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Saturday, February 11, 2012

WHO ARE JEREMY LIN AND CHARLIE WI?


Well, Jeremy Lin (above) and Charlie Wi (right) are both oriental, with the former astonishing the basketball world, and the latter, leading a golf tournament.  It has come so suddenly, that Lin rents an apartment because he fears the New York Knicks could cut him this week before  his contract becomes guaranteed.  He was claimed off waivers only on December 27 because of an injury to a guard.  

This all started only a week ago for Lin, when, again because of injuries, he got an opportunity to play real minutes.  But, oh my, until February, the team had lost 5 of their previous 6 games, but since his run, the Knicks have won five straight, with key players (Amare Stoudemire, Baron Davis and Carmelo Anthony) missing:

  -  February 4:  scored 25 points, grabbed five rebounds and had seven assists, all career highs, against the New Jersey Nets.

  -  February 6:  (Utah Jazz) 28 points and 8 assists.

  -  February 8:  (Washington Wizards) double-double--23 points and 10 assists.

  -  February 10:  (Los Angeles Lakers) 38 points and 7 assists, totally outplaying Kobe Bryant. 

  -  February 12:  (Minnesota)  20 points, 8 assists, 6 rebounds 3 steals, including a key free throw at the end.

Who is Jeremy Shu-How Lin?  His parents are from Taiwan, both 5 ft 6 in tall.  He is 6 ft 3 in, 23 years old, and was born in Los Angeles, but mostly lived around the Stanford Campus.  He was good enough to go to Stanford, for he was the Northern California player of the year, but was rebuffed, and ended up at, of all the rotten deals, Harvard University, where he earned a degree with a 3.1 GPA and a spectacular college basketball career, breaking a number of Ivy League records.  He also started something, as Harvard was ranked in the Top 25 for the first time in history, but will drop out this week because they just lost to Princeton tonight.

Of course, he was undrafted, and bounced around various NBA teams until his appearance on the Knicks roster.  He is the ONLY Chinese American to ever play in the NBA.  Yao Ming, now retired, is from China.  Lin is now, probably, though, the most popular American in China, and has already been asked to play for both the Chinese and Taiwanese National Teams.  His next game is at Toronto, 7PM EST on Valentine's Day, February 14.  

Why is he suddenly a phenomenon?  Revenge of the Underdog Benchwarmer?  Vicarious retribution?  Madison Square Garden is the epitome of basketball, and when he returns home on the 15th against the Sacramento Kings, tickets will go for four digits.

Charlie Wi is -15 at Pebble Beach this week.  He is 40 years old and was born in Seoul, but moved to Los Angeles at the age of 10.  Michelle Wie's parents are also from Korea, but she was born in Hawaii, and is expected to graduate from Stanford next month.  Charlie graduated from Cal Berkeley and has yet to win a PGA tournament.  Ken Duke, 43, is one stroke behind and also has never won a PGA.  But lurking at #3 is Tiger Woods (-11) and Phil Mickelson (-12), with four others.  The drama is that Kyle Stanley lost a 5-stroke lead at Torrey Pines and Spencer Levin fell apart with a 6-shot lead in the Phoenix Open.  Watch them all on CBS from 3PM EST Sunday.

The joy of this tournament is that they feature amateurs, in keeping with the attitude of Bing Crosby.  Tiger Woods' partner is Tony Romo, quarterback of the Dallas Cowboys.  The resident clown is Bill Murray, here dressed in some camouflage outfit for a turkey shoot, I think:


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Tropical Cyclone Giovanna is at 115 MPH and will make landfall on Madagascar by Monday:


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