Media Blog

The One Man Who Saw The Coming of Jeremy Lin

The overwhelming narrative surrounding Jeremy Lin in the media is that no one saw him coming. Turns out that one man did predict Jeremy Lin’s success. From the Wall Street Journal:

The morning after Jeremy Lin sank a thrilling, last-second three-pointer that lifted the New York Knicks over the Toronto Raptors and gave “Linsanity” its latest, rapturous chapter, the mysterious basketball oracle who saw it coming almost two years ago woke up in Bend, Ore., and blended himself a healthy green shake: celery, spinach, kale, orange juice. He put on his uniform, packed some trail mix for the road and pulled on his winter hat.

Then he went off to his day job: driving a FedEx Ground delivery truck.

Who is this prophet and how did he do it?

In May 2010, an unsung numbers hobbyist named Ed Weiland wrote a long-term forecast of Jeremy Lin for the basketball website Hoops Analyst. At the time, Lin was a lightly regarded, semi-known point guard who had completed his final season at Harvard. But Weiland saw NBA material. He emphasized how well Lin played in three nonconference games against big schools: Connecticut, Boston College and Georgetown. He noted how Lin’s performance in two unsexy statistical categories—two-point field-goal percentage (a barometer of inside scoring ability) and RSB40 (rebounds, steals and blocks per 40 minutes) compared favorably with college numbers put up by marquee NBA guards like Allen Iverson and Gary Payton. Weiland concluded that Lin had to improve on his passing and leadership at the point, but argued that if he did, “Jeremy Lin is a good enough player to start in the NBA and possibly star.”

Aside from his impressive prognostication, Ed Weiland is also a tribute to the useful, democratizing power of the Internet. Hoops Analyst and other similar websites have provided for an alternative route for insightful commentary to reach the world.

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