If Jeremy Lin Was A Stock We’ll All Be Broke
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For the record I am not an NBA fan. The only time I watch the NBA is when something dramatic happens, which means that I rarely watch live games only replays and past clips. But all that changed 2 weeks ago, when I found myself up at night waiting to catch a glimpse of Jeremy Lin. Lin an NBA point-guard was released by the Houston Rockets, Golden State Warriors and then left to rot on the bench of the New York Knicks. But thanks to a series of what Nigerians would call Jonathan-Goodluck like series of
deaths injuries to the Knicks other point guards, he was propelled from the bench to the starting line-up. Not to bore you with statisitcs and details, Lin was an overnight sensation. Playing like a super star possessed with the demons of talent he led the stumbling Knicks on a 7 game winning streak, shattering several NBA records in the process. He was an instant sensation! You could not go anywhere without hearing about Jeremy Lin…(except of course the moon) especially on the internet…people were popping out almost everyday with articles ranging from the normal “10 things you could learn about Jeremy Lin” to the insane “How Jeremy Lin Saved My Life!” all attesting to how great Jeremy Lin was. Everywhere and everywhere people where investing in the Jeremy Lin story as if he was the future Steve Nash of basketball…despite the fact that he had played only a handful of games.
The Jeremy Lin story reminded me of the Nigerian stock market boom in 2008…everyone was buying stocks. Your father, your pastor and even the tomato seller across the street was heavily invested in the stock market…people were becoming millionaires virtually overnight. Stocks tips were splattered on the radio, internet and even in church, everyone was a stock expert. It was even rumored that babies right out of the womb were making a killing in the stock market, as long as they could point, touch and say ya ya…some babies were even able to afford their own breast milk! Folks were quitting their day jobs, selling their
children lands to become full-time stock investors…that was until the stock market crashed and people woke up from their dreams and into reality. And the reality was that the Nigerian stock market boom was a short-lived sensation that left many families broke and several businesses devastated. The problem was that very few people knew what they were doing, but the lack of knowledge was blinded by the media hype surrounding the Nigeria stock market.
Unfortunately, the Lin sensation is potentially like the stock market bust. People see something peculiar and different and after a series of short term results start hailing it as the next best thing since sliced bread (actually sliced bread sucks). While there is nothing wrong with appreciating short term success…what is wrong is investing everything in it without allowing it time to prove itself.
Will Jeremy Lin become a great NBA player? The truth is that nobody knows, because the data, the stats and the games are just not sufficient enough to determine that answer. For instance, players and coaches have already started studying his film and adjusting their plays to neutralize his effects. How he reacts to this and other evolving NBA defenses over time would be the determinant of his long term success in the NBA…only then can people start attempting to compare him with the likes of Nash, Stockton and the rest. Same thing with the Nigerian stock market book, if people had studied the market patiently and with facts…fewer people would have lost their monies, but they didn’t. Instead many jumped in feet first and lost practically everything. Obviously swayed by the sensational hype stories of overnight riches.
In business and in life we would face similar situations like that, the offers will look sweet and even sensational…but the principle is to always apply logic in all we do.
Do not get swayed by the instant hype of a deal or a situation. instead study the hard numbers, check the past records, do thorough research before making a decision. And if still in doubt…wait! Don’t get swayed by the “this offer will expire tonite” or “you have to make a decision today.” You should never have to make a decision today, think it through and be patient. Practicing this will ensure that your business and life is not run by hype but by sound and smart judgement. Remember, don’t invest in hype…invest in facts.
PS: I still believe Jeremy Lin will be a great player. But 7-9 games is not just enough to determine his level of success in the NBA.
Wishing You Extreme Success,
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