Mark Cuban says if Jeremy Lin played in Charlotte nobody would notice

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How much is Linsanity driven by Jeremy Lin’s play, and how much is driven by the fact he is doing it in New York City?

That question has been out there from the start. Mark Cuban caught Linsanity and made the point to ESPNNewYork.com that the fact this is happening in New York is good for the league (via SLAM).

But he made that point in the most Cuban of ways.

“If it was happening in Charlotte, no one would know,” Cuban said, exaggerating for effect.

“New York is still kind of the mecca of the media for basketball,” Cuban added. “It’s great for the league, so you’ve got to love it. And Jeremy Lin is a great kid, so I’m happy for him.”

Jeremy Lin would be a big story regardless of where he played because he is an archetypal storyline — the overlooked, knocked around, twice-cut guy who kept pursuing his dream and once he got a chance exploded on the biggest stage. He’s Rocky in hoops form. Right now, in an America where many are still feeling the sting of the economic downturn, that story resonates all the more. It’s powerful. Besides, Lin put up better numbers in his first four starts — 28 points per game — than any first four games for a starter in NBA history. That would make noise in any market.

Now, did him doing that in New York help ramp up the intensity? You bet. Same with his Asian heritage. But that’s not why he’s a story.

I think Cuban was trying to say that Lin playing in New York made the story bigger. He just did it in such a Cuban way.