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CHARLOTTE—Jeremy Lin’s NBA debut, in which he scored more points in his initial five games than any other new player, resulted in a fan frenzy that Charlotte Bobcats third-string small forward Elon Steinman “totally gets.”
“I’m not envious at all,” says Steinman, “It’s just, well it’s nothing. I mean look, I can get fans excited too… ABOUT STEINMANIA!”
Steinman is referring to the commotion surrounding his “exhilarating” play as “Steinmania.” So far, all social media mentions of Steinmania amount to 8 Facebook statuses, several tweets and 223 fan groups on JDate. A recent search for #Steinmania on Twitter was outshined by a major sale the Stein company was having on pianos, further dampening Steinman’s self-described “virility.”
Steinman averages three points every game, as well as “countless half assists,” which is what he has defined as him passing the ball to a player who then passes it to a scorer. “If we’re counting half assists, then oh boy, I have at least four real assists,” Steinman gushes, “don’t even get me started on quarter assists.”
Despite Steinman’s preferred moniker, head coach Paul Silas is quick to call the rookie’s play-style “Steinmanxious,” a technique which Silas describes as “the guy puttering around the court, nervously looking for someone to pass to while minimizing his own time actually handling the ball.”
“The critics like to say we got him on board because of nepotism,” says coach Silas, glancing at a portrait of president of basketball operations Abraham Steinman, “but he’s new, and I believe that he can develop as a player and really come to play a unique and powerful role on this team. Seriously though, did you see that Lin three-pointer at the end of the Raptors game? It would’ve been Linsane if it wasn’t so Lincredible!”
Steinman is quick to dismiss any kind of a connection between his status on the team and his family. “I haven’t had anything handed to me,” says Steinman, while a masseuse hands him a drink, “I grew up just doing my time in private school, taking private basketball lessons whenever I could.”
The NBA third-stringer refers to his fans as “an army of Steinmaniacs.” A scan of the crowd at the last Charlotte Bobcats game revealed a lone “#STEINMANIA!!!!” sign, held by a Rachel Steinman, who emphatically shouted “that’s my boy!” and “not so rough, he’s just a baby!”
When their play time was threatened by the 2011 NBA lockout, Jewish NBA players Jordan Farmar and Omri Casspi both entertained the notion of playing for Israeli team Maccabi Tel Aviv. Despite his extremely limited time on the court, Steinman would not even consider such ideas, stating: “The climate is bad for my skin, allergies, and hypoallergenic cat Rivka.”
“It would be nice to at least get an ice cream,” says Steinman, referring to the now controversial flavor “Taste the Lin-sanity” that Ben and Jerry’s introduced, which featured fortune cookies. “It would be vanilla flavored, because let’s not go too crazy, and have little bits of hamentashen crumbled in! My mother has a recipe that is to die for!”
A spokesperson for Ben and Jerry’s could not be reached for comment.