I’ve never given a crap about the New York Knicks, but all of a sudden I’m in the market for their Number 17 replica jersey. That’s because their point guard Jeremy Lin has suddenly caught fire. After leading the Knicks to a win over Washington this evening, the Taiwanese-American, Harvard-educated point guard is now averaging 25 points and eight assists over his last three games. For an NBA team that was mired in a deep losing slump and missing its two best players, Lin has set the fanbase alight. Former Knicks’ great Clyde Frazier is waxing rhapsodic. Headline writers are noticing the Lin-sanity. Fans are making hip-hop tribute videos. And it all makes me feel like I’m the one firing up the crowds at Madison Square Garden and dishing out assists to Carmelo Anthony and Amar’e Stoudemire Jared Jeffries and Iman Shumpert.

And to think, the Mavericks had him on their Summer League team in 2010. Over at, Zach Lowe thinks Lin is lighting up bad defenses but still believes he’s for real as an NBA talent. There are few enough Asian-American sports stars for me to get excited about, but one who shares my last name? Brilliant!


Does anyone else have stories about sharing a last name with a sort-of-famous athlete? Does Anthony Mariani have a Marc Mariani jersey sitting in his closet? Let’s hear!


  1. “Mariani,” evidently, is not as uncommon an Italian surname as I’d earlier believed — the presence of a non-related Mariani family in the Pittsburgh Italian neighborhood of my youth should have tipped me off. Now there’s a guido Mariani returning kicks in the NFL. I wonder if he fist-pumps after TDs.