Reality Means Repetition, the Case of Jeremy Lin

Posted on May 31, 2012 by


Nowadays, realities only seem to be thought to exist in one of three ways:  a)  if they are repeated a number of times, b)  over a “long period” of time, or c)  something happens with a large number of people.

Case in point:  people (or cyborgs) on basketball message boards refusing to acknowledge Jeremy Lin as a formidable basketball player.

Lin’s accomplishments “don’t exist” in the minds of some fans because what he has done so far has only happened over the course of a few months.

In his first 6 starts, he scored more points than any other player in their first 6 starts in NBA history, including, gasp, my childhood hero, the one, the only, Miiiii-chaaaaelll Joooooorrrrr-daaaaaannn, global name, global icon.

He continued his phenomenal success for 2 months and was able to put his team into a position in the playoffs.

Lin’s accomplishments caused much of a stir all over America, as I documented earlier.

For me, Lin’s instantaneous rise to success brought questions about “flukes.”  I hope that Jeremy Lin, the hope of all basketball-playing Asian-American men who have been made or make themselves invisible, would not be a “fluke.”  “Flukes” are defined as “chance occurrences”, as in something that randomly happens, but is not likely to repeat itself again.  In sports, I associate “flukes” with players who do not last.  Players who do not last are somehow “fake” in the sense that their success was somehow negligible.  “Repetition”, “reproduction”, “doing it over and over again” makes for “reality.”

Jeremy Lin was able to repeat his success in a period of time, a few months, but now the question is: can he continue to repeat that success the next year?