Sports Briefs: Jeremy Lin, the Big New Yorker

Chris: Thirteen years ago, the NBA played a shortened season, due to a lockout. The Miami Heat were the No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference and were predicted to win the title. The New York Knicks were the No. 8 seed and barely finished about .500. And just like a certain phenomenon has burst onto the scene in 2012, New York also experienced a titular sensation in 1999. Therefore, comparing Jeremy Lin to Pizza Hut’s Big New Yorker Pizza is completely logical and certain to generate a lot of hits for this story.

Joe: I am not a huge NBA fan, but this kid has caught my Lin-tention. He is the real deal, and it’s nice to see him persevere against the proverbial "odds."

Brad: I think he is going to surprise a lot of people this season. I like how he plays, and he seems to have paid attention to the game; and his size is definitely an advantage.

Ralphie: I think he’s a pretty good player, but I don’t think he’s as good as they act like he is. I think he’s successful now because he’s getting attention for being different.

Chris: I think adjectives like “different,” “cheesy” and “tangy” can be used to describe both Lin and the Big New Yorker. Both have often been known to spend the night on couches, as well.

Joe: America loves the underdog and the Cinderella. His modesty should be a learning moment for the rest of the players.

Brad: Could be because he does not have the typical look of an NBA player, and he is new on the scene in a way.

Ralphie: I think he’s getting a lot of publicity because he is Asian. He’s one of the only Asian players in the NBA, so I think people like that he’s different from the other players.

Brad: He sat and watched the last season so he could learn how the other players and teams play. That gave him the chance to hone his own skills accordingly.

Joe: His current success is a combination of circumstances that opened the door for him. His talent was the first criteria, and it illustrates the point that many athletes have the talent but don't get the chance because coaches and owners don't want to take a chance for fear if it doesn't work, they'll look bad (but that's another whole subject).

Chris: Unlike the Big New Yorker which, after much ballyhoo, disappeared as quickly as it appeared, Lin appears that he can be a consistent attraction. Or at least until Carmelo Anthony, Amare Stoudemire, Baron Davis and J.R. Smith are all active, each trying to take at least 20 shots a game.

Brad: I see them making a very strong playing force that hopefully will force other teams to step up and give us an enjoyable season.

Joe: When the two "stars" return, the Knicks should rival the Heat. For the sake of the sport, I hope they continue to click--I might even tune in a few times.

Ralphie: I don’t think they’ll play any better because of Lin. I think they’ll do about as well with him as they would without him. I think once people realize that he’s not that much better than anybody else, he won’t be as popular. I don’t think that will take too long.

Joe: Lin will be able to play basketball at this level for as long as he wants. D'Antoni is the perfect coach to mature him, and let's not forget Lin has a degree in economics from Harvard.

Brad: He has the potential to do well, but then again all the players do to start with.

Chris: I am almost unanimous in my opinion that the Knicks will repeat history and upset the Heat in the playoffs. And given my history of accuracy, I’d estimate the chances of that happening to be somewhere between 33 percent and the likelihood of a 13-year-old pizza still being digestible.

Joe: Maybe the next time the players want to strike, he could give them a lesson in Lin-nomics.

Try on a new pair of Sports Briefs with the Gab Four every Friday. Find out more about Joe, Chris, Brad and Ralphie, and read their solo columns on their individual pages.

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