Taint no Flying Hoot Giving

I started watching NBA basketball again because of Jeremy Lin.

Before “Linsanity,” I can’t remember the last time I cared about NBA game outcomes excluding the final meeting between the Dallas Mavericks and the Miami Heat. My son and I watched the Mavericks beat the Heat last year, but my heart wasn’t really in it, and I cared more about sticking it to LeBron James for spurning Cleveland, “The Decision,” and this.

So much better, this:

LeBron’s ridiculous self-promotion and hype notwithstanding, what really turned me off about the NBA was when Metta World Peace, then known as Ron Artest with the Indiana Pacers, jumped into the crowd after someone threw a beer cup on him and started brawling with fans. Several years later, Gilbert Arenas and Javaris Crittenton pulled guns on each other in the Wizards locker room. In my book, both tied for the lowest of lows. Then there was the lockout preceding this year’s season which showcased the league’s owners’ and players’ greed and their blatant disregard of what makes the sport great: the fans.

We’re only several weeks removed from Jeremy’s breakout moment against the Nets, and already we’ve witnessed headlines containing ethnic slurs, ESPN employees fired as a result, fortune cookie bits replaced by waffle cones in Ben & Jerry’s “Taste the Lin-sanity” frozen yogurt and an apology for potentially offensive racial stereotyping.

Where there’s phenom, must there always be taint?

Tebow was too religious, too pro-life, too inconsistent, too short, too close to dating Katy Perry.

Discussions center on Lin’s status as the first American-born Taiwanese player in the league which spawns the academic community’s deconstruction of cultural insensitivity and racism in the media and sports industrial complex leading the world to contemplate whether Lin’s this generation’s Asian equivalent of Jackie Robinson.

Lin, a virtual rookie mind you, is now too prone to dribbling right, turning over the ball, is too religious, too well-educated, can’t figure out how to blend well with Carmelo Anthony, etc.

I don’t give a flying hoot about any of it. I’m rooting for a kid from my home town going toe to toe with Kobe Bryant, Kyrie Irving, Derrick Rose while Spike Lee dons his high school jersey…and enjoying every minute of it.

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