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Monday, November 11, 2013

Sean Kelly

Reel Asian 2013: My Thoughts on Linsanity

Linsanity

When Jeremy Lin first started out in the NBA, he struggled to get noticed and was in great danger of having his professional basketball career ended prematurely.  However, that all changed in February 2012, when he began a record-breaking scoring streak, which turned him into an overnight sensation.  The documentary Linsanity tells the story about how Lin overcame all the struggles he has faced, in order to fulfill his dream of playing professional basketball.

I have to admit that I am not a big fan of professional basketball.  Even though I grew up being well aware of players, such as Michael Jordan, Shaquille O'Neal, and Dennis Rodman, I think I’ve only gone to see, my local NBA team, the Toronto Rapters play twice.  As such, I can probably be forgiven if I wasn’t very knowledgeable of Jeremy Lin’s sudden rise to fame.  I do have to agree that it is a very amazing story and I am glad that this film exists, so that non-basketball fans like myself can know about it.

Jeremy Lin grew up watching the NBA and dreaming of becoming a professional basketball player.  However, reaching this goal was not an easy task.  The sad truth that is brought up many times throughout this documentary is that Lin believes that he was held back because of his Taiwanese/Chinese ethnicity.  Since there are very few Asian basketball players, Lin had to fight harder to get attention in the sport.  Even in the middle of the “Linsanity” period, there was some criticism thrown at Lin, saying that he was only getting all of this attention because he was Asian and that black players “achieve this type of success all the time.”

The goal of Linsanity is definitely to tell Lin’s amazing Cinderella story.  For most of his first two seasons with the NBA, Lin was kept mostly on the bench and was dropped by BOTH the Golden State Warriors and Houston Rockets within a two week period.  Lin was on the end of his rope when he was signed to the New York Knicks and he was in fact one game away from being dropped from the team when “Linsanity” began.  Lin suddenly went from being a bench player to a starter and he became the first NBA player to score at least 20 points and have seven assists in each of his first five starts.  I find it funny that one of the big moments for Lin happened during a Toronto Rapters home game, where it really looked like more people were cheering for Lin, than the home team.  In a bit of irony, Lin became a free agent at the end of the 2011/2012 season and ended up being resigned by the Houston Rockets.

The film also talks a little bit about Lin’s devout Christianity.  While there isn’t too much attention spent on Lin’s religion, it is established that Lin puts his faith before everything else in his life and that he deeply believes that God will send him on the right path.  There is also a slightly humorous moment where Lin talks about having thought “what would Jesus do” during a press conference.

Overall, I thought that Linsanity was a enjoyable documentary, which tells the incredible journey Jeremy Lin traveled, in which he defied all naysayers and became an overnight basketball sensation.

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Sean Kelly

About Sean Kelly -

Sean Patrick Kelly is a self-described ├╝ber-geek, who has been an avid film lover for all his life. He graduated from York University in 2010 with an honours B.A. in Cinema and Media Studies and he likes to believe he knows what he’s talking about when he writes about film (despite occasionally going on pointless rants).