You Are God's Best Idea! Daily Epigram for:
February 16, 2012
"The abrogation of fear recalls the lightness of being."-Douglas Holzmeier
The week that this piece was written - all of America was caught up in "Linsanity". I have no idea how long this will last - yet it is another example of why there are no good excuses for sitting on life's bench.
Until two weeks ago - few people had ever heard of the modestly sized (6-3) basketball player named Jeremy Shu-How Lin of the New York Knicks. Despite being an all-state high school basketball player out of northern California - Jeremy received no athletic scholarships. In state programs like UCLA; Cal and Stanford offered only walk-on status. Sporting a 4.2 grade average - he sent his highlight DVD to Ivy League schools where they do not award athletic scholarships. Jeremy is not tall - as basketball players go. He does not jump high nor run fast. His outside shot is average. But he plays with the enthusiasm of a child and the heart of a lion. The best compliment Jeremy Lin was paid while in college came from Connecticut coach Jim Calhoun who simply said: "The kid can play".
"You're only missing their offer - not you're opportunity. You
have as many opportunities as you're willing to make."-Douglas
He attended Harvard and made First-Team All-Ivy League twice - re-setting most of Harvard's basketball records. Very few Ivy League players make it to the NBA. Lin was not drafted. He was invited to some camps where players are evaluated in one-on-one; two-on-two and three-on-three situations. That isn't how basketball is played. Jeremy did not excel in these exercises. Only one NBA General Manager asked Jeremy to participate in the NBA Summer League where prospects can elevate their free agency profile with good play. Sometimes it only takes one other person to believe along with you - to make a dream come true.
"Opportunity breeds opportunity. The pick of the litter may be
in the offspring of the opportunity before you."-Douglas Holzmeier
Jeremy played in five of these summer league games and showed well enough to pique the interest of the Lakers - Mavericks - Warriors and an unnamed eastern conference team. Jeremy signed with his favorite team - Golden State - but played sparingly in the 2010-2011 season despite being a fan favorite with the Asian-American community in the San Francisco area. Throughout his first professional season he was demoted to Reno of what is known as the "D-League" or Developmental League. Very few players from the "D-League" ever make an impact in the NBA. He played so well during his D-League stints that he was deemed a D-League All-Star. (Is that like be a D-List Celebrity?) It was during these "demotions" that Jeremy got his swagger and confidence back. He took full advantage of being in the "minors" so when he got back to the NBA - he'd be the star that he inherently knew he was. Well- that was the plan - anyway. His first NBA season statistics (in 29 games) with the Warriors showed he scored just 2.6 points per game.
"My dog has no tail but he wags it as if he does. Don't allow
what's missing to hold sway over your play."-Douglas Holzmeier
This past summer and fall Jeremy Lin considered playing professionally in China and Italy due to the NBA lock-out that delayed the start of 2011-2012 season until late December. On December 9th - new Warriors basketball coach Mark Jackson waived Lin without ever seeing him play in person. In 2006 I had a similar situation happen to me. The General Manager and VP of Programming who had hired me both left and were replaced just three months after I started my job in Chicago. The new boss was one of those "change-agent" guys who never even spoke to me before deciding he was going to bring in someone else to do my job. Although it was hard to take at the time - he did me a favor. Mark Jackson did Jeremy Lin a favor as well.
"The opportunity doesn't always appear where the opening
is, but where it will be. Be here now - see what's next."-Douglas
The Houston Rockets claimed Jeremy Lin off waivers on December 12th. Lin was with the Rockets for less than three weeks playing in a handful of exhibition games and was released! The New York Knicks - knocked next - claiming Jeremy off of waivers on December 27th. He played very little and yet again - was sent to the D-League - the Erie Bayhawks - on January 17, 2012. On January 20th he scored 28 points - grabbed 11 rebounds and dished out 12 assists in a game against the Maine Red Claws. The Knickerbockers recalled Lin - again - three days later. According to reports - the Knicks were considering letting Lin go to make room for another player when in a February 3rd blowout against the Celtics - Coach Mike D'Antoni - put him in for all of the fourth quarter. It was just like all those Hollywood movies where the last kid on the bench goes in because there is nothing to lose. He played well enough to earn more playing time the next night.
"The moment is patient; it shall be seized."-Douglas Holzmeier
On February 4th - Jeremy "the journeyman" Lin scored 25 points and added five rebounds and seven assists. A Star is born - but he'd been there all along. The Knicks beat the Nets 99-92. Against Utah the next day - Jeremy Lin got his first ever NBA start. He scored 28 points in another Knick win. The Legend grows! Then -he scored 23 points in a win over the Wizards. And it is not just Jeremy's production that has made him an overnight sensation - it is HOW he plays that has everyone so excited. He whirls and twirls and slips and slides and hustles and - smiles. He's having fun in a sport that is dominated by spoiled and arrogant divas. He is making the big shots while not acting like a Big Shot. During this two-week storybook rags-to-riches (Linderfella) fairy tale - Jeremy has been sleeping on his brother's couch in a modest-sized New York apartment. You couldn't write this if you tried - although you can bet Knick fan and film director Spike Lee has cameras rolling. No one would believe this - nobody except Jeremy Shu-How Lin.
"You are loved to such a degree that an entire Universe was
created for you to play in."-Douglas Holzmeier
On February 10th Jeremy scored 38 points leading the resurgent New York Knicks to a 92-85 victory over the Kobe Bryant led Los Angeles Lakers. Jeremy is the lead story every night on ESPN - and now CNN and MTV! Even the Tim Tebow run of amazing comeback victories in Denver pale in comparison to the phenomenon that is Jeremy Lin. Tim Tebow received scholarship offers from EVERY Division I football power coming out of high school. Tim Tebow was a 1st Round NFL Draft choice of the Denver Broncos. He was SUPPOSED to start and win games at the highest level. Jeremy was less than a week from be demoted to the D-League - when opportunity met preparation and heart met hoop.
"Everyday is the day you've waited for if seeds were sown in
preparation of its anticipation."-Douglas Holzmeier
Lin and the Knicks won again on the 11th against the Timberwolves and on the 14th - Lin hit the winning three-point shot in a win over Toronto. No player in NBA history has scored as many points as he has in his first six NBA starts. He followed up all of this with a 13 assist game in yet another win - pulling the Knicks - who have not won an NBA title since 1973 - to the .500 mark on the season.
Jeremy Lin's parents immigrated to the United States from Taiwan in the mid-1970s. There has been much talk and speculation as to why a player of such immense talent has taken such a long road to reach his destination. Racial profiling has been offered up as to why Lin's talents were not taken more seriously. Most of the racial slurs Lin received were - ironically - inside Ivy League gyms. Just goes to show you that high IQ's do not always translate to elevated character.
In this often jaded world we live in - Jeremy's initial signing with the Golden State Warriors was seen by some as nothing more than a publicity stunt to get more Asian-Americans to come out to the games. Air ball! There is also the flip-side of racism. Some veteran (and less enlightened) NBA players have suggested that Lin is getting too much press coverage because he is Asian-American. Although it does add a unique context to the story - the fact is NO ONE has accomplished what he has achieved in their first six NBA starts. Shaquille O'Neal comes the closest.
Lin is a devout man of faith. He wants to be a minister after his basketball career. He talks of wanting to work in the inner cities with underprivileged children. Does anyone doubt that he will? When asked about being an inspiration to so many Lin responded by saying: "It's humbling; a privilege; and an honor. I'm really proud being Chinese; I'm really proud my parents are from Taiwan. I just thank God for the opportunity."
"Think of opportunities as privileges and the Universe will
privilege you with more opportunity."-Douglas Holzmeier
Jeremy - we thank YOU for making the most of your opportunity!
No one knows how the rest of Jeremy Lin's NBA career will unfold - it has already playing well above the rim and probably will have to come down sometime. But - for as long as he is playing this child's game lightheartedly - we'll want to be on his team. He is happy just to BE in the game. And this is the Truth I offer in my essays as often as possible. Joy doesn't come from what you get out of the game - it is the rebound of Joy you put into the game that you get from the game of Life. For Jeremy - it was fully realized - in the Knick of Time.
Keep playing. Sometimes you will step out of bounds. Sometimes you will be hacked. Sometimes you'll be long on your attempts and other times you'll come up short - and you may miss the basket all together - but if you stay in the game - you'll eventually make all of the shots on your bucket-list.
"Opportunity is like the day. It's here. Seize it."-Douglas
You Are God's Best Idea!
Author of You Are God's Best Idea! Divine Acceptations and Living the Undeniable Life! (Balboa Press/Hay House)
If you are seeking a Life Coach who can give you direction; inspiration; motivation and treat you like the star you are - can contact me here www.YouAreGodsBestIdea.com