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The Monday Morning Jones is Bomani's recap of 10 sports observations from the weekend that was. This week, the Jeremy Lin Phenomenon builds both on and off the court, Ohio State continues to baffle, the Clips improve, and much more.
Anthony Federico, the fired ESPN editor who used the headline "Chink In The Armor" to describe a turnover-filled game for New York Knicks point guard Jeremy Lin on Friday, explained himself in a story in the New York Daily News that ran Monday morning.
Federico said he wasn't trying to make a joke when he wrote the final headline of his shift that night.
"This had nothing to do with me being cute or punny. I'm so sorry that I offended people. I'm so sorry if I offended Jeremy."
Lin says that he's also over the gaffe, deciding to forgive and forget rather than make a big deal about the incident.
"They've apologized, and so from my end, I don't care anymore. You have to learn to forgive, and I don't even think that was intentional."
ESPN also supsended anchor Max Bretos for making a similar comment on the air.
The "Chink In The Armor" headline that ran on the ESPN Mobile platforms late Friday night into early Saturday morning, appearing for roughly half an hour, probably needs a bit more explanation. The headline drew widespread reaction Saturday morning, ranging from shock to shrugged shoulders. Some couldn't believe a headline containing such a loaded word ran on a prominent sports news site, while others felt the term was just a figure of speech.
If you missed it, this was the mobile headline.
Right away, the problem is apparent. Plastered across the landing page is a photo of Jeremy Lin. The first word a reader sees underneath the photo is "chink." This is absolutely a problem and there's no excuse for it.
Late Friday night, I wrote about the offensive headline and said, "This was unintentional -- it had to be unintentional." This was less a declaration and more a hope that whoever wrote the headline did so without realizing the meaning and offensive nature of it. At best, it was an innocent mistake. At worst, it was a blatant attempt to squeeze a racial epithet into a headline. And somewhere it between, it may have been an effort to create a headline with a double meaning that the writer thought was funny.
We're flying blind here, and the hope is ESPN will open a window into the editorial process to explain what happened. Because the headline writer is anonymous, assuming intent is akin to taking a shot in the dark. We also have no idea what the staffing was like or how many checks and balances there were at the time, though we can safely assume far less than on a normal, mid-day shift.
There is context to this all, as well. A "Chink In The Armor?" headline ran on a 2008 story about Team USA's Beijing Olympics journey. On Wednesday, an ESPN commentator used the phrase while asking Walt Frazier a question about Lin. At one point, the video was on ESPN's website, but it was pulled before Friday night, as far as I can tell. I know where it was, but could not find it again. That it seems to have been scrubbed shows there was some kind of awareness about the phrase and its meaning.
But intent probably doesn't matter here. The fact of the matter is the headline should've never ran in the first place. Whether it was an attempt to shock, be humorous, or blatantly jab at Lin's heritage simply doesn't matter. It was wrong.
ESPN has apologized for both the headline and the on-air statement, and that's a start. Editor-in-Chief Rob King even tweeted about the headline, saying it was "indefensible." The swift response should be commended, even if the headline should've never ran in the first place.
Finally, Jon Bois has the best take on the Jeremy Lin phenomenon and what we can all learn about the casual, and perhaps not-so-casual, racism bubbling underneath it all.
The primary objective of this conversation isn't to go around calling people racist and trying to make them feel like shit. It's to encourage people to critically assess their words and demonstrations. Racism can manifest itself in a thousand different ways. "I hate _____ people" is only one of them.
There is an opportunity to learn and grow here. It's unfortunate the opportunity presented itself under such unfortunate circumstances, but there are serious conversations that can be borne out of the incident.
Carmelo Anthony will soon return to the New York Knicks, where Jeremy Lin has the club on a winning streak. The question is not whether they can co-exist. The question is one of how good the pair can be.
Yao Ming did amazing work during his too-brief time in the NBA, spreading the love of basketball across the globe as the first big time basketball player hailing from China. Yao's retired now, though, making Jeremy Lin his de facto heir to the throne as the New York Knicks dynamo attempts to keep basketball hot in Asia.
It's working thus far, too, as Yao told NBA.com's Fran Blinebury in a recent interview.
"If he keeps playing like this, he could be an All-Star, don't you think?" Yao said by phone from his home in Shanghai, China. "Right now, he is handling everything -- the game and the attention he is getting -- perfect."
Lin's averaging 24.3 points, 9.5 assists and 1.5 steals per game while shooting 51 percent from the field in his six games as a starter, so Yao's probably right when it comes to the second-year pro having All-Star potential if he can keep it up. Even if he's not able to continue at such a high-performance level, however, it seems he'll remain popular abroad.
"Lin is 6-3, more like a normal-sized person, and I believe that is what makes him even more popular in China," Yao said. "He is the size that the average person can relate to. They like watching him play against many taller, bigger players and succeed."
It's been a fun ride watching Lin's rise here in America and, judging by Yao's comments, it seems it might be even more fun for those watching in Asia.
TiqIQ explains how Jeremy Lin has provided an even bigger boost to Knicks ticket prices than Carmelo Anthony did last year.
Jeremy Lin was not selected to play in the 2012 NBA All-Star Game, but he may participate in the Haier Shooting Stars competition on Saturday night according to a league source.
Jeremy Lin is undefeated as a Knicks starter and at the center of the NBA, and that's put him at the center of Las Vegas, too. Catch up on the latest betting odds surrounding Linsanity. All content is produced by SB Nation's odds partners at OddsShark.com.
Jeremy Lin has captured the nation's heart during his star-making turn with the New York Knicks. He's done it all and become an international phenomenon in just six short games.
Jeremy Lin was again the Knicks hero against the Raptors, and after his first NBA game-winner, Linsanity is crazier than ever. It won't always be this good, but no matter what happens next, let's remember this forever.
If anyone is lagging behind on their Wednesday morning NBA news, Jeremy Lin went wild again on Tuesday night. The New York Knicks point guard wasn't quite as impressive as most have come to expect, considering he turned the ball over eight times against the Toronto Raptors, but all was forgiven when he nailed the game-winning three-pointer with less than one second left to play.
Lin finished the game with 27 points and 11 assists to go along with the abnormal amount of giveaways, but it was his final three-point bucket that everyone will remember. It personified Linsanity and luckily for those that weren't able to watch in real-time (video of the play is included here), Posting and Toasting's Seth Rosenthal walked everyone through the final moments in his excellent game recap.
Know who else had 12 points in the fourth? Jeremy Lin. He'd spent much of the night forcing shots and turning the ball over in traffic (though he had a pretty decent line anyway), but just gritted his teeth and attacked in the fourth quarter, repeatedly scoring and drawing contact on the move. After missing some important free throws, Lin converted an absurd three-point play to tie the game, then, with the game tied and time winding down, he waited...and waited...and waited...and...
Just absurd. This came after Shumpert rimmed a nice look at a mid-range jumper and Tyson Chandler tipped out an offensive rebound. Mike D'Antoni opted not to call a timeout, and instead told the Knicks to space the floor and let Lin work. He dribbled out the clock while I jumped up and down on my chair screaming "GO! GO! GO!". Calderon sagged off a step, and Lin just pissed in his eye. It just gets crazier and crazier.
Indeed it does get crazier and crazier and, unfortunately for the teams playing the Knicks in the future, it doesn't seem like there's any end in sight to his reign of terror.
Even when the former D-League player has an off-night, as he did Tuesday, he seems to revel in being the go-to guy in crunch time, thus making it impossible to count the Knicks out. (At least until Carmelo Anthony or Amare Stoudemire want the ball in their hands with the clock ticking down its final seconds.)
No matter how long the magic lasts, however -- and it was magic, as the National Post's Bruce Arthur pointed out in his gamer -- it seems that Lin's game-winner on Friday will be one worth remembering.
The Jeremy Lin show has now officially gone international. Linsanity rolled into Canada on Tuesday night as the newly-minted superstar helped stage a dramatic fourth-quarter comeback for the New York Knicks against the Toronto Raptors. It even included dropping the game-winning three-pointer with less than a second left on the clock.
Lin was interviewed at courtside immediately following the victory, where he was able to give his thoughts on the game as well as heap plenty of praise on his teammates. Check out the video below to see more of the unadorned, self-effacing charm that makes Lin so likable beyond his immense skills on the basketball court. The video features a fun cameo as well. Take a look:
The Knicks are still undefeated in the Lin era. One wonders how much longer this level of ridiculousness can continue.
Floyd Mayweather says that Jeremy Lin is overhyped because he's Asian, and he may have a point. But that doesn't take away from the best story in sports. It makes it even better.
As Jeremy Lin takes over the basketball world, Dan Grunfeld examines the phenomenon from a player's perspective. Warning: calculators not included.
Jeremy Lin has changed the New York Knicks' fortunes on the court. But his impact goes far deeper than wins and losses.
Since the merger, actually. Since the 1976-1977 season — which ended with the Portland Trail Blazers' most recent championship — no NBA player has scored more points in their first three starts than Jeremy Lin a.k.a Linsanity a.k.a The Harvard Hurricane a.k.a. Super Lintendo.
Jeremy Lin has 89 points thru his first 3 starts, most pts by ANY NBA PLAYER in his first 3 starts since the merger (1976-77) via #Elias— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) February 11, 2012
Those are some Lincredible numbers. I'm not going to play the comparison game, though. I mean, who cares how many points Michael Jordan scored in his first three starts (74)? Does it matter what Karl Malone, who scored the most points of anyone since the merger, did those first three starts (35)? How about the game's active leading scorer, who also happened to be Lin's opponent, Kobe Bryant (41)? Hmm, would it matter if it was more recent, and played Lin's position, like Derrick Rose (55)?
It doesn't matter at all, we think. He can't possibly continue this, we believe. But if leading the New York Knicks to four wins in the four games he's made his contributions doesn't convince you he's making real progress as a starting NBA point guard and doesn't convince you he's around for the long haul, maybe some history will.
The Jeremy Lin Experience is less than a week old, but the young Knicks guard has already captivated just about everyone paying attention. On Friday night, he turned in his best game yet, notching 38 points in a 92-85 win over the Lakers at The Garden. It was quite the show in a nationally-televised ESPN matchup.
But how close was all this to not happening at all? Marc Stein reports.
Sources w/knowledge of New York's thinking say Knicks were leaning strongly toward releasing Lin before his breakout game last SAT vs. Nets— Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) February 11, 2012
It had to do with contracts, which makes plenty of sense, Stein also reported.
Tuesdy, remember, was deadline to release players w/unguaranteed contracts before those deals became guaranteed. Lin was in serious jeopardy— Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) February 11, 2012
Assuming this will add to the ever-growing list of storylines about Lin and his sudden success. It's impressive how quickly things have turned for both Lin and the Knicks. Before Saturday, the Knicks had lost 11 of 13 and looked to be in deep trouble. Now, they've won four-straight, and Lin Fever has taken off at a breakneck pace.
And it sure doesn't look like Lin is going anywhere, at least in a contract sense, anytime soon.
I know Kobe is Black Mamba, but I'm thinking this Jeremy Lin sign wasn't necessary.
Let's just stick to the Lin puns, guys. Yellow Mamba can tossed in the trash now, thank you.
There are signs, jerseys, shirts, shirseys, and now, there are masks. Oh the Lin-manity. The signs and shirts and the like are cool, and getting the fever is all well and good, just your standard, run-of-the-mill fandom. These masks, though, are creepy. Not in the "wearing someone else's face on your face" kind of creepy either.
I think what really does it is the eyes. Cold. Devoid of emotion. Like an automaton bent on running an effective pick and roll and bucking every convention of analyzing players coming out of college. I mean, if you're going to go with a face to hide behind while you're cheering, at least use a moment like this.
Blue tongue masks are the way to go, man.
For more on Linsanity and his teammates, too, visit Knicks blog Poasting and Toasting and SB Nation New York. For updates and info on their opponents tonight, visit Lakers blog Silver Screen and Roll and SB Nation Los Angeles.
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The short-handed Knicks rode Jeremy Lin to another win, this time over the visiting Utah Jazz.
Jeremy Lin was a revelation in his first start, shining in the Madison Square Garden spotlight while scoring 28 points to lead the Knicks past the Jazz, 99-88.
Jeremy Lin is penciled in as the new starting point guard for the New York Knicks, marking another milestone for the former Harvard standout.
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