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Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Caloy Reflections: Appreciating Linsanity

Just this month, a new NBA hero was born in Jeremy Lin. The buzz on the game of this young Asian-American can rival Lebron James' rookie season or Yao Ming's heydays. For the past seven games, Linsanity swept the New York Knick's world and the NBA. His rise to rock star status could be a tale for the ages. His story is all about breaking stereotypes and following your dreams. Here some lessons I learned about Linsanity.

1. You can go beyond what your school/diploma is known for.

Where did this boy come from? For college, he is from the famous school called Harvard University. A school more known to produce Presidents and CEOs more than it can produce an NBA player. Your odds to become a Supreme Court Judge is way higher than becoming an NBA player when you study in that school. The school counts JFK, Theodore Roosevelt, George W. Bush, Barrack Obama, Bill Gates, Matt Damon, US Chief Justice John Roberts, and Facebook founder Mark Zukerberg as proud alums.

A lot of people are guilty in stereo-typing people because they come from a certain school. If Lin had such strict parents, he would not be allowed to pursue a basketball career after graduating at Harvard. He could have been in Wall Street handling mutual funds or starting a career in international banking. He went undrafted in the NBA, partly because he played in a relatively weak basketball program. His basketball ascent actually could be comparable Lyceum's Gary David in the Philippine Basketball Association. Smaller schools can actually produce high-caliber players. What happened to Lin reinforces my belief that people from lesser schools or college dropouts can have strong careers in business and sales if given the chance. Your diploma and school cannot limit you on how high you can go (conversely, how low you can go in some cases). Go BEYOND.

2. Height, build, and looks are limitations that can be overcome.

Jeremy Lin is 6-3 and weighs 200 lbs. In today's NBA, he is relatively small. He does not look like your typical NBA player. He is Asian and only very few Asians have played in the best basketball league in the world. Boxing star Floyd Mayweather quipped that Lin got the hype because he is Asian. Definitely, Lin is not the tallest, the strongest, or the highest leaping player in the NBA but he sure found a way to outshine more physically talented players.

In today's world, people put a big premium on the physical aspects of a person. A lot of people fail to get a job because they did not look the part. It is sad to know that many people are not given the chance because they are fat, bald, ugly, or short. A lot of critics would say that the Philippines should stop concentrating on basketball because we are short. Well, Lin will be my poster boy for a counter-argument.  In the real world, people easily judge others and most of us are guilty of discouraging or dismissing others because we think that they are pursuing an impossible dream.  If one is driven and determined enough, he/she can definitely go beyond the limitations that others has set on them. Be BOLD.

3. It does not matter if you turn the ball over a lot as long as you win.

In the 7 game winning streak, Lin averaged over 5 turnovers a game. A lot of stat-lovers say that he turns the ball over a lot. With this pace, he could probably lead the NBA in TOs at the end of the season. Yeah but with this pace as well, the Knicks are poised to end up with the best record in the NBA and win the NBA title. 

To be successful in life, we have to set goals. Winning or hitting goals are important. A lot of us, play cautiously because we are afraid to make a mistake. We feel embarrassed if someone sees our mistake and in the process become scared to try out new ways. A lot of people became very successful because they dare to fail. Actually I read many books about daring to fail. It is easier said than done but history has told us that failing actually is part of a bigger success. Michael Jordan missed many shots, Babe Ruth struck out at more at-bats than he made a home run, and Lincoln lost several elections (in fact all) before winning a presidential election. They have a strong belief and they never let failure ended their dreams. Lin was cut by two NBA teams this season. He persisted and look at him now. Always BELIEVE.

It is funny how Linsanity made me reflect on life and how to view others. Jeremy Lin might be a one-season wonder but there is a big chance that he can one of the best guards in New York Knicks history.  I strongly believe that we can be like Jeremy Lin or I might just be drunk with Linsanity. ;)