The world is filled with sappy sports movies.
There's adversity. There's an athlete overcoming that adversity. Then there's a moment where the athlete is able to overcome it. From “Rudy” to “The Rookie,” it's a formula used time and again.
So, watching the documentary “Linsanity” on Netflix's streaming service, I didn't have high expectations.
The thing is, it caught my attention. Like a lot of people, I knew what happened that one week in New York, but I have little idea who he was before and after that. What the documentary showed was, well … fascinating.
Race and religion
There were assumptions made about Lin from the start on religion, and one of the funniest parts is when Lin's mom talks about how Jeremy used to get in the car everyday mad at her because she isn't taller. She then would say “blame your father” because, at 5-foot-6, she was actually tall for an Asian woman.
One of the main themes of the movie is how Lin was pigeon-holed by his ethnicity and used his faith to overcome it. When that was being done, however, not a lot of people seemed to understand that Lin was just a regular kid who grew up in the suburbs loving basketball.
That couldn't have been more clear from the footage before and after his big week.
Lin didn't get any scholarship offers and didn't get picked in the NBA draft, but after finding some summer league success he was able to land on the Golden State Warriors roster before getting waived by the Warriors and Rockets and eventually, because of an injury, getting claimed by the Knicks.
He was just a body on the end of the Knicks bench and it was at a point where Lin felt, after a bad game, that he was about to get cut again and it could be the end of the line. Lin was down to what looked to him like the last chance of his NBA career when the Linsanity explosion began the day after he slept on a teammate's tiny couch.
The rest is …. history.
But the documentary is worth a watch.
Lin, now with the Lakers, is someone you'll find yourself rooting for, even knowing how the story ends, especially at the end of a game against Toronto.
At the time, it seemed to come out of nowhere. But it's amazing to see how much of a surprise it really was and how much it changed, immediately, for Jeremy and his family.