Back in your grandpa's day, it wasn't that unusual for the Lakers to have an Ivy Leaguer on the floor. In 1959, the team drafted Rudy LaRusso out of Dartmouth in the second round. An efficient big-man scorer, Rudy was a steal, making 582 appearances and three All-Star Games with the purple and gold. In 1970, the Lakers drafted Jim McMillan out of Columbia, and he played on the 1972 championship squad. And in 1974, the team traded for Corky Calhoun, who'd actually been the fourth overall pick in the draft two years earlier. Ol' Corky was a huge bustola, and since the Lakers waived him in 1976, no Ivy Leaguer has appeared on the roster.
For those who honked their SAT maths, that makes it almost 35 years of vile discrimination against teh smart kids. Soon, however, the glass ceiling could be rebroken. Pick up that stack of books I just knocked out of your arms, Dave McMenamin:
A new name has emerged as a candidate to fill a spot on the Los Angeles Lakers' bench as a backup to starting guards Derek Fisher and Kobe Bryant. Jeremy Lin, an undrafted 6-3, 200 pound combo guard from Harvard, is being considered by the Lakers after the team opened discussions with Roger Montgomery, Lin's agent, over the weekend. "We're just trying to sort out the best roster fit, the best situation for Jeremy, but we're highly considering the Lakers," Montgomery said in a phone interview Monday.
Finally. It's about time a Harvard grad catches a break in this country.
Lin was twice a consensus All-Ivy first teamer, and scouts like his deceptive athleticism, his effectiveness in transition and his scoring efficiency, despite lacking anything like a classic jumpshot stroke. The knocks are that he doesn't have a true position - NBADraft.net suggests he has the game of a really, really undersized small forward - he's turnover prone, and he spent his college career in a low-caliber conference. The latter criticism has faded somewhat after he showed up strong in the Las Vegas Summer league last week.
Lin was fantastic in this game; by the end, the crowd who had come to watch John Wall was cheering for him just as much, if not more. He didn't shoot the best to start out, but he finished with 13 points on 12 shots, so okay overall, along with four rebounds. He also played fantastic defense. He did get called for six fouls, but he played tight, smothering D on both Wall and Cartier Martin. He also showed off his quick first step and creative finishes at the rim on multiple occasions. Lin has really made a good case for himself this week.
McMenamin reports that the Mavericks and an unnamed Eastern Conference team are in the mix for Lin. If signed by the Lakers, he'd be a deep reserve, at best a fifth guard. But hey, someone's gotta be the 12th guy, and better Lin than Adam Morrison.
In conclusion, Revenge of the Nerds was a pretty good movie.
Follow Dex on Twitter here.