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Mark Cuban says if Jeremy Lin played in Charlotte nobody would notice

Feb 17, 2012, 11:22 AM EDT

Dallas Mavericks v Denver Nuggets Getty Images

How much is Linsanity driven by Jeremy Lin’s play, and how much is driven by the fact he is doing it in New York City?

That question has been out there from the start. Mark Cuban caught Linsanity and made the point to that the fact this is happening in New York is good for the league (via SLAM).

But he made that point in the most Cuban of ways.

“If it was happening in Charlotte, no one would know,” Cuban said, exaggerating for effect.

“New York is still kind of the mecca of the media for basketball,” Cuban added. “It’s great for the league, so you’ve got to love it. And Jeremy Lin is a great kid, so I’m happy for him.”

Jeremy Lin would be a big story regardless of where he played because he is an archetypal storyline — the overlooked, knocked around, twice-cut guy who kept pursuing his dream and once he got a chance exploded on the biggest stage. He’s Rocky in hoops form. Right now, in an America where many are still feeling the sting of the economic downturn, that story resonates all the more. It’s powerful. Besides, Lin put up better numbers in his first four starts — 28 points per game — than any first four games for a starter in NBA history. That would make noise in any market.

Now, did him doing that in New York help ramp up the intensity? You bet. Same with his Asian heritage. But that’s not why he’s a story.

I think Cuban was trying to say that Lin playing in New York made the story bigger. He just did it in such a Cuban way.

  1. 1972wasalongtimeago - Feb 17, 2012 at 11:43 AM

    What if LeBron said this?

    • cantonbound13 - Feb 17, 2012 at 2:56 PM

      Guaranteed LeBron regets going to South Beach. He knows deep down if he chose NY he would not be so hated everywhere he plays.

      • 1972wasalongtimeago - Feb 17, 2012 at 3:44 PM

        If LeBron went to NY, he’d be treated the same as NY fans treat A-Rod. If he had the same stats as Lin, he’d be getting killed for turning the ball over too much.

      • cantonbound13 - Feb 18, 2012 at 3:15 PM

        He would not be as hated as he is now if he won in NY.

    • Clayton Bigsby - Feb 17, 2012 at 5:10 PM

      If he were a Bobcat he would still be noticed, i.e. griifin Clippers Production at Lin’s level hasn’t been seen in a long time.

  2. kalooz - Feb 17, 2012 at 11:44 AM

    Personally, this whole “If Jeremy Lin were…..” comments/comparisons that keep getting made are getting older than the Jeremy Lin coverage itself.

    If Jeremy Lin was black, then this wouldn’t be a big deal.

    If Jeremy Lin were in Charlotte, no one would know.

    If Jeremy Lin… freaking what? He is what he is. Just let the dude play and enjoy his (possible) 5 minutes. I really do hate that we absolutely have to find fault with everyone…..cannot possible allow anyone to have success.

  3. mtheparrothead - Feb 17, 2012 at 11:46 AM

    You guys should partner with espn and announce the 24hr lin update network. Oh wait, it’s already here. Sigh.

  4. dannyocean83 - Feb 17, 2012 at 11:50 AM

    I agree with this 100%. He isnt taking anything away from Lin, or bring race into the conversation (looking at you Mayweather).

    Its NYC. everything is blown out of proportion. Shane Spencer was the second coming of roger maris…for about 3 weeks.

    With that being said, Lets Go Knicks!

  5. noirad - Feb 17, 2012 at 11:55 AM

    Mark Cuban stop hating.

    • florida727 - Feb 17, 2012 at 4:38 PM

      “If Lin was in Charlotte, nobody would notice.”

      If Mark Cuban owned a team in Dallas, nobody would care.

  6. tampajoey - Feb 17, 2012 at 12:05 PM

    If you think Mark Cuban whines a lot now just wait until Dirk retires and Cuban can’t get any superstar players to come play in Dallas.

    Oh well, Mark and the owners had their chance to fix that problem during the last CBA but they blew it.

    • kast2l - Feb 17, 2012 at 7:16 PM

      What athlete wouldnt wanna play for cuban? A owner thats gonna try to win multiple championships?

      • phaden27 - Feb 17, 2012 at 7:44 PM

        Anyone who was on the Clippers pre Blake Griffin? Looking at you Donald.

      • tampajoey - Feb 17, 2012 at 8:17 PM

        hey kast2l, I’m on your side. I love Mark Cuban. My point is the owners screwed up with the CBA letting the superstar players team up together in New York, L.A., Miami, Chicago to be in big market media spotlight.

        That’s going to leave the other 24 teams scrambling for the leftovers. Welcome to the new NBA.

    • cantonbound13 - Feb 18, 2012 at 3:18 PM

      Dumb comment that he won’t get stars in Dallas. Do you realize he cleared out cap space to go after Dallas native Derron Williams & Dwight Howard? By the way, they are still cometitive. I’m not even a Mavs fan.

  7. cowboychris5xchamps - Feb 17, 2012 at 12:12 PM

    noirad…how can you say that a multi billionaire with his own NBA franchise is hating on one guy? A guy who just broke into the league so to speak. He acknowledged it’s good for the league. Cuban is actually right because in Charlotte the team would still be losing and it wouldn’t be a story! My bad, you’re probably smarter than Mark Cuban aren’t you?

    • chiadam - Feb 17, 2012 at 3:05 PM

      Yes. Yes, I am. You’re probably not. You know, since you live in Texas.

    • passerby23 - Feb 18, 2012 at 9:19 AM

      I kind of agree. If he was in Charlotte and they went on a 7-game winning streak, it might be A story, just not as big as in New York. It still doesn’t change the fact that it’s a great story. I think what accentuates the story is that the Knicks had a lot of hype and were desperate for a point guard and out of nowhere comes Lin. But, I don’t think the story would be nearly as big outside of New York or LA.

  8. bklynfatpants - Feb 17, 2012 at 12:14 PM

    If Mark Cuban wasn’t an aging egomaniac with a billion dollars, no one would notice him either.

    • bsputnik - Feb 17, 2012 at 5:20 PM

      You ever tried being an aging egomaniac without a billion dollars? Its no fun, no one listens to you.

      • bklynfatpants - Feb 19, 2012 at 10:18 PM

        every day, bro.

  9. qdog112 - Feb 17, 2012 at 12:21 PM

    Cuban is absolutely correct. Any fool knows that whatever happens in NY is bigger than anywhere else. Evere heard of Madison Avenue? Well, there’s not one in Charlotte. It’s called Trade and Tryon and it’s not got media crawling all over it. The Lin story has taken on a life of itself that is media driven, beyond his ability to play.

    Learn to accept truth where you find it – no matter who says it. The ones who should stop hating, is the ones saying Cuban is wrong. He is right.

    • bparmalee - Feb 17, 2012 at 1:40 PM

      Lin is getting a ton of love because of the city of New York and the fans base of the Knicks. That being said… if he or anyone else took this current Bobcats team to .500 or had them in contention for the playoffs…. they would be the greatest basketball player ever!! Have you seen the Bobcats??? It’s the worst team ever assembled. Lin would have to average 30pts 15 assists and 20 rebounds to make that team a winner. So yeah… if Lin made the Bobcats a winner people would notice but that’s about as likely as MJ being executive of the year.

      • 00maltliquor - Feb 17, 2012 at 9:30 PM

        @ bparmalee

        I think “worst team ever assembled” is an understatement! With the way that team is just slapped together, you would assume that Jordan is just doing this on purpose to get the next 3 years 1st overall draft picks!

      • bparmalee - Feb 27, 2012 at 6:45 PM

        I agree..though the only thing scarier than Jordan running your team…is Jordan with a number 1 pick!!! I mean who knows what randomly terrible player he will pick.

      • qdog112 - Apr 11, 2012 at 8:06 AM

        You’re still wrong. Whatever happens in NY is automatically, exponentially larger than Charlotte. That’s just common sense.

  10. stadix093 - Feb 17, 2012 at 12:24 PM

    If it ain’t good for Cuban, he hates it. I think people would notice the Bobcats winning 7 straight seeing as they are currently on a 15 game losing streak. Hell he may be getting MORE press if he took that team on a seven game winning streak. We need to place Cuban and Dan Glibert in a rocket and blast it into the sun.

    • entropy13 - Feb 17, 2012 at 12:41 PM

      Uh, yeah right. The Hornets are currently in a 2-game win streak as well yet there’s no “press” on them (unless it’s talking about moving Kaman).

      So let’s make a hypothetical situation where the Bobcats are in a 7-game win streak. That would bring them to a 10-19 record that makes them marginally better than the Pistons, Raptors and matches the Kings’ record right now. Still nothing to make “a lot of press” now is it?

      • stadix093 - Feb 17, 2012 at 1:01 PM

        I’m not saying the Knick are contenders. I’m not even a Knick fan. I’m just saying its a great story and he is making it about New York. If Kemba Walker took the Cats on a 7 game win streak for example people would be impressed. Why is it so hard to give Lin his props? He has obviously come in and made a huge impact. The dude had hit game winners and is fun to watch. Cuban is a cry baby if anything happens that doesn’t benefit him and I find it annoying. I mean this guy was cut from 2 teams and almost released from a third. Sleeping on a couch! It’s a success story and one of the reasons sports are amazing. Sports are not amazing because of loud mouth self loving owners.

    • xeno75 - Feb 17, 2012 at 2:31 PM

      How is he hating it? He’s blaming the media for overblowing this story simply because its happening with the Knicks. Do you really think that’s wrong? He said nothing bad about Lin. Actually the Mavs gave him his first shot in the league.

  11. brokea$$lovesmesomeme - Feb 17, 2012 at 12:27 PM

    What a buzz kill.

  12. cantonbound13 - Feb 17, 2012 at 12:42 PM

    100% correct Mr. Cuban. You blew it LeBron!

    • 1972wasalongtimeago - Feb 17, 2012 at 3:48 PM

      Yeah, nobody notices LeBron in Miami.

  13. charlutes - Feb 17, 2012 at 12:45 PM

    its spelled lintensity

  14. smackingfools - Feb 17, 2012 at 1:04 PM

    Thanks for the donation to the city to keep the Greenville St Patricks Day parade alive for another year Mark. As well as all the other good you do for the city. So who’s hating!

  15. SOBEIT - Feb 17, 2012 at 1:12 PM

    Look, everyone knows that markets like NY and LA are huge for visibility. But I have not doubt that if Lin had this kind of personal and team success anywhere outside of the mega media markets, this would still be an amazing national and international sensation. Yao Ming drew similar though not as meteoric attention in Houston. But the problem is that NY was the right situation at the right time…and the NY media attention did help take it to a level that only NY can do. The door opened for Lin in NY because of a hole at PG. Lin could not have the same opportunity in Oakland because of Monta and Curry. That did not exist in NY.

    But to an extent, Cuban is right, this could not have happened in Charlotte or some other teams that are really bad, even Lin could not have helped there. In retrospect, NY was a lot closer to being a complete team and that was very true when looking at their poor start considering the “STAR” power on the team. People keep talking about Amare and Melo, but there is also Chandler. And guys like Fields are great role players. Lin was just the missing piece…and look out once Melo and JR are on the flor as well. Lin will find the hot hand and keep feeding them.

    But I agree with Lin…it’s not just him…it’s that NY is finally a team that is gellin together and the D’Antoni system is just the type of structure that will help Lin thrive. And now all the key players get to do what they do best. I am a Warrior fan for life and can’t believe how I have shed my homerism for Lin. That’s how I know this is something special.

  16. eaglessuperfan - Feb 17, 2012 at 1:14 PM

    I think he is mostly right. People would notice, but it would be way less of a phenomenon.

  17. acdc363 - Feb 17, 2012 at 1:33 PM

    I get what he is trying to say but given the fact that Charlotte has lost the 16 straight don’t you think it would get quite a bit of media attention if they added one guy and all of a sudden win 7 straight?

    • md23rewlz - Feb 17, 2012 at 4:37 PM

      Probably not. Would it be a lead on PTI? Would LIN LEADS CHARLOTTE TO SEVENTH CONSECUTIVE WIN be a top headline on ESPN? It would be a nice little story and nothing more. Or a better metric is, would people tune in nationally to watch Lin if this was happening in Charlotte? I think we all know that the answer is No. That doesn’t take anything away from Lin–he fell into a good situation with a coach who has a history of stat-making PGs, and he made the most of it. Props to him. That he happened to do it in New York, for a Knicks team that the fans were turning on (if they hadn’t already turned), made it a million times bigger. He’s risen to the moment, but in Charlotte, I don’t even know if there would be a moment.

      • chitownmatt - Feb 17, 2012 at 4:46 PM

        I would have to disagree with you on this one,

        It would make headlines if anybody lead the 3-26 Charlotte Hornets to 7 strait wins.

  18. thraiderskin - Feb 17, 2012 at 2:05 PM

    I found nothing insulting about what he said, well unless I was from Charlotte. I like how we jump on people’s backs for saying things that can not really be proven to be wrong. Jeremy Lin deserves the credit he is getting, the kid has balls and wants to make big plays. The fact he plays in NY, gives him the real opportunity to be truly appreciated, nationally. Make Cuban is a douche, will probably always be a douche, but he said nothing that wasn’t true, a team like Charlotte would have to make the playoffs for Lin to have recieved real coverage, something not likely to happen.

  19. bozosforall - Feb 17, 2012 at 2:49 PM

    That’s OK…if Cuban’s head and his ass changed places, no one would notice either.

  20. crashdavis99 - Feb 17, 2012 at 3:16 PM


  21. 24thesho - Feb 17, 2012 at 3:19 PM

    Well, he would have been noticed in Charlotte had he gotten a chance to play but the fact that he is Chinese-American would have hindered that possibility because the scouts and coaches (and even some of the people who comment) are still a bit ignorant in that area of evaluating. Not sure Mark Jackson would have missed it had he been the Warriors coach last year. As for Cuban, he’s just hatin’ because he didn’t get the chance to look as good as the N.Y. Knicks do now. But really, NYC is a great place for him. There are some nice players throughout that city and the Chinese-American kids (whose families have been there for generations) can play some ball, after all, it is New York City. Yao Ming was a great talent and ambassador for the sport but the Chinese descendants, Americans by the way, have been in U.S.A. for almost two centuries now, since the days of slavery. I’m sure there are other great young American born Asian players around, especially in the inner cities. Jeremy is an American; fortune cookie images, and writing words phonetically spelled with “R’s” and sh*t is racist and truly ignorant, so please, stop. I am black from “da hood” in NYC, so there you go. Had to use a little profanity, sorry, y’all.

  22. bv262 - Feb 17, 2012 at 3:19 PM

    The headline on the main page says: Cuban: If Lin were a HORNET, nobody would care. I hate to tell the author but the Hornets play in New Orleans, not Charlotte. Youndomlose some credibilty when you writemand article and cant even get the teams correct. But I agree, if Lin wasn’t playing for an East or West coast team, nobody would be writing about him. Let’s wait and see how he does for a full season and a career before we put him in the NBA Hall of Fame.

  23. latrobe21 - Feb 17, 2012 at 4:01 PM

    “If it was happening in Charlotte, no one would know,” Cuban said, exaggerating for effect.

    Or Dallas.

  24. md23rewlz - Feb 17, 2012 at 4:30 PM

    Of course Cuban is right. Markets aren’t everything, but if Lin had a nice week and a half for Utah? Or Sacramento? It would be a story, but it wouldn’t be close to the story it is. I’m guessing the NBA wouldn’t be rushing to get him into the rookie/sophomore thing if he played in a non media-saturated market. Bill Simmons wouldn’t be writing a Jeremy Lin mailbag if Lin had just gotten Cleveland to .500. It’s not “hating” to point out something obvious like this. Everybody is a product of where they play to some degree. You play in New York, you get far, far more scrutiny than if you play in Charlotte. You play WELL in New York, and people freak out. New York isn’t just any city, and Knick fans can’t pretend that market has nothing to do with Lin’s coverage. It has a ton to do with it.

  25. chitownmatt - Feb 17, 2012 at 4:41 PM

    I’m sorry Mr. Cuban,
    But if Charlotte won 7 in a row, the whole NBA world would be upside down.

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