As we NBA fans are in the midst of this phenomenon known as "Linsanity", there have been many comparisons made between Jeremy Lin and Tim Tebow. Like Tebow, Lin has taken over an undercheiving team with a losing record and turned them into a winner and contender. Like Tebow, he remains humble, takes every opportunity to credit his teammates and offers thanks and praise to God.
However, after hitting a game winning 3-pointer the other night in Toronto and his spectacular performance against the Lakers prior to that in which he outdueled Kobe Bryant, the Black Mamba himself, he has been more recently referred to as the Yellow Mamba.
Although such a label may not be politically correct or can be construed as racially insensitive, the reference draws a comparison to Kobe and thus it's spirit comes from benign intentions and should be perceived as not only a term of endearment, but also a compliment that suggests his play on the court is worthy of such praise.
But if you examine the paths of the Yellow Mamba and the Black Mamba more closely, other than both being talented basketball players, you would discover that the two couldn't be any more different. Here are the top ten reasons why.
10. The Yellow Mamba is a career 46% shooter. The Black Mamba is a tad over 45%.
9. As starters head to head, the Yellow Mamba is 1-0 against Kobe. In their February 10th meeting Lin was a stellar 13-23 from the field for his game high 38 points. The Black Mamba shot a miserable 11-29 for 34 points in a losing effort.
8. The Yellow Mamba is an undefeated 6-0 as a starter. The Black Mamba has started every game this season and already has 12 losses.
7. The Yellow Mamba is vocal in offering praise to God. The Black Mamba injured a man's wrist over an incident with a cell phone in the house of God...allegedly.
6. The Yellow Mamba graduated from Harvard. The Black Mamba from Lower Merion High School has never attended an institution of higher learning. Although he claims he initally intended to attend Duke University.
5. While attending the university, The Yellow Mamba was a leader in Harvard's Asian American Christian Fellowship. The Black Mamba dated then 17 year old high school senior, Vanessa Laine, when he was 21 and later married her, thus avoiding a scenario that was tantamount to statutory rape.
4. The Yellow Mamba has a degree in economics. The Black Mamba, who holds a high school diploma, did not have a prenuptial agreement and has reportedly lost all three of his Newport Coast mansions, valued at 18.8 million total as part of his divorce settlement, in addition to approximately 75 million or half of his estimated net worth.
3. The Yellow Mamba's current salary with the New York Knicks is $762,195. Before his contract with the Knicks became guaranteed, Lin slept on his brother's couch in a one-bedroom apartment on the Lower East Side. The Los Angeles Lakers will pay the Black Mamba $25,244,493 this season, a salary that has enabled him to make purchases worth an obscene amount of money. Not just profane, but really offensive, such as a $4 million, eight-carat purple diamond ring he bought Vanessa after his extramarital affair scandal in which then 19 year old Katelyn Faber accused him of sexually abusing her. Kobe admitted to committing adultery and a settlement was reached in which she was paid an undisclosed amount.
2. The Yellow Mamba is an evangelical Christian and would like to become a pastor. He has also expressed an interest in working in inner-city communities to help with underprivileged youth. The Black Mamba has served two separate one-game suspensions for elbowing Manu Ginobli in the face and similarly striking Marco Jaric. He was also fined $100,000 for calling referee, Bennie Adams a gay slur.
1. The Yellow Mamba is praised by former coaches, teammates, reporters and even his opponents, not only for the quality of his play on the court but also for his character, perseverance and humility. The Yellow Mamba makes his teammates better and has inspired them to play the "right way", with more heart and effort. The Black Mamba is notorious for being a horrible teammate. In a 2009 Sports Illustrated poll in which 190 nba players were asked, Kobe was ranked third behind only Stephon Marbury and then Ron Artest as a player they would least like to have on their team. The Black Mamba has a reputation for being a "me" first player, that doesn't trust his teammates enough to share the basketball when it comes to crunch time. He is thought to be responsible for the trading of Shaquille O'Neal and was captured on video stating that the Lakers should have traded Andrew Bynum for Jason Kidd.
After their meeting on February 10, 2012, Kobe commented, "Players playing that well don't usually come out of nowhere. It seems like they come out of nowhere, but if you can go back and take a look, his skill level was probably there from the beginning. It probably just went unnoticed."
Yellow Mamba or not he is definitely being noticed for all he has accomplished. All he does is Lin.