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Jeremy Lin was recently asked about the comparison between himself and Tim Tebow. And to Lin’s credit, he had this to say (via ESPN)…I think our stories are different in a lot of different ways. But I respect him. You know, I respect what he did. I’m a fan of Tebow. I’m not really afraid to say that. But I don’t know if our stories are necessarily comparable.
From the perspective of just pure buzz and the ability to transcend the sport, Jeremy Lin is the NBA’s Tim Tebow. They are also both underdogs that are devout Christians. But there are also stark differences. After all, Tebow was a highly-recruited high school player that went to one of the biggest football programs (Florida) and won a Heisman Trophy.
A more apt comparison might be another NFL quarterback, Kurt Warner.
Neither Jeremy Lin nor Kurt Warner received any scholarship offers from Division-I schools out of high school.
Lin wound up attending Harvard, while Kurt Warner accepted an offer from Northern Iowa, a I-AA school.
Neither player was drafted out of college and both would be forced to try out for teams.
Jeremy Lin signed a 2-year deal with the Golden State Warriors but only appeared in 29 games his rookie year, averaging just 2.6 points per game. He was released prior to the 2011-12 season. Kurt Warner was signed by the Green Bay Packers after college, but was released before the season began.
During his rookie season with the Warriors, Jeremy Lin was sent to the D-League several times. And earlier this year, the Knicks also sent him to the D-League, but was recalled three days later. After being released by the Packers, Kurt Warner spent time in both the Arena Football League and NFL Europe.
After appearing in only one game his rookie year with the St. Louis Rams, Kurt Warner was supposed to be the backup quarterback in his second season. However, an injury to starter Trent Green elevated Warner to first-string. Likewise, after a brief stint with the Houston Rockets, Jeremy Lin was only signed by the Knicks as a result of an injury to Iman Sumpert. And it was the slow recovery from Baron Davis' injury that kept the Knicks from releasing Lin and finally giving him a shot.
Unlike the growing pains of Tim Tebow, Both Lin and Warner proved immediately that they were the real-deal
Like Jeremy Lin, Kurt Warner's impact was powerful and immediate, throwing for 309 yards and three touchdowns in his first start. He would go on to win the MVP award that season and lead the Rams to a Super Bowl championship.
But unlike Tebow, Lin and Warner are less overt about their religious beliefs.
Lin's career is just starting, so only time will tell if he can lead the Knicks to a championship like Warner did with the Rams
To make the comparison complete, the Knicks are going to have to win a title.
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