Jeremy Lin's rise from 12th man to superstar has been unbelievable, unexplainable and unexpected to just about everyone -- but not to professional numerologist/astrologist Gary Grinberg.
Better known Gary The Numbers Guy, Grinberg says Lin's outburst could have been predicted because of his birthday. Lin was born in 1988, a Year of the Dragon. 2012 is also the Year of the Dragon, based on the Chinese lunar calendar, with New Year's Day being Jan. 23, the day the Knicks recalled Lin from the D League.
"If you look at Jeremy Lin's stats in five games before the Year of the Dragon, he scored a combined nine points," Grinberg says. "Right after the Year of the Dragon started, on the 24th, he actually started playing. Basically, people who are born in the Year of the Dragon will benefit from the Year of the Dragon."
Lin is not the only recent breakout athlete whose success Grinberg links to the zodiac. He believes Tim Tebow's startling NFL season also came courtesy of the lunar calendar.
Tebow was born in 1987, the Year of the Rabbit (or the Cat in a Vietnamese variation). So was 2011, the year Tebowmania exploded in the NFL.
"See how that works? The energy was with him," Grinberg says. "It's all about understanding how vibrational energy works."
There is debate as to whether numerology is as much art as it is science, but Grinberg, 34, has some compelling research. He uses numbers, such as birthdates, to analyze athletes, especially NBA players.
Grinberg adds up the digits in the birth month, day and year of athletes to get athletes' total numerology. According to Grinberg's studies, those two sums of one and 11 are very common among top NBA players. "Of the best of the best, 80 percent of the time, their birthdays add up to one or 11," he says.
2-17-1963: 2+1+7+1+9+6+3=29 --> 2+9=11
1-17-1982: 1+1+7+1+9+8+2=29 --> 2+9=11
8-23-1978: 8+2+3+1+9+7+8=38 --> 3+8=11
1-12-1960: 1+12+1+9+6+0=29 --> 2+9=11
5-19-1976: 5+1+9+1+9+7+6=38 --> 3+8=11
11-16-1982: 1+1+1+6+1+9+8+2=29 --> 2+9=11
5-29-1984: 5+2+9+1+9+8+4=38 --> 3+8=11
12-30-1984: 1+2+3+0+1+9+8+4=28 --> 2+8=10 --> 1+0=1
3-6-1972: 3+6+1+9+7+2=28 --> 2+8=10 --> 1+0=1
9-29-1988: 9+2+9+1+9+8+8=46 --> 4+6=10 --> 1+0=1
3-23-1973: 3+2+3+1+9+7+3=28 --> 2+8=10 --> 1+0=1
5-24-1979: 5+2+4+1+9+7+9=37 --> 3+7=10 --> 1+0=1
Players whose birthday sums do not add up to one or 11 compete at a disadvantage, according to Grinberg. Players born on the seventh, 16th or 25th of any month, or whose birthday sum is a seven have an even bigger issue.
"The same way ones and 11s are great athletes, the sevens could be good athletes, but they get injured a lot," Grinberg says.
7-18-1971: 7+1+8+1+9+7+1=34 --> 3+4=7
7-23-1984: 7+2+3+1+9+8+4=34 --> 3+4=7
10-5-1972: 1+0+5+1+9+7+2=25 --> 2+5=7
4-13-1979: 4+1+3+1+9+7+9=34 --> 3+4=7
3-13-1980: 3+1+3+1+9+8+0=25 --> 2+5=7
7-14-1975: 7+1+4+1+9+7+5=34 --> 3+4=7
9-11-1985: 9+11+1+9+8+5=43 --> 4+3=7
11-28-1984: 11+2+8+1+9+8+4=43 --> 4+3=7
11-10-1984 11+1+0+1+9+8+4=25 --> 2+5=7
11-6-1979: 1+1+6+1+9+7+9=34 --> 3+4=7
An exception to the rule is Tim Duncan, who was born 4-25-1976, which breaks down to a seven.
"The only seven lifepath I have ever seen not be injury prone is Tim Duncan," Grinberg says. "I believe it has something to do with the fact that he is born in the Year of the Dragon. Dragons are the toughest physically out of all the astrology signs, period. I would love to know what time Tim Duncan was born. That would help explain the why."
Grinberg (at left) says numerology goes beyond a player's individual fortunes. It can also determine chemistry between two players.
"Scouts go look at every single aspect, 30-yard dash, how much they can bench press, but they never look at the birthdays, and when you look at birthdays, you can tell chemistry," he says. "For instance, Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O'Neal hated each other. Kobe was born in 1978 and Shaq was born in 1972. They have bad chemistry together because they were opposite signs in the Chinese Zodiac."
Bryant is a Horse and O'Neal is a Rat. Likewise, Jerry Sloan (born in 1954) is a Horse and Deron Williams (born in 1984) is a Rat, which Grinberg believes explains their poor chemistry with the Jazz.
Grinberg, a Cleveland native, saw the same Horse-Rat dynamic at work in 2005 when rumors surfaced that the Cavaliers were interested in signing Larry Hughes.
"I remember I tried to contact Dan Gilbert," he says. "I tried to contact the Cavs and tell them not to sign Larry Hughes. Because LeBron is a Rat and Hughes is a Horse, they will always have bad chemistry together."
The Cavaliers signed Hughes to a five-year, $70 million contract, and although he and James became good friends, their games never meshed on the court. The Cavs traded Hughes to the Bulls in the third year of the deal.
In January 2007, Grinberg was a guest on a Cleveland radio station said that year was going to be the Cavaliers' best chance to win the NBA title. (The Cavs ended up reaching the NBA Finals before losing to the Spurs.) Grinberg's optimistic forecast caught the attention of the team, and he showed ThePostGame what he says was an email exchange with Gilbert, the team owner.
Grinberg says he came up with a proposal to prove to the Cavs that his system works. He says he picked three players who would get injured before the end of that season: Jason Kidd, Joe Johnson and Gilbert Arenas. Kidd missed two games and the All-Star Game because of a back injury. Johnson sat out the final 21 games of the season with a calf injury. Then with two weeks left in the 2007 season, Arenas (below) tore the MCL in his left knee.
But after that happened, Grinberg says the Cavaliers never followed up with him. The Cavaliers declined comment about Grinberg for this story, and an email sent to Gilbert was not immediately returned.
Grinberg did speak with Gilbert in 2009 when both were guests on the Mike Trivisonno radio show on WTAM in Cleveland. Grinberg forecasted that LeBron would leave Cleveland after the season. "LeBron's staying," Gilbert responded on the air. "He's not gonna go anywhere."
Now Grinberg has a new set of predictions for the rest of 2012. He told ThePostGame to expect the following three NBA players to be vulnerable to trouble this year, based on numerology: Andre Iguodala of the 76ers, Chris Paul of the Clippers and Dwight Howard of the Magic. In Howard's case, Grinberg says the injury won't occur until after his birthday, which is Dec. 8.
On a lighter note, Grinberg has used numerology to determine this season's NBA Finals matchup.
"It's going to be the Thunder and the Heat. Mark it down," he says. "Kevin Durant is primed for a really good year. For the Heat, LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh all have a lot of good energy lined up."
Point taken, but on the other hand, picking a Thunder-Heat finals isn't exactly going for an outlandish parlay.
Grinberg's most interesting find may come not in dates involving players, but instead a whole team. The Numbers Guy is certain he can explain the woes of the Charlotte Bobcats. In their first seven (remember that number) seasons, the franchise has appeared in the playoffs just once.
"First, look at the date they were founded: 12/18/2002," he says. "That adds up a to a seven. How many letters are in the name Bobcats? Seven. What are the vowels in that name? O and A. O is the 15th letter and A is the first: 1+5+1=7. Then look at the dates the coaches were signed. Other than Paul Silas, every coach was signed on a seven. The Bobcats need to change their name and everything or they will never be good."
Back to Jeremy Lin. The guy's been unreal in the Year of the Dragon, but Grinberg insists numerology will not let him keep this up for a whole career.
"Lin's birthday is 8-23-1988; he's a three," Grinberg says. "He'll be good this year. This should last until the end of April and then he'll bring it down a little bit. He's not going to keep it up forever, especially when the Year of the Dragon ends."
But for what it's worth, Lin does share the same birthday with Kobe: August 23.
As for Tebowmania, Grinberg says: "If you think Tebow's gonna do the same things next year, you're insane."
Grinberg doesn't have predictions on the next athlete to break through in the same fashion as Lin or Tebow. But he says Andrew Luck will live up the hype in the NFL -- in 2013, which is the Year of the Snake, same as his birth year. On the flip side, athletes born in the Year of the Dog should expect a rough time in the Year of the Dragon, and he cites Danica Patrick and her struggles at Daytona as an example.
If it sounds like Grinberg is lobbying for a job with a team, it is because he is.
"I believe I can help any NBA franchise," he says. "These Cleveland teams don't listen to me, but maybe someone else will. If a team is committed to winning, they have to look at every single angle, so they can't leave any stone unturned. When you look at this information, scouts and GMs, they're doing the best they can with their information, but they can't tell chemistry. They can't tell when a guy's gonna get injured. They can't tell when someone's injury prone. A numerologist who specializes in this stuff, though, he can."
Says Grinberg to the doubters: "I'm not guessing this stuff. I'm coming in from a scientific standpoint because I'm dealing with numbers on a metaphysical level. Numerology's been around for a long time, just people don't use it."
Grinberg says it's no fluke that Tiger Woods and LeBron James have the same birthday of Dec. 30. (Tiger has one good year left, according to Grinberg's calculations, but he will have to wait until 2013.) And guess which two athletes share a birthday on Feb. 17? Would you believe Michael Jordan and Jim Brown?
As Grinberg puts it on his website: There are no coincidences in life.
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