Linsanity, Just Lin Baby, Just BalLin; if you’ve watched ESPN in the last week, these are all things that you would have heard. I watched Sportscenter yesterday and they asked Jalen Rose to give his professional opinion as to whom was better, the 23-year-old undrafted Jeremy Lin out of Harvard or the #1 overall pick from two years ago, John Wall. Rose, thankfully, laughed it off and more or less acted like the question was a joke and that Wall was clearly the better player. I don’t pretend to know a ton about the NBA, but I do know a ton about sports. After only four games, you CANNOT tell if a player is the “real deal” or just on a hot streak in ANY sport. It is literally impossible and especially ignorant to make such a proclamation. I’m not trying to be a hater, but this Linsanity crap is already out of hand, if he keeps it up the rest of the season, then the media can say he can ball.
What’s especially irritating is that I don’t see anyone talking about Sam Gagner. Most people reading this blog probably don’t even know who Sam Gagner is. Sam Gagner has been in the NHL since he was 18, he has never played a minute in the minors, he is 22 years old, he was drafted 6th overall and his best season was his rookie season when he had 49 points in 79 games. Over a week ago he was discussed as trade bait, much like Lin was often discussed as a potential roster cut. But in his last five games, Sam Gagner has had 8 goals and 7 assists for 15 points (tough math I know), FAR more impressive than anything Lin has done. Averaging 3 points a game in the NHL is absurd. If Gagner did that for all 82 games, he would finish with 246 points, which would shatter Wayne Gretzky’s record of 215 points in a season. (See I can make up absurd stats too ESPN).
It begs the question, why does one player’s hot streak get ignored when it is far more impressive, and another get’s called the next best point guard in the NBA after 4 games? It is a clear and utter joke. Sam Gagner had 8 points in one game against the Blackhawks, and Mike Richards (LA Kings) said it best, “Gagner had 8 points last night and ESPN talked about it for 15 seconds. That’s like Lebron getting 70 pts.” And we all know how much coverage on Sportscenter Lebron would get if he put up 70. They’d dedicate an entire hour to him and probably make the Top 10 plays his Top 10 shots of the night. The bottom line is, now that the NFL season is over they can’t discuss Tim Tebow as much, so they found a replacement for him. ESPN is going to plug this Jeremy Lin story as much as possible and pray that he continues to play well. It seems sometimes that the only reasonable people working for ESPN are John Buccigross and Stuart Scott, last night Scott tweeted this, “Jeremy Lin, huh? don’t like makin proclamations after 4-games but… Shawty can ball a little bit! Jury still out..but keeping an eye on him.” This is far more reasonable than anything I’ve seen thus far and makes me wonder, where did the common sense go ESPN?