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Beating the Odds

Perspective and Jeremy Lin

Football Hall of Famer Joe Namath wrote a book called “I Can’t Wait Until Tomorrow ‘Cause I Get Better-Looking Every Day.”

Now there’s another New York sensation, and we can only wonder what tomorrow will look like for Jeremy Lin.

Lin owns Broadway right now. He’s led the New York Knicks to six straight wins, the latest with a last-second shot against the Toronto Raptors. He’s testing the imagination of headline writers, with some top puns reported by Sportslifer Weblog. “Amasian!” President Obama has joined Lin’s group of fans. And, in a sure sign that he has arrived, Lin was featured in a segment of “The Colbert Report.”

Only one thing can ruin the whole thing for Lin. And that’s Lin himself. His biggest battle will be keeping his perspective when everyone in the world wants to be his friend.

I’m not saying that because I think Jeremy Lin has an ego. I’m saying it because I know that everyone has an ego.

“It is well to remember that the entire population of the universe, with one trifling exception, is composed of others,” Andrew J. Holmes in Wisdom in Small Doses.

It’s a hard thought to grasp. That’s why basketball coach John Wooden preached doing a good deed every day. It was a way to keep in mind that life is about others.

“The mark of a champion is to be everlastingly on the lookout against the self,” said golf legend Bobby Jones.

So far all the signs are good. Lin looks and sounds very much like someone sleeping on his brother’s coach.

“The amount of fun we’re having is unbelievable,’’ Lin said. “And it’s not because of me. It’s because we’re coming close as a team.’’

Tonight Lin and the Knicks try to make it seven straight wins when they play the Sacramento Kings at Madison Square Garden. It will be a test not of Lin’s ability but of his perspective.

“There isn’t a player in the league playing better than him,” said the Knicks’ Jared Jeffries. “He’s still so humble. I don’t know how he does it.’’

The question is how long he can keep doing it.

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