Is Jeremy Lin the Point Guard Gotham Needs, or the Point Guard it Deserves?
|February 10, 2012||Posted by ReubenFB under Geo-Analysis|
In my post “ What It Means to be an Urban Sport ,” I posited that as Hispanic and Asian populations in U.S. cities continued to grow, the NBA would start to see more American-born Hispanic and Asian stars. Well just three weeks later Jeremy Lin is proving me right, in his last three games with the Knick he’s 29-50 from the field with 25.3 points and 8.3 assists per game. People are .
Part of this is due to location (New York media market) and part of it has to do with timing (the 7-week stretch with no NFL or MLB), but at the end of the day the Lin story is so compelling because, well, he just came out of fucking nowhere . Lin’s uniqueness in the NBA really boils down to two things:
- He’s Asian-American
- He graduated from Harvard
Which of these narratives is driving public opinion of Lin? The stupid coloring in the makes it seem that there’s universal support for Lin, but there’s actually a considerable range from state to state, with Hawaii as the most Lin-supportive (73%) and North Dakota as the least (51%). Are states with higher levels of education (measured in percent with BAs ) more likely to support Lin? How about states with a larger Asian population ? Excluding New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut, here’s what we get:
NOTE: Hawaii, which by far has the highest Asian population in the U.S. (38%), was included in the analysis but removed from the graphs for visual reasons.
States with more BA’s were no more likely to support Lin, with R-sq = 0.3%. States with larger Asian populations, on the other hand, were definitely more likely to support Jeremy Lin, with an R-Sq value of 28.9% signifying that almost 30% of the variance between states in this poll can be attributed to this one one thing. Most notably, Hawaii, California, Nevada, and Washington – all > 7% Asian – showed the 1st, 4th, 5th, and 6th highest support for Lin respectively, while North Dakota, Wyoming, South Dakota, and West Virginia – all < 1% Asian – showed the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 9th least support for Lin.
Now this is just an ESPN poll and we shouldn’t read too much into these results, but it’s not surprising that the Asian-American community in the U.S. may have rallied around Lin. If the future Asian-American stars of the NBA all own Lin throwbacks, you can say that you were there the moment it all began.
Or in a couple hours he’ll foul out against the Lakers with 6 points and 12 turnovers, and this will all blow over. Either way.