Apologies for the ad; you can skip it after a few seconds, and believe you me, this one is worth it. We're not here to judge whether Jeremy Lin is a good story or not. He's clearly the hottest click on the web right now. And even his future as a player is hardly cut and dry. Here's a thing I wrote for GQ about realistic, and yet still pretty rad, expectations for Lin. But people, this is out of control, and if you don't trust us, take it from Kobe Bean Bryant. He's a future Hall of Famer and five-time champion. There is no one more serious about his basketball than this dude. So when he gets genuinely annoyed when the questions about Lin's big games won't stop (he may not even be aware of them) ... well, that's a reality check we should all heed.
It's one thing to turn Jeremy Lin into a walking meme, or embrace the moment as one of some cultural significance. It's emotion, enthusiasm, and hype at its most benign. If we're going to talk about actual basketball, though, I'll defer to Kobe Bryant. That surprise in voice, which gives way to spite, is the real measure of authority. It's like Allen Iverson's "Practice?!", with the obvious advantage of being right. NBA fans and media may have dropped their lives to chase the Lin narrative; the NBA players sure haven't. Who owns this league? Who defines it? Maybe I'm naive, but I like to think that the final say, or at least the opinion that matters most, still rests with the athletes themselves. If they aren't the experts, or worse yet, we're fine with insisting that their pro sports expertise is somehow limited, then something has gone seriously wrong. Don't blame me, I voted for Rondo.