Mark Sanchez may not be thrilled (nor are some other Jets if you read twitter), but Jeremy Lin is pumped up for it.
Lin has said before that he is a fan of Tim Tebow — both men are very religious, although it is more low-key with Lin while it is wrapped up in the very public persona of Tebow.
Now they are in the same city — Tebow has been traded to the Jets. Lin was asked about it by the New York Post.
“It’s awesome. I’m just excited for him and to see what he does,” Lin said after delivering a huge fourth quarter in the Knicks’ 82-79 win over the 76ers last night. “We’ll see what happens next year, but I’m excited obviously that he’s going to be in New York….
“I’ve only talked to him like once,” Lin said. “But he’s a great guy from everything I hear, and the conversation I had with him was great as well.”
The two situations are different — Tebow comes in behind an established quarterback, the Knicks were desperately searching for a point guard when Lin came on the scene. But maybe they can talk about combustible coaching situations, they have that in common.
There are similarities between NFL crossover sensation Tim Tebow and NBA crossover sensation Jeremy Lin: Both had to overcome a number of detractors in the sport, both are devoutly and publicly Christian, both have had success on the field/court, both have had an explosion in popularity.
Friendships have been formed on less. The two are talking and their religion is the connection, Lin’s former chaplain at Harvard, Adrian Tam told People Magazine (via IamaGM.com).
“They’ve spoken over the telephone. Jeremy’s been a fan of Tebow’s for a while, but only recently were they able to connect,” says Tam of Lin, who’s followed Tebow since his quarterback days on the national champion University of Florida football team.
“His comment to me was that Tim is a really great guy and that he’s very inspired by him,” adds Tam.
There are a lot of differences between the Tebow story and the Lin story as well. Unlike Lin, Tebow did not come out of nowhere — he is arguably the greatest college quarterback ever, the questions around him were about his game translating to the NFL level. Lin has been overlooked since high school. Plus there is Lin’s standing among the Asian-American community that is different.
As many others have said, to me Kurt Warner — grocery store bagger to Super Bowl champion quarterback — is a more apt parallel for Lin. But if Lin and Tebow connect and hit it off, good for them. They can go out and grab a few drinks together and… yea, probably not.
There are some similarities to the Jeremy Lin and Tim Tebow stories — and not just that they both throw bounce passes.
Both had built in followings but were not expected by most experts to make much of an impact at the professional level. Both have. Both still have some people expecting them to fall flat. Both are very religious (Lin has thought of becoming a minister after he is done playing).
Lin told the Rise Guys on 95.7 the Game in San Francisco that Tebow has served as an inspiration to him (via Sports Radio Interviews).
“Actually a lot of inspiration just because he’s such a polarizing figure but I think the things he says in interviews, his approach to the game is just unbelievable and I respect him so much. I want to be able to do some of the things that he does in terms of the amount of charity work and the non-profit work, and the way he impacts people off the field. I think that is what is most inspiring to me about him.”
There are also a lot of differences between Lin and Tebow. For one, Lin was a good player at Harvard but Tebow is arguably the greatest college quarterback ever. Tebow was still a high draft pick, Lin went undrafted. Tebow’s success at the NFL level lasted longer than Lin’s has so far in the NBA. There are about 1.2 million other differences we’re not going to name here — the links between the two are stretched.
But there are parallels.
When you think of athletes like LeBron James, Tim Tebow probably isn’t the first guy that comes to mind.
But LeBron James sees some similarities and relates to him, he told Chris Tomasson of FoxSportsFlorida.com. And stop with the “losing in the playoffs” jokes, that’s not what he meant.
“I can relate to him a lot,” said James, who like Tebow, is one of the most talked-about athletes anywhere. “I see how the media plays it sometimes and how the critics go at him and to see him continue to prove them wrong. If it’s a good game or a bad game on his part, he continues to stay positive and move forward. And that’s a great sign. It’s a great leader. You respect that no matter if you’re in that same sport or not….
“I’m one of those guys who has been in those shoes before, as well. . . I understood a lot of what he’s going through, what he went through, and it’s good to see him success(ful) now. You want to see greatness, you always want to see guys succeed — especially when people count you out from Day 1. That’s what I love about him. I always tweet about him.”
LeBron and Tebow have met, they are both endorsers of Nike.
I’m not sure people counted out LeBron the way they counted out Tebow. There were questions if Tebow could ever be an effective NFL quarterback, he has proven that he can win games. LeBron was an anointed golden child from his sophomore year of high school and the question was only really how high could he go, could he fully realize his potential? We’re still asking that.
But there is something to be said for relating to other guys under the microscope. Hard to imagine what it is like unless you’ve been there, and LeBron has certainly been there.
In Denver, it is all Tim Tebow all the time. The entire NBA seems that way lately (which is better than the all Brett Favre all the time era, I guess).
So at media day we should have known that Denver coach George Karl would get a Tebow question — who is the Tim Tebow of the NBA?
But this was a pretty thoughtful answer, from the Denver Post (via SLAM).
“With the will to win, Manu Ginobili is the type of guy, he has this exuberance of – we’re going to win the (darn) game with effort, passion and commitment. He’s the first guy that came to mind.
“A guy who wins it on his heart more than his skills – Ben Wallace. He was an undersized, defensive player who can’t score, but won a championship.”
I might throw Joakim Noah out there — Florida guy who nobody was quite sure how his game would blend in the NBA, but he’s worked out pretty well so far.
Karl’s answer doesn’t touch on the religious aspect of Tebow, which is part of why he has been in the spotlight. There are no shortage of religious NBA players — Dwight Howard, Warriors coach Mark Jackson are probably the best known — but no NBA player’s persona is tied to religion like Tebow’s.
If Tebow can up with a Manu like career, that’s not bad. Not bad at all.