…are born from great opportunities. It is one of those great quotes and lessons, and now along comes “Linsanity” to remind us that Coach Brooks knew exactly of what he spoke. Talk about someone earning an opportunity and maximizing it…what a week it has been.
I am not an NBA fan, not even a casual NBA fan. I am not even a basketball fan. Sure, March Madness is a blast, and I loved watching the Jordan era Bulls in the finals, but otherwise I am indifferent to basketball. However, the Jeremy Lin story is absolutely amazing – it is not a Cinderella Story – it is so much more. Lin is the overlooked grinder, the hard worker, the fighter, the one who battles insane odds clinging to the idea that maybe one day he will get a chance. Well, he got his chance.
No college scholarship, no NBA draft, repeatedly cut by teams, and above all always discounted. It is the Rudy story, but it is real, not just a one-off feel good play or two. Lin is leading a team, both on and off the court. He is making the sum of the whole greater than the individual parts…in the NBA…the land of egos, guaranteed contracts and figurehead coaches. It is staggering really. Who knows how long it will last, but no matter what, Jeremy Lin and “Linsanity” is proof that yes, all it takes is opportunity.
Rocky, Braveheart, The Pursuit of Happyness, Dead Poets Society and “carpe diem”. Stories, sayings, speeches and other Hollywood sap aside, it is a fact of life – all we can ever ask for is an opportunity. Yet asking is not enough. The lesson of Jeremy Lin is that opportunities are not given to those who ask. Rather, they are earned. Lin tried, he failed, he tried again. He practiced, he focused, he fought and he persevered. He earned his opportunity. We all know of it because his opportunity to perform came in Madison Square Garden for the New York Knicks, a storied franchise, on the largest stage in the largest media market. All at a moment in time when there are literally no other sports stories – crazy!
The only thing I think any of us would ask of Jeremy Lin is to not go completely Rudy on us. Your story has been amazing, there is no need to overplay it.