Chris Baldwin’s Best Article on Jeremy Lin

MrPingPong, a dedicated reader of this blog, just posted Chris Baldwin’s latest article and I think it is his best on Jeremy Lin. He says everything I either have said or everything I keep thinking about but haven’t said. This article makes by blood pump. Makes me want to hit something hard (and I’m not talking no pillow neither. No. I need some resistance, like a brick wall or McHale’s face) at the injustice that Lin has been dealt.

I’m someone who really hates injustices. I want things to be fair and people to be treated fairly. I know people often say life is not fair, but it still gets me when things aren’t fair. Also, I know that Lin is an NBA player making millions, so no one should feel sorry for him. But since Lin is a public figure and one of the few Asian male public figures in America the injustices that he faces is more visible than the ones that you or I face. So in a way, he serves as a symbol, even though he is a human being, just like the rest of us.

Anyway, I think Chris really captured McHale’s hypocrisy and blatant cluelessness about his role in Lin’s struggles. Chris compares McHale to a character in Joseph Heller’s Catch-22. And I think this is bang on, because sometimes I do feel like I’m watching some scripted fictional piece, when I think about how irrational McHale’s heavy bias against Lin is, how tragically comical McHale is as a coach. McHale is like a cheesy villain in some cheesy inspirational movie hell-bent on doing everything in his power to bring down the hero of the movie.

To me, it’s like a movie, because the things that McHale does is so baffling (it can’t be real) and I can’t believe he’s getting away with it. For example, him starting Beverley over Lin and treating Beverley as THE starter is so crazy that it has to be scripted by some Hollywood hack. And the fact that hardly anyone questions McHale’s treatment of Lin makes this whole situation with the Rockets all the more surreal. It also expands the injustices that Lin faces far beyond McHale. This is the reason why I wrote that long article about Lin Doubters and Haters being like the Flat Earth people. I felt like “everyone” seems to be blinded by their own preconceptions. Their own biases against someone like Lin. And I felt it was my duty to point this out. To wake people up and, hopefully, by helping them wake up in this regard, it will trigger them to wake up to other parts of their lives that they’ve become mindless bots to. I know this is a lot to ask of people and is wishful thinking on my part, but that’s why I took all that time to write that long article. And reading Chris’s article brought some of these feelings back.

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  • MrPingPong

    I gave your comment on CB’s article an up vote, Philosopher! I’ve never read nor watched Catch-22. May be I will someday during the NBA off-season! 🙂

  • MrPingPong
  • pistolpete

    Thanks for bringing this article to our attention Mr. PingPong and Philosopher!

    It is disturbing to me why there are so few writers, announcers, etc. who bring up the points Mr. Baldwin makes. They are so glaringly obvious to anyone who has some knowledge of basketball that I feel their “blindness” is entirely political. This whole “marginalization” of Lin is completely frustrating to basketball fans who just want to see good basketball and who could give a sh*t about race, star player’s stats,coaches pride, etc.

  • pistolpete

    Logic 101:

    If Harden and Bev are a “better fit” and the Rockets have a better record with Lin starting then the obvious coaching move is to start Lin and Brooks and bring Harden and Bev off the bench

    • MrPingPong

      But the FEP (Flat Earth People) operate at a different level of logic, Pistol!
      As pure entertainment that has nothing to do with basketball, I strongly recommend the movie ‘The Gods Must be Crazy”.

      http://dvd.netflix.com/Movie/The-Gods-Must-Be-Crazy/60034109?strkid=748745916_0_0&strackid=3f8256e48972eb5c_0_srl&trkid=222336

      • I saw the Gods Must Be Crazy a long long time ago. Definitely applies to Lin’s situation with the Rockets.

    • pistolpete, this is the type of counter-intuitive thinking that most are incapable of. A lot of teams say they’re all about winning, but really, they’re more about collecting “superstars” and pleasing “superstars”.

      Your idea of starting Lin and Brooks and bringing Harden and Bev off the bench will no doubt win a ton of games for the Rockets and possibly even make them title contenders THIS year. And I’m not even being a Jeremy Lin fan when I agree with that idea. It’s being a fan of logic (absent politics) and counter-intuitive thinking. Disruptive thinking. The type of thinking that changes the world and makes the world a better place. Most aren’t capable of this type of thinking. And McHale is one of the biggest insult to this type of thinking.

      Unfortunately, most people, because they are blinded, will see this as just a crazy comment coming from a Lin fan. Anyway, thanks for sharing your disruptive idea, pistolpete! I may have to tweet it to Morey, but he’ll just think I’m a crazy Lin fan. Have to find a way to make the argument in a series of tweets. After all, Morey is a man of logic, I believe. Although, he is still prone to being a “superstar-fucker” like pretty much everyone else.

      • MrPingPong

        Well, McHale declared that he had two starting PGs and then started Bev because of his disruptive defense prowess, thereby disrupting everything, notably the whole team chemistry. This shows McHale is well capable of disruptive thinking, don’t you think? 🙂

    • ashley

      I think realistically, we should ask that Lin be given his starter job back, which is the fair and right thing to do since Lin starting has a better winning record than Beverley. Last season, we did see Harden and Lin play well together quite a few times, and at the very beginning of last season, one sports writer even said they were the best backcourt in the league. But now we all know that ISO Harden and McHale’s coaching decusuib have ruined it.

      • ashley

        Correction: McHale’s coaching decision”. By “realistically” I meant Harden can’t possibly come off the bench and Lin should start along with Harden. They can play well together if Harden shares the ball and Lin gets to handle the ball more.

      • I hear what you’re saying ashley. I think Lin and Harden can play together if the Rockets have a coach that’s capable of figuring it out. And McHale did figure it out for a brief time back in December of last season (when Rockets obliterated teams like Grizzlies and Bulls) when talk of Harden/Lin co-existing really heated up. But McHale irrationally went completely away from even thinking about this, because he feels Lin is not close to being significant enough for him to figure out how to effectively utilize Lin.

        Although I think the Rockets can be good with Lin and Harden in the starting lineup, I think they can be GREAT with Lin starting and Harden and Beverley coming off the bench. Lin is a player that makes all the other players better when utilized properly. So his time on the court needs to be maximized, while Harden is a scoring machine and should be the scoring six man on the team, coming off the bench and finishing games. Harden should not be the floor general during crunch time, though.

        Of course, you’re right that this is not “realistic”. But this type of thinking that goes against conventional thinking is the type of thinking that, for example, resulted in one man single-handedly changing the way athletes flop over hurdles (look up Fosbury Flop).

        Because the NBA is all about pleasing and collecting “superstars” and the NBA doesn’t see Lin as a “superstar”, they are blinded by what actually wins games and would see the very idea of starting Lin and having Harden come off the bench as completely insane lunatic talk of a delusional LOF. Lin fans are constantly being put in situations of having to prove “what if’s”. As in, what would happen if Lin starts and Harden comes off the bench? Since it hasn’t happened, I have no evidence to say that the results would be better than they currently are. All I can go on are my gut feelings that that the results would be great, based on the type of player Lin is and the type of player Harden is. And based loosely on the records of the Rockets when Lin is treated as the key player on the Rockets, rather than being marginalized as some scrub and told to stand in the far corner only to be blatantly ignored by all of his teammates. That’s all I have to go on and that’s not at all enough–especially since LOFs are constantly faced with a double-standard, much like Jeremy Lin.

  • MrPingPong

    I meant to post the following link here but made a mistake and posted it in the preceding article. Sorry for the duplication. Anyway, here it is, another one of the Lin doubters at Red94:

    http://www.red94.net/forums/index.php/topic/1926-whats-wrong-with-jeremy-lin/

  • ashley

    Mr. Philosopher, like you, I can’t bear injustice, either. And I believe many LIn fans share the same attribute and have been indignant at the ill-treatment of Lin by McHale and the Rockets organization. I think McHale is either a hypocrite or just such an old school that he favors or firmly believes in superstars, and unfortunately, to him, our LIn just isn’t one. And I think Morey has the same mindset; thus the mismanagement of Lin continues. Glad that you’ll be tweeting to MOrey. Hope it works!

  • pistolpete

    Morey keeps saying that they need a 3rd “star” to be a contender. This is frustrating to me because when Lin is allowed to have more touches (even 50-50 with Harden) he puts up all-star stats and IS that 3rd star. Everyone in this blog knows that they just have to let Lin run the offense and the Rockets will be a contender. I think Morey and maybe even McHale realize this deep down but are still trying to prove they were right in cutting him in the first place. They simply won’t allow Lin to succeed hence any point guard is preferrable to Jeremy and they need a 3rd star. With the deck stacked this deep against Jeremy he needs a trade but will probably just have to wait until he is a free agent to leave Houston. In the meantime he can pick his spots and come out of the corner long enough to have some good games.

    • MrPingPong

      They (the Rockets organization) seem to work hard on making Parsons their 3rd “star”, TJ their 4th, and Bev their 5th! Lin is their 6th at best, hidden in plain sight! The current buzz word they (Rockets fans and pundits) are all hanging on to now is “inconsistency”: Lin is so inconsistent! Sad story…

      Anyway, as a LOF, I’m enjoying watching Lin play beautiful basketball whenever he has a chance to play his game: driving, slashing, no-look passing, laser sharp long bomb, relentless defense, directing traffic, getting everybody involved, helping every teammate on the floor play better… If you re-watch some of the highlights with commentators from the opposing teams (I don’t remember which), you will hear them shower Lin with praises like “beautiful pass”, “pretty move”, etc… 🙂

      The FEP just don’t see Lin in such light, and it’s their loss. I’m not gonna waste my breath trying to convince them that the earth is round. 🙂

      Have a Wonderful and Prosperous Year of the Horse everybody, wherever you are on this WEB!

      • Yeah, they love to blame everything on Lin and everyone else gets off scot-free. Lin’s inconsistently couldn’t have anything to do with the fact that McHale yanks Lin in and out of lineups and misuses him most of the time, but uses him somewhat properly when he is FORCED to. It’s so insane how people miss such obvious logic.

        That’s a good attitude, MrPingPong. And that’s the attitude I will try to adopt. Just enjoy watching Lin whenever he has a chance to do his thing. I really don’t care much about the Rockets or their record now. I just pick and choose my spots to watch Lin and just enjoy the artistry on the court.

        My biggest concern is that the longer Lin stays in Houston the more he’ll loose his instincts to play his way. But I’m sure Lin will be able to quickly get it back. This is another reason for Lin’s inconsistency. It’s not easy to go back to playing the way you know how to play when you keep having to try and learn to play a completely different style. And it’s hard to switch styles every other game at the whim of your coach. Melo, one of the purest scorers in the league suffered immensely under D’Antoni. But no one seems to bring this up. The coach has a huge impact on a player’s game when that coach is intent on playing to your weakness. This is what has happened with Lin and it is what happened with Melo under D’Antoni. Everyone blamed D’Antoni for Melo’s struggles, but somehow, when Lin struggles it’s got nothing to do with his coach.

      • I wish you and everyone else a Wonderful and Prosperous Year of the Horse, MrPingPong!

    • I share EXACTLY your sentiments and your level of frustration at Morey’s statement about needing that 3rd “star”, pistolpete. I feel like I live in bizarro world when it comes to following the Houston Rockets. This is why I take breaks so I don’t end up going bald because I want to pull my hair out at all the absurdity. Absurd thinking, absurd talking, absurd actions, etc.

  • pistolpete

    I agree with you philosopher about Harden being the 6th man. Oklahoma City had it right!

    What a shame the Rockets traded Kevin Martin for him!