes.
Lin is a $25 million point guard now. He is supposed to be the leader of the Houston Rockets. The surprise is over. … Now it’s time to be a star.
This is sudden and possibly unfair, but this is life as a professional athlete. A professional athlete can never escape his draft position or his contract. It’s why Chris Webber is considered something of an underachiever, even though he averaged 20.7 points and 9.8 rebounds during his 15-year NBA career. Webber is probably one of the best 100 players of all time, yet the topic of his career is often met with a shaking head instead of a nodding one. We expected him to be better.