Jeremy Lin has given me hope as a young Jewish athlete from the suburbs of New Jersey. Although he has recently come out as Taiwanese American by nationality, Christian by religion and a native of Northern California, it is clear he is Jewish by spirituality and, according to my uncle who works near Madison Square Garden, studying at a Rabbinical school in Paramus.
The arrival of Jeremy Lin in the city is the closest we'll get in our lifetimes to witnessing a superhero's origin story outside the pages of a comic book. Just as Superman, Spider-Man, and Batman before him, Jeremy Lin is someone that could not have been anticipated — I think that ESPN was able to dig up a scout that spoke warmly about Jeremy Lin three years ago, but that's it. Jesse Eisenberg rewrites his personal history above; schoolyard bullies are sent away in favor of geeks, a school play is cured of it's awkwardness, kidneys being donated in a time of need. If a point guard, the first Asian-American starter in the history of the NBA can lead the Knicks on a six-game winning streak and break NBA records (both scoring and oops, turnovers, for a player's first five starts), anything is possible. This same spirit inspired me to use Mixel to replace fictional heroes with Jeremy Lin on the covers of their respective debuts.
New Yorkers know the Knicks are not one of the elite teams in the East (I'm not even a true Knicks fan, I save my rooting energy for the Mets), although they may finish as high as fourth. I see the model minority myth creep subtly (and not-so-subtly) into every corner of the sports & city sections and I wince a little bit. But for today, I simply want to appreciate Jeremy Lin, who has not only brought hope to Knicks fans, but also expanded the imagination of the city, a rare feat indeed.