The only reason phenomenon Jeremy Lin surprised the professional basketball world is he doesn't fit the image of an NBA player, the point guard's agent told CNBC Friday.
"Underappreciated? Yes. Undervalued? yes. Discriminated against? I’m not sure," Roger Montgomery, president of Montgomery Sports Group, said.
"I think the image is what people were having a challenge with because the image is, when you’re talking about an NBA player, about somebody who’s 6' 10", 6' 11", like a Yao Ming phenomenon," he said of the now-retired Chinese player for the Houston Rockets.
By contrast, Lin — who was cut by two other National Basketball Association teams and might have been waived by the Knicks had its coach not decided to shake up the struggling team's offense, "is a point guard, he’s 6' 3", 200 [lbs] who went to Harvard" rather than a basketball powerhouse college such as Georgetown or Kentucky, Montgomery added.
But score he did, and it has created an "unprecedented" situation both for the player — good luck trying to get a Lin jersey at Modell's in New York —and for the agent. Lin only has one endorsement contract —with Nike — but other companies from around the world have been calling, Montgomery said.
So "what we're going to do is take some time, we’re going to use balance in this process" of sifting through potential lucrative contracts," the agent said. "We’re not going to rush out the gate and try to accomplish the world in one week’s time."
Lin won't make any choice unless he's comfortable with it, Montgomery said, adding, "the biggest opportunity he has is being a point guard for the Knicks."