Jeremy Lin: The Perseverance of Leadership

How is it that so many professional scouts and coaches missed the rising talent of Jeremy Lin? It could be that leadership requires multiple chances to succeed or fail, not just one opportunity.

What's the Latest Development?

America is crazy for Jeremy Lin, the Harvard graduate turned New York Knicks hero. Now that Lin has, in the words of some sports commentators, saved this NBA season from complete irrelevance, everyone who passed him up along the way must question why. To be sure, a lot of people passed him up. He received no scholarship money to play Division 1 college basketball and was not drafted by the NBA. Two weeks ago, he was not even on the Knicks' regular rotation. How is that nobody recognized his potential along the way?

What's the Big Idea?

Lin's abilities may have been passed over because of his race or because he is not a flashy player. Scouts may also concentrate too much on statistics when evaluating players. It is even possible that NCAA rules, which set limits on the number of times a player can be visited, prevented talent scouts from understanding the breadth of Lin's game. "With players like Lin who prove themselves over time, [coaches] have to take chances repeatedly." Leadership sometimes depends on repeated chances to prove one's abilities.

Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons/Gary King

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