Seeking a bit of Lin in Seoul

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Seeking a bit of Lin in Seoul

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It almost got me, the connection between Jeremy Lin and Jesse Eisenberg. Lin is a Taiwanese-American NBA player who recently led the New York Knicks to seven consecutive victories. Eisenberg is a Jewish actor and playwright whose most notable appearance was the role of Facebook co-founder Mark Zuckerberg in “The Social Network.” The story goes that the two had studied together and Lin was the hero who always saved Eisenberg during tough times. The tale that has spread across the Internet over the last few days has turned out to be fiction. It is actually a short story by Eisenberg that appeared on the literary site McSweeney’s. What inspired Eisenberg? At the end of the story he claims that Lin is “Jewish by spirituality.” Growing up, he was always told that “Jewish boys can’t play in the NBA.” But now Lin is a “true Jewish hero” they can look up to.

In the United States, Jewish and Asian people have a reputation for having more brains than brawn. It was generally considered that the two ethnic groups were athletically inferior. Lin broke the prejudice. He is an Asian man, short by NBA standards, and went to Harvard, which is always ranked low in the NCAA. He is Christian and stresses his faith in God. Many Jewish people identify with many of the attributes represented by Lin. In fact, Lin epitomizes the characteristics of minorities in the NBA. He has tackled each disadvantage, struggled and overcome them. It is a classic Cinderella tale.

What’s more charming is his personality. You play basketball not with your height but your heart. When the Knicks’ winning streak ended on Saturday, he tweeted, “Gotta learn from my mistakes and move on to the next one.” He is energetic and optimistic, modest and eloquent. It is only natural that he is the most sought-after sports celebrity among broadcasters, advertisers, publishers and movie producers.

During election season, politicians are busy pitching their stories and slogans. They seek attention from the media and should know that the triad of story, character and outcome is the answer. You may think you can make up the three elements, but you can’t, and history is the most important. There is no present without the past, and without evolution and growth, the three elements are useless. You need to prove that the engine that has been driving you is not immediate interest but true vision and courage. The perfect model of this has been presented to us. It’s Jeremy Lin.

by Lee Na-ree

*The author is an editorial writer of the JoongAng Ilbo.
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