Jonah Lehrer, writing at his Wired Science blog Frontal Cortex:
By now, you probably see the theme: nobody thought Lin could make it in the NBA. He was too short and too weak, with a mediocre jump shot. And that’s why, if I were an NBA coach or scout or GM, his remarkable success would keep me up at night. Professional sports, after all, are supposed to be a pure meritocracy, in which those with the most talent are carefully vetted and tested. Those who make it in the NBA are supposed to be a pure distillate of athletic potential: the players are richly rewarded because they really are the very best.
But how effective is this meritocracy? Are there lots of Jeremy Lins out there? How many benchwarmers could hit game winners? Unfortunately for professional sports, the evidence suggests that there’s plenty of room for improvement: teams are terrible at identifying talent.
It also sounds like Lin has some serious critical ability. When the pressure was on, he performed insanely well.