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Even Lin can’t make the NBA exciting

MICHAEL GEBELEIN
Sports Writer

Jeremy Lin is exactly what the NBA needed — another superstar player that can take the limelight away from his team and become the face of a franchise.
He’s also what sports writers needed. As soon as everyone was getting over the hangover that was Tim Tebow, along comes another feel-good icon that can be placed on a pedestal and prophesied to be the next big thing for the professional sports world.
Lin’s statistics in the last seven games have been amazing, but the moment an athlete becomes a catch phrase (see “Tebowing” or “Linsanity”), it’s time for most rational people to tune out.
The one redemptive quality of the Lin saga, so far, has been the way many ingrained stereotypes have been challenged, or at least many bigots have been exposed for the scum that they are. Lin has been the target of basically every derogatory comment that could be made based on his Taiwanese-Chinese heritage, and at this point, the media has responded with the appropriate disgust.
That being said, the NBA is still a shameless drama of showboating and overinflated egos. I’d rather watch a block of primetime programming on ABC Family than have to sit through an entire professional basketball game.
What would help revitalize professional basketball is a cohesive team effort rather than small pockets of superstars. That might not sell tickets the way a Kobe Bryant or Le-Bron James does, at first, but it might help give the League some semblance of seriousness.
Take Charlotte’s pathetic excuse for a professional sports franchise, the Bobcats. It’s not all that surprising that with Michael Jordan (the king of all superstar players in any sport) at the helm, things have gotten to be as bad as they are.
I’m guilty of perpetuating the same thing I dislike. I’ve been to maybe a half dozen NBA games in Charlotte, both Hornets and Bobcats, and every time I’ve gone it’s been to see the other team, and usually just one player on the other team.
I saw Allen Iverson when he played for the 76ers, Bryant and Shaq with the Lakers and James when he was with the Cavaliers.
Maybe that’s hypocritical, but it’s a sad reality when it comes to the NBA. The only time I went to see a “team” was the first year the Celtics had Kevin Garnett, Ray Allen and Paul Pierce all on the same team.
And I was disappointed. The Bobcats were so bad that not one member of the Big Three saw any playing time. I don’t think they were even in the arena.
The Bobcats and the NBA have at least brought an amazing concert venue to downtown Charlotte.
It’s the least they could do for all of the stink seasons they’ve subjected us to since 2002.
Michael Gebelein is a sports writer with the Lincoln Times-News.

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