Jeremy Lin's Rise to Prominence: Is Selling Jerseys After 4 Games Too Early?

Alex GiobbiAnalyst IFebruary 11, 2012

NEW YORK, NY - FEBRUARY 10:  Jeremy Lin #17 of the New York Knicks brings the ball up court against the Los Angeles Lakers at Madison Square Garden on February 10, 2012 in New York City.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Chris Chambers/Getty Images)
Chris Chambers/Getty Images

Jeremy Lin's recent statistical output has definitely turned heads, even if it's only been for four games. And who can't blame him. After a career game where he dropped 38 points against the Los Angeles Lakers, his status as a fan favorite this season has been practically set in stone. 

But just how popular is he? According to several articles, Lin's No. 17 jersey and "Linsanity" shirt has hit Madison Square Garden stores faster than you can say Carmelo Anthony.

With the exception of high first-round draft choices, it's very uncommon for a player just off the bench to have his jersey sold that quickly. Heck, even Knicks rookie first-round choice Iman Shumpert probably hasn't seen his jersey on sale yet. 

I'm not trying to detract from Linsanity, in fact, I wholly support it, despite the fact that I myself am a fan of a different team, I just think it's a bit early to start toasting his success. You have to remember that before the Knicks played the New Jersey Nets, Lin was playing in the NBA D-League.

His story, most certainly, is great, being the first Harvard grad in over 50 years to play in the NBA and being an American of Asian descent playing in the NBA. However, I think that Knicks fans and the media are putting him up on a pedestal way too early. He's basically becoming as hyped as Bryce Harper, top prospect outfielder for the Washington Nationals baseball team. 

I don't want to say that Lin's success is going to his head, he's certainly not having the attitude problem that has been associated with Harper, who has been hyped since his sophomore year of high school. Harper has let the success go to his head.

He's arrogant, thinks he's better than everyone else and to make matters worse, people are encouraging it, especially the Nationals, who have been selling Harper T-shirts and jerseys ever since he was drafted, a highly unusual practice for a guy who has no major league experience.

This isn't to say that Lin will follow down Harper's path, in fact, he seems to be a humble guy. He keeps to himself, sleeps on his brother's couch and does what he's told, like a good player. He's obviously the anti-Harper here.  

Going back to Lin, I hope he continues to have success throughout the season. Though I think selling his jersey is a bit premature, I hope he continues to have the statistical output that has both the fans and the media gushing.

Maybe by the end of the year he will prove that he has the ability to sell jerseys at MSG, but if I had the choice between buying a Lin or a Landry Fields jersey now, I'd opt for the latter or wait until the end of the season to decide.