Much like Tim Tebow was with his Tebowmania, Jeremy Lin and his improbable rise to stardom has swallowed all NBA fans' attention, leaving former lightning rods like Lamar Odom and Khloe Kardashian in grateful obscurity.
Lin has New York Knicks fans seeing shades of Tim Tebow and playoffs
The Chinese-American kid from Harvard is doing far more than winning basketball games. He's bringing the NBA viewers with his story and his selfless play. His ethnic background has drawn interest from the Far East, long since dead after Yao Ming retired. Together with Buffalo Bills quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick he has turned the normally academic Ivy League university into a hidden hotbed of athletic talent. Yet for him, most importantly, he has the New York Knicks on a four-game winning streak and eyeing a chance at the playoffs. His inspiration? Besides sleeping on couches and a big chip on his shoulder, Jeremy Lin admitted that Tim Tebow overcoming long odds in the NFL and building trust with people away from the game drove him to play hard and unselfish. Right after saying that, the young man put up 38 points on the Los Angeles Lakers. How far he can go is pure guess-work at this point, but one contribution people will overlook is deflecting attention away from those who need a break.
Odom and Khloe can focus on Dallas Mavericks while Kris Humphries preps
Lamar Odom finally has fewer hit in the tabloids than somebody not named Kobe Bryant. Together with wife Khloe Kardashian, the two-time NBA champion and reigning Sixth Man of the Year can finally put his tumultuous life in L.A. to rest and focus on helping the Dallas Mavericks repeat as champions. While his numbers haven't quite caught up yet, teammates like Dirk Nowitzki and Jason Terry think Odom has improved remarkably well since joining the Mavericks on December 10th. They believe his unique versatility will become a key to their success once the playoffs start. Lost in the media bashings about the lack of production, the Khloe & Lamar show has settled down and helped Dallas recover from a slow start to a 16-11 record and now the fourth seed in the western conference playoffs. Should this continue then there's no reason to think the current champions can't defend their crown in May and June. Meanwhile, Linsanity will continue hogging headlines as former brother-in-law Kris Humphries prepares a return to Madison Square Garden in hopes of building a New York rivalry.
Jeremy Lin hasn't won anything much. He's performed well in a few games against okay competition. Regardless, his effect has become electric for the New York Knicks, and by extension the NBA. Like Tim Tebow, he plays with leadership and team-first mentality. While it captures the imaginations of sports fans, those used to the spotlight like Lamar Odom and Khloe Kardashian can thank him later for the momentary break.