The Stereotypical Subliminal Perception of Jeremy Lin
MAY 2, 2016/JLINFORUM
After Game 6 an old topic that I have wanted to debate reappeared in my mind. I thought hard about writing this article in the past few day but after today's game it was I had to bring this up. I could've taken the time to write about Friday or today's game but it would've been a waste of time and there is nothing good coming out of that. Instead, I want to talk about the underlying truth that's been obscured by most, even by Jeremy Lin's own selfless and calm personality.
If you have followed me on Twitter you would know that I don't necessarily like it when people play the racism card. I find it too simple and more of a reaction taken at the heat of the moment rather than a logical conclusion. You might also know that I'm not Asian. Therefore, what I'm going to talk about doesn't come from racial-preference. But, from my observations of what's obviously a discrepancy in equal perception of Jeremy Lin compared to others and how this stereotypical perception has affected Lin's current season and how it might shape his future in the NBA.
(Before I go any further I must clarify my position on Steve Clifford's treatment of Lin before I am misinterpreted. Clifford is not a Byron Scott or a Kevin McHale. In my opinion, he has treated Lin fairly during the entire season and more so than any other coach since Mike D'Antoni.)
The underlying truth is that Jeremy Lin is not like any other NBA player. And I don't mean that the way that you might think I do. I was at Time Warner Cable Arena for Game 6 thanks to a fellow Lin fan that was generous enough to give me a free ticket. As you all know Lin had a terrible game, there is no way to sugarcoat it. But, Lin is human, he is like every other NBA player which means he can have a bad game just like anyone else. Or maybe not. Because as I headed out to the exits the only thing I heard people talking about was Jeremy Lin's horrible game. In game 6 Lin had 8 Points shooting 1/8 from the field in 23 minutes. It was indeed a bad night, but my question is, why did I only hear about Jeremy Lin having a bad game? Frank had 7 points in 35 minutes. Lee had 2 points (yes, two) in 39 minutes. Marvin Williams had 0 points shooting 0/ 7 in 37 minutes! Yet, I didn't hear anyone talking about any of those players. Why is that? Why is it that it's ok for Frank, Marvin and Lee to have bad games without their value diminishing but not for Jeremy Lin.
被隱藏的真相是林書豪不同於NBA中其他任何一個球員。而我說的可能跟你想像的並不一樣。季后賽第六戰我就在Time Warner Cable球場，感謝一位林書豪的球迷的慷慨贈送的球票。大家都知道那一場林書豪的表現挺糟糕，這不用掩飾。但是，林也是普通人，他也和其他任何一個NBA球員一樣，也就是說他也會有打得不好的比賽，和其他任何一個球員一樣。也可能不是，因為在我往出口走的路上，我唯一聽到大家談論的，就是林書豪的比賽有多糟糕。第六戰林8投一中拿到8分，上場23分鐘。確實不是好的比賽，可是，我的問題是，為什麼我只聽到人家談論林書豪打的不好？Frank 35分鐘也只拿了7分，李拿2分，（沒錯，只有2分），上場時間卻有39分鐘。馬文上場37分鐘內7投0中只拿0分。可是，我沒有聽到任何人談論這些球員，為什麼？為什麼Frank，馬文，李都可以有很糟糕的比賽卻不會影響到他們價值，但是林書豪卻不可以？
Why is it that someone like Cory Joseph, who averaged 7/2/2 in 18 MPG last year, got a 7.5 M/YR contract this season; and Jeremy Lin who averaged 11/4.6/2.6 in 23 MPG last year got a miserable 2 M/YR contract? Even Jeremy Lamb got an extension of 7 M/YR averaging only 6/2/1 in 14 MPG last season. I know there is going to be a lot of arguments about contracts, but I don't have time to dive into all the little details so let me go a bit further.
為什麼有的球員像Cory Joseph （猛龍替補控衛），上個賽季場均18分鐘，7分2板2助攻就能拿到每年7.5米的合約，可是林書豪場均23分鐘能拿11分4.6助攻2.6籃板，卻只拿到少得可憐的2米一年的合約？甚至連Lamb都拿到7米一年的續簽合約，而Lamb只有14分鐘，6分2助攻1籃板而已。我知道關於合約還可以有很多的探討，但是我現在沒有更多的時間鑽研這些細節可以討論得更深入。
My argument is much more than contracts and money. It's the fact that Lin's bad games are treated differently than anyone else's bad games. That Lin's best games are treated differently than anyone else's best games. Imagine that Lin was a stock in the market. In essence, when Lin has a great game his stock might stay the same or rise by 1-2%. When Lin has a bad game his stock plummets 80-90%. Yet, Batum can have a horrible game yet his value remains the same and no one questions his basketball abilities. Some may call this racism but I think that answer is too simple. I think there is a stereotypical subliminal perception of Lin, I know that's a mouthful, but let me explain further.
In Lin's first season with the Rockets he averaged 13/6/3 in 32 MPG. After that “terrible” season he was benched the following year in favor of the infamous Patrick Beverley. Last season (first season without Lin) Beverley averaged 10/ 3/4 in 31 MPG. Beverley got a 6.25 M/YR contract after that season which was deemed as “great.”
But for some unknown reason Lin's points, assists and rebounds per game have less value than everyone else's he is compared with. But the stereotypical subliminal perception of Lin is not just about his value. Recently another Lin fan published a video that became viral about Lin's “too flagrant not to call” fouls. I remember watching the first 2-3 minutes and I had to take the video off. I just couldn't keep on watching. These fouls were so flagrant yet sometimes Lin didn't even get a common foul call. It was terrible.
In some way it's like Lin is treated with a completely different set of standards. Let's even bring it to today's Game 7. The Hornet's were having a terrible game and Lin was getting in his groove in the second quarter. Yet, he was benched and only played 9 minutes as the Hornets were down 12 at halftime. Clifford waited until they were down 20+ points to call his first time-out of the 3rd quarter. And guess who remained in the bench? Jeremy Lin. In fact, Lin finished with the same total amount points as Kemba Walker, who played 36 mins compared to Lin's 19, in half the amount of shots. Yet again, no one is going to question Kemba's basketball abilities just because of a bad game, and his value will not diminish either.
This subliminal stereotypical perception is so bad that I fear that Lin's terrible Game 6 will undo most of what he has been able to accomplish during the entire season. I hope this is not the case. Thankfully we have been able to experience some good coverage on Lin after Game 4 and 5 of the playoffs. But the truth is that I expect Lin's value to be lower than what it should be compared to other similar players unless there is a team that really wants him. My bet is on the Nets. I think they would be willing to give Lin the chance he deserves. Regardless, as good of a season he had, and as great as his teammates are if Lin stays, and everyone else does as well, he will commit career suicide. Lin would average less than 18 MPG next season for the Hornets if he stays. The only way I see that Lin stays is if Batum leaves. And believe me, I would love Lin to stay in Charlotte, I live in this city, but he shouldn't , he can't. Sadly, we won't be able to know anything anytime soon after our season was cut short.
What I been able to see in the last few years dissapoints me tremendously. I have seen Lin have great games, yet never getting the recognition or the value that he deserves. His basketball abilities and value is questioned every single bad game he has. But , the truth is Lin is human. He is not perfect, neither should he be. However, for most in the NBA Lin can never be good enough. I really hope that after these playoffs someone gives Lin the keys to run a team, but if history repeats himself, sadly, that won't be the case. And Lin is too good to just be a 18 MPG role player.
過去幾年間我所見到的，讓我非常失望。我看到林有非常精彩的 比賽，可是卻從來得不到他應該得到的認可。他的籃球能力和價值在每一場差的比賽后都被懷疑。但是，林書豪是一個人，他 不會是完美的，他也不需要是完美的。可是，對大多數的NBA來說，林永遠是不夠好，我真的希望在這幾場季后賽表現後，林能有擁有一個屬於他掌控的球隊，可惜，歷史總是重複的，悲哀的是，這不一定會發生，林總是被認為是只夠格打18分鐘的角色球員。