For the last few years, Manny Pacquiao has undoubtedly been the biggest international sports star on the planet. Obviously there are a lot of athletes who happen to be huge figures in their specific countries and sort of well-known internationally like Kobe Bryant and LeBron James or Wayne Rooney and Cristiano Ronaldo, but none of those guys have the mass appeal of a Pacquiao. Pacquiao is Pacquiao everywhere – be it in the Philippines or America.
He was alone in that regard for a very long time. That was pre-Linsanity, though.
In less than two weeks, thanks to a combination of his ridiculous talent and the massive Big Apple market in which he stars, New York Knicks point guard Jeremy Lin has become an international icon akin to Pacquiao. Whether or not Lin’s hot streak will last can be debated, but in terms of where things stand currently, Lin is arguably the biggest international sports star on the planet.
With all that in mind, it stands to reason that Pacquiao and Lin would want to meet and trade tales of success at some point. Coincidentally, according to the Daily News, that’s precisely what might happen next Wednesday when the pair’s paths cross in New York.
Pacquiao will be there to promote his upcoming June 9 bout versus Timothy Bradley and Lin, of course, will be there because that’s where he lives and works. Per the report, Pacquiao is trying to put something together for before the Knicks play the Atlanta Hawks that evening, and is currently waiting for Lin and/or his people to commit.
Supposing that this get-together goes as planned, you have to wonder what these guys will talk about. It could be basketball. Pacquiao is a huge hoops fanatic, and his close ties to Los Angeles Lakers superstar Kobe Bryant have been well documented. They might also talk about business – Pacquiao has been known to be a little weak in that area, and Lin has somehow singlehandedly saved Madison Square Garden Co. stock during his takeover of all things NBA.
Most likely than not, however, at least some of their conversation has to center around undefeated boxing superstar, Floyd Mayweather Jr. Both men have been slighted by Mayweather at least once at some point over the last two years, and both without a doubt have to have some pent up rage.
You would figure that Lin didn’t take too kindly to Mayweather recently tweeting that he is getting a lot of hype now simply because he’s Asian and that black stars do what he does on a regular basis without getting the same level of respect. By the same token, he had to have been appreciative of Pacquiao standing up for him in a later tweet. So bonding over a joint hatred of Mayweather feels like a given.
What else will they talk about, though? We’ll probably never know. Maybe the best way to reject Kim Kardashian?
No matter what they wind up talking about, it’s safe to say that a meeting between beloved international sports minds like the one Pacquiao and Lin may have next week is sort of unheralded. Can you think of the last time two huge athletes have just sat down and swapped stories of awesomeness? Yup, we’re drawing a blank too.