Breaking up with Jeremy Lin
We could all see the end of the affair, but held out some hope that Jeremy wouldn’t leave town, breaking the hearts of New Yorkers who enjoyed the first exciting Knicks season in 10 years. It has been an interesting week for me — a couples’ therapist — watching fellow New Yorkers reeling after losing Jeremy. Nearly everyone, including the sports journalists around town, is suffering from a sense of loss — even of rejection. He was the sizzling guy — irresistible — who spiced up our relationship with the disappointing Knicks. He offered the hope of a return to our youth: the Knicks as champions. And then he defected from — in our opinion — the best place on earth.
Let’s face it — we fell for him hard. Now, New Yorkers at large are like so many of the women in the city, just shaking their heads over being dumped for a bimbo. Seriously, Jeremy, you’re choosing Houston — over us?
Lin was very much his own man: a pious Harvard grad who stepped up to deliver the most high-octane basketball of last season. He was a fantasy hero. Who can forget his cool during the Toronto Raptors game — hitting the game winner in the fourth quarter with barely a second on the shot clock? His zero-hour hand signal to the other players hovering around him: “Back up. Don’t worry, bro. I got this.” Then… bam!
In that moment he became the iconic New Yorker. He came out of nowhere to embody the ultimate New York story: the talent waiting in the wings, who has a moment in the spotlight and brings down the house. The child of immigrants — like nearly every New Yorker except a few Sons of Patriots, DAR members and smattering of Dutch merchant descendants — he was underestimated. Given an opening, he delivered, spectacularly, crushing his competition. Maybe that’s why we saw Irish, Dominican, Jewish and Italian guys running out to buy “Lin” jerseys.
All the while, Lin slept on his brother’s couch. New Yorkers loved that part of his profile: who in this city hasn’t been a real estate refugee?
So, as happens in so many relationships, Lin burst onto the scene, was idolized (and maybe idealized), only to move on. We’re in shock. We’re coping. But in the back of our minds, we can’t help but think “Someday, he’ll come back to me.”
More posts about divorce:
Divorce and Parenting (February 7, 2013)
Does Couples Therapy Work? (March 21, 2012)
What makes a marriage viable—or not? In a word: trust. (February 6, 2012)