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Jeremy Lin puts pun back in sports

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I think I’ve reached my Lin-mit. Stop the Lin-sanity. E-Lin-inate the ridiculous puns. Or let’s just rename puns “Lins” and have done with it. Because my eyes and ears are having a bleeding contest, and I’m not sure which will Lin. Win. I’m not sure which will win. My brain is now entering the fray.

Lin-ner Lin-ner chicken dinner.

Help me, Obi Lin. You’re my only hope. . . . Argh!

It’s not that I don’t love Jeremy Lin’s story. Who doesn’t? This is a Lin-tessential — nuts! — American tale, no matter Lin’s ethnicity. While this country is allegedly the great melting pot, the negative tweets by some negative twits indicate the pot’s been simmering on the back burner too long. Someone, stir the damn thing, and let’s move past having to categorize everyone, instantly, by his racial makeup. When I heard ESPN compare Lin’s “pedigree” to Tim Tebow’s, I thought perhaps the Westminster Dog Show was back in town.

If you’re a Knicks fan, Jeremy Lin is a great story. If you’re not a Knicks fan, he’s a great story. Because here comes Carmelo Anthony back from injury, and here’s this unknown guy and suddenly Melo’s the one who has to be worked into the lineup, not the other way around. That’s fun for Knicks haters, although Anthony has been very gracious.

Lin is fully aware of the potential damage of being that guy, the guy whose postgame interviews are drowned out by the chanting crowd, whose locker is the center of the media scrum, who takes the limelight away from his teammates. This is where the similarity to Tebow is real: He distributes credit like he distributes the ball — and he is averaging 9.2 assists in 10 starts.

But you knew Lin had really arrived, that he was past the novelty act, when the media began to look for flaws. He commits a lot of turnovers, 5.6 a game. (More than John Wall, according to a graphic I saw last week!) I believe the first criticism appeared after his seventh game. In New York, that’s got to be a record for restraint, anyway.

He has hit a game-winning shot and he has had off-nights — well, only one, really, against the Kings — and he was averaging 24.6 points a game entering Wednesday night’s game against Atlanta. The Knicks are 8-2 since he joined the starting lineup.

After participating in the pre-All-Star Game festivities this weekend, he will drive the pace car in Sunday’s Daytona 500 then jet to Los Angeles, where he’ll both present and receive the Oscar for Best Original Screenplay. Forget the tux; Billy Crystal will host the show in a Lin jersey. He’ll get a late invite to try out for the O-Lin-pic team. (Damn it.) He’ll be on “The Bachelor,” “Dancing with the Stars” and “Celebrity Apprentice” during the offseason.

I believe one sentence in that previous paragraph could be true. Or all of them. Because let’s face it, he’s a Lin-spiration to us all. We might as well embrace the Lin-go and just Lin-joy the ride. And the bleeding eyes and ears. I’m going to need new shirts. Anyone know where I can pick up a few Lin-sanity T-shirts?

For Tracee Hamilton’s previous columns, go to washingtonpost.com/
hamilton.

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