Things I Havent Heard Anyone Say About Jeremy Lin Yet

***Flashback to last Saturday***

Background: It’s my dad’s birthday, and I let my mom know that I got them tickets to see The Pittsburgh Jazz Orchestra. After giving her the particulars (show starts at 8, tickets are under my name, etc), the conversation segued to a surprising place.

Mom: “So, Melo’s coming back soon, huh?”

Champ: “Huh?”

Mom: “Melo.” 

Champ: “Mom, what are you talking about?”

Mom: “Carmelo Anthony. He’s supposed to be coming back soon. Do you think he’s going to be able to fit in with Jeremy Lin?”

Now, my mom never played sports herself, but she has a general understanding of the rules of each of the major sports, and she knows who the stars (and each of the Steelers) are. Basically, she isn’t one of those people who’d say something like “Oooh, nice dunk!” while watching a football game. I mean, when you have a son and a husband who are diehard sports junkies, I guess you can’t help but become a fan as well.

With that being said, I realized exactly how much hype and attention New York Knicks point guard Jeremy Lin has received when I saw that it managed to turn my mom into Stephen A. Smith. A woman who, just a few months ago, asked me to demonstrate for her exactly what “pick and roll” means is now asking me if “Melo” is going to ruin the Knicks’ chemistry and if he’s just a bad fit for D’Antoni’s offense.

Now, in the past couple weeks I’ve had various people ask for my take on Linsanity. I didn’t really want to write about it though, because, well, everyone else is, and I just couldn’t think of an interesting and unique angle I could take.

But, after thinking about it for a few days, there are actually a few things I haven’t heard anyone say about him yet. Not to say that they haven’t been said. I just haven’t personally seen or read them.

Here’s five of them.

1. The person who has the most to lose with Linsanity? Either Derrick Rose or Dwyane Wade.

Although the NFL is the undisputed king among professional sports in America, once you leave North American soil, the NBA is the American sports league that travels the best. China is a perfect example of this, as the NBA is the most popular sports league in the world’s biggest country.

Where do Dwyane Wade and Derrick Rose fit into all of this? Well, when the NBA decided to allow fans to vote for All-Star starters online, Chinese fans took advantage of this, stuffing the ballot boxes so that Yao Ming and his Houston Rockets teammate, Tracy McGrady, were starters for the West every year. Since Yao Ming and Tracy McGrady happened to be the Western Conference’s best players at their respective positions (center and small forward) at that time, it was no big deal.

But, while it’s too late for Lin to be voted in as a starter in this year’s All-Star game, there’s absolutely no chance in hell that he won’t be picked as a starter next year. And, since he’s starting, either D. Wade or Derrick Rose won’t be. In fact, even if he starts sucking, you could probably pencil Lin in as an All-Star starter for the next four or five years.

Hmm. In a league where star players are obsessed with their legacies  — and “How many All-Star games did he start when he was in his prime?” is a question people ask when trying to determine a player’s legacy — I wonder how guards clearly better than Lin are going to feel when realizing he’s going to be starting ahead of them for years to come.

2. This could not have happened anywhere other than New York City.

People have argued that the Linsanity craze wouldn’t have happened if he happened to be in a city like Milwaukee or Memphis or Cleveland or Detroit. I agree, but for different reasons. I don’t think he’d be playing as well as he has been if he was in one of those cities. 

It’s been repeated ad nauseum that the Knicks were a perfect fit for him. Perfect coach for him to play for, perfect offense for him to run, perfect group of teammates for him to play with, and even a perfect time for him to play (His start coincidentally happened when Carmelo Anthony sat out a few games due to injury. If Melo never gets injured, Linsanity never happens)

But, as much as each of those things have helped him succeed, him being in New York F*cking City matters even more. Lin is clearly a guy who feeds off the crowd’s energy when he’s playing. Not to say that he doesn’t have genuine confidence, but the type of fearlessness (and occasional recklessness) he plays with gets a boost when you have 20,000 raucous people anticipating your every move. Madison Square Garden is the only NBA arena where 1. he’d get that type of environment and 2. the fans are knowledgeable enough to know that he needs it.

It’s obviously carried over. He has played well on the road since he became a starter. But, I just don’t think he’d have built the type of confidence to do this in Toronto if he didn’t get his initial boost in New York…and I’m sure he wouldn’t have had Raptors fans cheering for him.

3. 2011-2012 has seen a resurgence of “natural-born basketball playing” point guards. 

While they’re all great basketball players, you can argue that Derrick Rose, Russell Westbrook, and John Wall are athletes first. (You can also argue that John Wall is far, far, far, far, far away from being a great NBA player, but that’s another discussion for another day) Each of those guys are so athletic that they would have been great at any sport, and each of them, even MVP Rose, are still learning how to play point guard.

Yet, as Rose and Westbrook have made many assume that you need to be an amazing athlete to be a top-notch point guard today, with Jeremy Lin, Kyrie Irving (who I told y’all about two years ago), and Ricky Rubio, you have a trio of new to the NBA point guards; natural born basketball players who are succeeding despite not being world-class athletes. Of the three, Irving is (obviously) my favorite — a 19 year old (!!!) who literally has no offensive weaknesses — but I see pieces of each of them in each of their games, and this excites me as a basketball fan.

4. Jeremy Lin is handsome. This matters. 

As any sociologist will tell you, we’re hardwired to give attractive people certain advantages we don’t extend as easily to others. We assume they’re smarter, stronger, more confident, and more worthy of our trust and support. It’s no accident that most NFL quarterbacks would be considered attractive men even if they weren’t football players. In many cases, they were groomed to be quarterbacks at a young age in large part because they “looked the part” and coaches assumed they’d have the charisma and confidence to lead the rest of the team.

Why am I bringing this up? Well, there are many parallels between Jeremy Lin and Tim Tebow. Both have experienced unexpected success, both captivated the nation, and both will tell you that their success is in large part due to their Christian faith. And, just how I’d argue that Tebow wouldn’t have been as popular if he looked like, I don’t know, John C. Reilly, (In fact, I’d even go as far as to say that if Tim Tebow looked like John C. Reilly, he wouldn’t have been Tim Tebow: Star Quarterback at all), the fact that Jeremy Lin looks like he could be an American Apparel model has given Linsanity a boost that may not have occurred if he was plainer looking.

5. It’s been interesting watching people try to find parallels for Lin’s unexpected ascent. But, everyone seems to be missing the most obvious choice.

He’s been compared to Tim Tebow, Flip Murray, Billy Ray Bates, Fernando Venezuela, Tiger Woods, Yao Ming, and pretty much any other athlete who either 1. came out of nowhere to play at an all-star level for an extended period of time, 2. succeeded at a sport despite not having the racial makeup and background of the people who usually succeeded at that sport, or 3. became a national craze.

But, there’s a (seemingly) obvious name I haven’t heard yet, a person who managed to captivate the nation in a historic fashion despite having a funny name, an unusual background, and a chorus of haters who maintain that his success is only due to his race.

Hmm. Who could I possibly be talking about? I’ll give you one hint: They went to the same school. 

That’s enough Linsanity for me. People of VSB, what are you thoughts on the Jeremy Lin phenomenon? Do you think he’ll be a short-lived flash in the pan, or do you see his success continuing?

—Damon Young (aka “The Champ”)

Pink Kisses, Bad Ideas, and The Woman Shortage In China

I’ve come across some bad ideas in my day. Hell, I’ve probably been the mastermind behind half of them. You’ve heard of the Pet Rock? Of course you have.

Me? I came up with the Pet Rock leash. If you’re like me, you hate it when your rock gets away. It only took off in the crackhead community and as you can imagine, that led to nowhere.

Stop Snitchin’ t-shirts? Yeah, I tried to promote the Start Snitchin’ campaign but that one went awry after I refused to give my name to reporters out of fear of snitching on myself. Needless to say, that business tanked too.

The point is, I know a bad idea when I see one.

Pink Kisses? Come on down!

*Price Is Right music*

What is Pink Kisses? Glad you asked. It’s a site intended to help women through breakups. I won’t do it proper justice so I’ll let them tell you. Here’s there mission statement:

To help women through heartbreak with all sorts of fabulous pick-me-ups. We’ll surprise you with chocolates, flowers, texts, emails, and our exclusive virtual gifts; we even have our own PK Life Coach to help you set new goals and a “Diva for a Day” experience where we spoil you with a fabulous, personalized photo shoot, to help mark a new chapter in your life.

At Pink Kisses, we want to change women’s lives by inspiring them to take control of their own fate and reminding them they are fabulous creatures that deserve to be spoiled… time and again.

Hey Panama, what gives? That sounds like a great idea.

*scratches beard*

By jove, you’re right, it does. Why however could I think this was a bad idea?!

Oh, right. Women, you have PAY for these services to make yourself better. You need an example don’t you? Of course you do. Basically, say Shakashawn breaks your heart. Boo hoo you. You are heartbroken. Yes, you have a broken heart, hence your heartbrokenness which is how you get a broken heart. Where do broken hearts go?

Hello, Brooklyn.

Well ladies, for $272 you can send YOURSELF some flowers, text messages, some chocolates, and a few other things to make you feel like a lady again. Oh yeah, some life coaching lessons and some posters.


So let me get this right. You got your heart broken so what you should then do is pay some chicks who probably have men to send you pick me up text messages and flowers and chocolates which are the very things that will remind you that you don’t have a man to do those things for you…from women. Look, I suppose in spirit this is a good idea but why would any woman spend money on things that a man who likes you would do in order to remind herself that she’s going to be okay? It’s like a vibrator without batteries. No return on investment. Forgive my ignorance but I can’t see how sending yourself flowers helps you get over a breakup. Flowers aren’t cheap. So you lighten your bank account to look at something in your home that your ex would have sent, but didn’t. But yes, you are liberated!

Viva l’azaleas.







But ladies there’s hope. Apparently there’s a woman shortage in China - to the tune of about 32 million. You see, China has a one child-rule for certain peoples. And since female infanticide is an accepted part of culture due to the preference for male children, the Chinese done f*cked themselves (is this a pun?) out of the poonany. So ladies if you don’t feel like spending the money on a breakup kit from Pink Kisses you can go to China and find you a Chinaman. I’m sure they’ll be fighting over you hand and fist. That’s not a pun as I’m not saying all Chinamen are kungfu warriors, because they’re totally not. But I do know one thing, with that kind of shortage, there will be more wangs fighting of your sisters than you could shake a cat at.

What say you people, is the Pink Kisses thing a good or bad idea? OR is it a much needed tool to help women overcome a breakup? Guys, if there was a man version of this, perhaps with manly things in it, would you ever consider something like that to help boost your esteem…if nobody would ever find out about it?

And most importantly, ladies, would YOU date a Chinaman?


Dude, I Went To China And All I Got Was A White Guy!

10 bucks and he's yours!

The Chinaman has it right. In the land of China, the people hardly got nothing at all you can rent white people. I can’t lie, when I first read this article, extreme jealousy arose in me. Why hadn’t I thought of this great idea? This might be one of the most singular brilliant ideas in the canon of great ideas ever. Can you imagine how much more successful things would be if you could add a white person to the mix? No? Well the Chinaman has imagined it and made it real.

You go, China. You go.

Shoot, I’ve been trying to throw a white person (male or female) into the VSB mix for months now because I’m convinced that it would take us to the next level. Nevermind what the B in VSB stands for. Peep game, homey.

For a day, a weekend, a week, up to even a month or two, Chinese companies are willing to pay high prices for fair-faced foreigners to join them as fake employees or business partners.

Some call it “White Guy Window Dressing.” To others, it’s known as the “White Guy in a Tie” events, “The Token White Guy Gig,” or, simply, a “Face Job.”

And it is, essentially, all about the age-old Chinese concept of face. To have a few foreigners hanging around means a company has prestige, money and the increasingly crucial connections — real or not — to businesses abroad.

As much as I want to say how ridiculous this is, it really is a good idea. Face it, renting a Black person (as has been done by the good folks at Rent-A-Negro) really only goes so far. In most places in the world, having ninjas around doesn’t really make anybody WANT to do business with you. Hell, most of us scurry from our own Black business faster than Mike Vick from the scene of a crime in Virginia. But you add white people to the mix, things don’t seem as bleak.

This got me to thinking about some other areas where having white people present might be a plus – and why renting a white person would be a great idea for coporate America. Don’t white people put you at ease? They sure put me at ease!

1. Apartment complexes in “sketchy” areas

Have you ever gone to look at an apartment but wondered if you might get shanked if you came home too late? Me too. But what if at the very moment you were questioning the existence of Buddha, two white hipsters walked out of the building. laughing and yucking it up and got into a Prius and drove off. Wouldn’t that make you think it must not be THAT bad if white people were there? Imagine it being two girls. Two random white chicks aren’t living in the hood.

I’ll take it!

2. Bank

Don’t you trust your bank not to fail if white people put their money there? I know I do! If I was some random bank I’d pay some white people to ALWAYS be conducting transactions. Everyday from 9-5pm. I’d also put them on my brochure even if my entire clientele consisted of vatos and ninjas from South Central. Quanquisha, I’d like to make a deposit!

3. NAACP Board Meeting

We’re mostly all Black here. Every time I go to a church meeting (which has been years) it’s been marred by a bunch of Uncle Ruckus like behavior between bunches of ninjas not being willing to get stuff done. I imagine the NAACP having that problem times 10. I mean their order of business one year was to hold an ACTUAL funeral for the n-word. I’m not saying they don’t get sh*t done, I’m just saying they don’t get sh*t done. But if you add some white folks to the meetings, I’ll bet the list of items for business all get addressed. One thing we don’t like to do in the crommunrity is look bad in front of the pink folks. Rent a few and keep them coming to meetings and we just might get Lil Wayne freed from jail. Bumaye Wayne.

4. Local restaurant in the hood

Once white people start going there, on purpose, all the ninjas will follow because we LOVE to be late to the party. Even if its in our backyard.Yay. Rent a few white people to sit around and eat grits and collard greens all day and you’ve got yourself a burgeoning “New Hot Places To Go” writeup in BigTownPaper, USA.

Those are just a few of the places I feel like having a white person would be advantageous. Hell, I’m gonna see if I can rent me a white guy today…just so people think I’m smart. Or is that an Asian? Who cares! Let’s rent ethnics!

So good folks of VSB, where else might this be a good idea??

And just so we’re clear, PJ’s not a racist; all my diamonds caucasian.