Jesus the Puppetmaster is a great basketball player, obviously, since it’s really Him playing through Lin. Must have a heckuva team in Heaven – is Jesus the point guard there? Do they play against the Devils? If the Lakers still had Zen Buddhist Phil Jackson as coach, and they had beaten Lin, could we say that Buddha was responsible? Does Jesus play against Buddha or with him on the same team in Nirvana?
What happens when a Muslim player excels? Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is one of the best basketball players in history by far. Jeremy Lin has two decades or so and more than 38,000 points to catch up to Jabbar. Kareem is a convert from Christianity to Islam – does this fact mean Allah is Lord and Islam is the one true faith?
And so they chanted his name into the emptying Verizon Center, all the newly sold, drawn to an instant sensation that can be made only in this electronic world. Feet pounded. Hands clapped. A roar spilled over the court as the man, unknown until five days ago, ducked his head, 23 points behind him, and ran from the din….
So after Wednesday’s game, when he finally emerged from the New York locker room clad in warmups, a backpack slung across his shoulder, he gazed into a wall of cameras and journalists who never gave him a glance until last weekend, and said: “I wouldn’t have imagined this. At the same time, it’s just a blessing from God.”
He is a Christian, vocal in his belief. And because of this and because he is a flawed player proving the experts wrong, people are comparing him to Tim Tebow. And everything was swirling out of control in the Verizon Center: Fans holding signs with Bible verses…
“Part of me is worried about the Tebow comparison,” said Lin’s college friend and former Bible Study partner, Eddie Lee, who stood outside the Knicks locker room as a crowd swelled in the hallway. “I hope the media doesn’t take that and turn it into something.”
It’s probably too late for that….