Every now and again every sports fan is confronted with a dilemma. A player you like joins a team you hate. I'm not talking about a situation where a player that played for your team, skipped town and joined your most hated rival. Such a case is pretty straight forward: you will loathe that player forever.
I'm talking about those players who don't play for your team, but you have a certain fondness for them and you'd like to see them do well. When those players end up on a team you hate… then what?
Even if said player didn't play for your team, usually, things change into past tense pretty quickly. I used to like Brett Favre, then he joined the Jets. "Like him" turned to "used to like him". I liked Shaq when he was with Orlando, then he went to LA and I kind of hated his guts for a while (once he started to move around the league, we went into an "It's Complicated" phase). I used to really like Deion Sanders when he was in Atlanta (in 2 sports, mind you), but that went out the window when he arrived in Dallas.
The raising to fame of Jeremy Lin puts me in a spot I'm not familiar with. He already IS playing for a team I hate. So why is it so hard for me to root against him?
Well, first of all, of course it's that classic Cinderella Story thing he's got going. Undrafted, unrecruited, you know it by now. In addition, throw in that: A) he belongs to a minority that could really use a sports icon to help shatter barriers that unfortunately still exist, B) he went to Harvard and we all kind of get a kick out of seeing brainiacs succeed in sports (also, although I never went there, Harvard is especially near and dear to my hart), and finally – C) he stuck it to the Lakers the other night. Now my confusion becomes a little bit more understandable. Plus, he genuinely looks like he is having the time of his life.
So what's a fan to do? Ultimately same old answer applies. Hated team still trumps liked player… If Lin scores 40 and the Knicks lose every time, that would be great, but I doubt that would happen. Whether it is around to stay or comes and goes, the Linsanity bandwagon, therefore, has to leave without me… and who knows? These are the Knicks, he might get traded someday…
Too bad Golden State cut you Jeremy, things could have been different between us…