Can Lin and ’Melo Co-exist? A Food-Based Query

Ravioli from Mama Carmela’s, with beef and brocoli from Lin’s.

Since the Knicks, led by Jeremy Lin, took off while Carmelo Anthony was out due to injury, observers have wondered if he and Lin can co-exist on the court. Approximately 1.2 million articles, talk radio calls, and water cooler conversations have been devoted to debating this problem. But all of them have dealt in the realm of the hypothetical; at the Sports Section, we’re all about hard evidence and Science Facts. So we put the issue to a tangible test the most technically-advanced way possible: by mixing food from Lin’s Chinese Restaurant in Chelsea with food from the Mama Carmela’s Italian joint in Woodside. Would their strengths complement each other or lead to an inedible disaster? Read on to find out.

Disclaimer: We are not suggesting Chinese cuisine represents Jeremy Lin any more than we’re suggesting Italian cuisine represents Carmelo Anthony. For all we know, Jeremy Lin survives on a Californian diet of burritos and kale chips.

The Combinations
In the same way that it’s impossible to determine the success or failure of a teammate pairing based on one game, one food combination seemed like too few…but three dishes/games together, on the other hand, is certainly enough, which is why both this article’s judgments should be considered completely final and definitive.

General Tso’s Chicken + Cheese Ravioli

This was…all right. It looked unappealing, particularly the rice coated in marinara. However, the dominant flavor of the cheese combined decently with the crunchy breading around the chicken. In basketball terms, this could represent Anthony reclaiming alpha dog status and attempting more shots than Lin while the point guard focuses on facilitation and spot shooting (elements that are not the lane-driving core or “chicken” of his game, as it were). The Knicks could win some games like this. Not a lot, but they could maybe move up to the sixth spot in the playoffs or be something you eat for lunch and are moderately satisfied by.

Beef and Broccoli + Lasagna

Oh man, this one was the worst of the bunch. If the Knicks spend the rest of their season playing the way this combination tasted, they might be banished from the NBA altogether. We actually had high hopes; this dish looked OK, and intern Taylor Berman even claimed that it tasted pretty good when he took his first bite. He was sort of right; the glazed beef was fine with the lasagna. But then we got to the broccoli and it all fell apart. We don’t know if the broccoli was bad on its own, or if it just doesn’t go with marinara sauce and ground beef. But this is your worst nightmare, Knicks fans: bickering, both on the court (in our mouths) and after the game to the media (in our stomachs). Think of the game against the Nets after the Knicks got within 7, when they suddenly couldn’t hit a shot. It tasted like failure, with undertones of puke.

Pork Lo Mein + Spaghetti

Easily the best. Both dishes were staples of their respective cuisines, just like the staple of both players’ games is driving from the perimeter with ball in their hands. But they were prepared in a way that kept their differences from clashing: the spaghetti was only lightly coated in marinara sauce, keeping it from overwhelming the lo mein’s spices, while the lo mein featured chunks of thinly sliced pork that would go well with almost anything. The lesson for Anthony and Lin? Don’t try to change your game, but don’t try to do it all alone. The spaghetti and lo mein harmonized without sacrificing their greatest noodly strengths.

When we first unbagged the food, we felt a little defeated. It looked like something that would never work. But then we dug in, got our hands dirty, and came up with a meal that, while it looked unorthodox, could certainly compete with the signature foods from Chicago (old hot dogs) and Miami (old breast implants) any day of the week. Go Knicks!

Can Lin and ’Melo Co-exist? A Food-Based Query