The Jeremy Lin Effect

More lessons from Money Ball

Unless you are a basketball fan you probably would not have heard of a player called Jeremy Lin, but Jeremy Lin who plays for the New York Knicks set a record in his first year of playing which surpassed the records set by players such as LeBron James, Kobe Bryant and Michael Jordan. Jeremy Lin shot more points in his first 4 games as a professional player that any of the fore mentioned players and set a new NBA record. His shirt is now highest selling basketball shirt of all time.

Everything about Jeremy Lin just doesn’t fit the basketball stereotype, he is of Asian descent, not that tall as a guard only 1.91 m, not physically imposing and came out of Harvard – not a renowned basketball school. Yet he has one thing that is probably greater than 99% of the players he competes against, mental toughness or resilience. He has done it the hard way, no college scholarship, no NBA draft and only getting into the NBA’s division 3 development squad.  Traded by three clubs before somehow managing to get to the New York Knicks where he got a game out of “desperation” because the Knicks were playing so bad. Since then he has not looked back.

Lin got lucky because he got a chance to showcase his skills, but like so many decisions we make, they are made through our own biases of what looks good or sounds good. These biases can blind us from seeing talent – Just like what was highlighted in the book Money Ball.

“Players playing that well don't usually come out of nowhere. It seems like they come out of nowhere, but if you can go back and take a look, his skill level was probably there from the beginning. It probably just went unnoticed.”

Kobe Bryant, after Lin scored 38 points on February 10, 2012.

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