Mighty Taco…I see you. Once again, I’m making my way back up to the frigidly mean streets of Buffalo. My routinely brief 4-day vacation in Atlanta has come to its unfortunate end yet again (I am on a 10-day-on, 4-day-off work schedule). For a city that I adore as much as Atlanta, my job has transformed it from the loving wife I spend every night with to the tantalizing skank I frolic and lollygag with on the weekend. Every other Tuesday, I discreetly leave the money on Atlanta’s nightstand and shimmy my way on over to the airport. You might as well call me Harry Potter, because I hit it and Quidditch every other weekend. The downgrade of Atlanta from princess to weekend whore has been quite staggering. I’ve failed to honor thy grace and beauty, Atlanta. I promise to be better. Now, if only my job could perpetuate my vow of residential monogamy.
In all seriousness, I wish I had an EZ Pass to pay for the emotional toll I’ve endured over the past 3-4 months being away from The A for such extended periods of time. Atlanta, with all reverence and respect, I miss you.
Time to jab step and crossover to more intriguing matters.
What kind of sports enthusiast could I claim to be if I failed to mention the single most fascinating (and oversaturated) storyline of this young NBA season: Jeremy Lin. The puns on his name have been aplenty…but so too have been the points he’s been producing on a nightly basis. Even though he’s only played in 5 games (all wins), it appears a safe parlay that the cat can flat out ball and that he’ll remain the starting point guard for the foreseeable future. That man ripped the already gaping colon that is the point guard position on the Lakers a few inches wider this past Friday. He plopped 38 points on the Lake Show and even outscored Kobe “Jellybean” Bryant. Sustainability is the obvious question that’ll be answered in time, but for now…it seems as though he’s arrived and has no immediate Lintention of reLinquishing (zing! and zing! – I just couldn’t resist) his grasp on the starting PG role for the New York Knickerbockers. In a city known for its blacktop swag, who in their right mind would have believed that the player to lead the Knicks’ resurrection this season would be an Asian American? Then again, there are few cities in the world as culturally diverse as The Apple, so maybe that explains sufficiently the love affair that The City has developed for its newest rock star. This is starting to trickle with the moisture of the faintest drop of Tebow-mania. We ain’t nowhere near that…yet…but…it’s getting there. Plus, unlike Tebow, this cat is dropping dimes and buckets at a historic level for someone so early in their NBA career. Unlike Timmy T, no one can question Lin’s productivity.
I can only imagine the obscenities that opponents mutter under their breath when they get left in their wake by an Asian taking it to the rack. To be chopped and minced by an Anglo is bad enough, but to be broiled and toasted by an Asian? Not a good look. Believe you me, when I used to hoop at The Chase in high school, folks were bewildered when I dropped a floater over some taller cats or when I snagged rebounds and boxed out bigs. Plus, I balled in a predominantly Black neighborhood growing up, so that definitely wasn’t for the faint of heart – especially for an Indian cat like myself. You have to prove you can ball to be accepted by the Black community – or you will get clowned and ridiculed. You have to earn the respect of your peers by ballin’ out. You cannot back down and have to show no fear. Now imagine doing that on the highest level of basketball. Back when I was a naive Brownie hooping for my high school basketball team and dropping 1.5 pts/game on inconsolable opponents, I had delusions of grandeur hoping to become the first Asian cat to lace ‘em up in the Association. Like I said, I was naive. So, I am ecstatic to see an Asian hoopin’ and holding his own against elite level competition. Moreover, just like Lin, when I got some PT, please believe I was chuckin’ and gunnin’. I made the best of the limited opportunities I received on my high school team. I spot up and shot that rock like an unathletic Anglo. So, in a way, I identify with Lin and his story. I hope he can keep it up. If only my Lakers could’ve scooped him up – he would’ve been a solid fit on that team. At least a definite upgrade over the indomitable trio of Old Man Fisherman, Steve Blake, and Darius Morris.