The Playoff Particulars
|Jeremy Lin Watch:: Man, if you ain't been following J-Lin (how about making Chad Ford's list of top 100 PG prospects?) or our AL homepage, it's never too late: The Legend of Lin grows. The Ivy League is on hiatus due to finals, but Harvard is off to a 1-0 start after slipping by Dartmouth last week in their Ivy opener. If anyone is game this season for catching Lin take on Columbia, get at us. Ditch the girl. Valentine's Day happens every year, getting to see Lin play in person doesn't.|
ALL-DREAM LEAGUE SELECTIONS ANNOUNCED!
Shoot, Hsieh. You really pulled the ole’ cape out of the closet for this one, didn’t ya?
There’s a new slogan in the New York Fury camp and it goes something like this: Right on, Ren.
Ren Hsieh, the Fury’s GM/Coach/captain/team dad/point guard/super sub, who hadn’t played since an opening round win against A Ball didn’t just rebound from injury and make a comeback. No, he exploded on the scene.
There are born again people from all walks of life. If it’s possible to be a born again basketball player, on Thursday night, Ren Hsieh experienced it.
Behind Hsieh’s 21 points off the bench, the New York Fury fended off the Spartans 83-77 to finish off a so-so regular season (4-4) with one of the most impressive playoff performances in the history of the universe.
Okay, maybe just here in the DL. But, hey, in our universe, that’s big.
The Fury, in capturing the NL crown, did so much more than just win their franchise’s first title:
They gained redemption, wiping away much of the sting of losing in last year’s Finals. Talk about growing up and coming into their own. How often do we see teams fall just short of the ultimate goal, regroup, grow, come into their own, and get what they outright deserve the following season? It happens often enough, but to go out and get it takes hard work, dedication, and an endless pursuit of perfection that not everyone is willing to partake in. Kudos to the Fury for keeping it together and finishing what they started.
Shawn De Los Reyes becomes the first non-Cruiser player to have 4 chips under his belt now. He only trails Tony Hu, who has 5, for individual NL titles in the history of the DL.
They just opened the floodgates for free agency. Rumor has it that the Fury wish to go out on top – at least for the near future. With their shiny new trophy, the Fury have expressed a desire to ride off into the sunset and not return next season. GM’s, get your checkbooks out. Names like De Los Reyes, Harris Chung, James Choi, Mo Ghumman, and Chris Youn just became available.
Finally, Right on, Ren.
With his vintage, if unexpected (how you supposed to do that after bothersome injuries to the ankles and knees) performance, Hsieh showcased a lot of his old self by coming in late in the 1st quarter, hitting his second attempt from deep, and basically never stopping until the final horn sounded.
The 2008 Summer/Fall DL NL Champions - New York Fury.
Back in the day, like close to a decade ago – when the Asian-Am basketball scene really started to come into its own here in NYC, there were always a few names on the circuit that everyone heard of. There was Tony from the Cruisers. (There was George too.) Dave Scott was always a handful to guard. The Renegades rolled out guys like Eddie Wang and Mike Kim. Then, there was this guy from Texas. Some guard from the 713 who played at NYU, had crazy handles, and could shoot lights out when he was on fire.
Guys who played with him, guys like Punit Menda, always knew he had talent. Ren Hsieh could cross you over, break your left ankle, then your right, lift a soft floater, stop and pop, hit his man, or step back for a trey. The question was never whether he could play. The question was whether he could win.
In his early years on the scene, Hsieh was a player who tried to win games on his own. He had to - he was never on any particularly talented teams like the Cruisers, Rockets, or Renegades. And at times, if things didn’t go his way, he’d let the world know about it in his own way. Scowls, choice words, and frustration often were part of the deal.
Against the Spartans, Ren Hsieh was alright with the world and the world was alright with him. Against the Spartans, everything that has gone into making him who he is, paid off. Not that he’s never been one before, but after several seasons of trying in the DL, his time has finally come. Ren Hsieh is now a champion.
It helps to have the talent around him like he did this season. It helps that with each passing year, he’s matured immensely as a player. It helps that, while probably not 100%, he was healthy enough to lace ‘em up and get into the game.
Two 3’s in a tight first half and then 11 points as part of an explosive 32-point 3rd quarter that blew this game open before finishing it off with two drives in the 4th as the Spartans valiantly crept back into it, Ren Hsieh’s continuing ascension was capped perfectly on the floor for all to see and his place next to the greats on the Asian-Am hoops scene was cemented, if there was ever any doubt before.
You talk about big performances in big games to win a championship and now Hsieh’s name is in the mix.
Congrats kid. As they’re saying in your camp, and back home in H-town: Right on, Ren.