“You are too short…Too skinny… You don’t belong here…Go back to China. Orchestra is on the other side of the campus…” those taunts became Jeremy Lin’s daily ritual. It was such an unlikely scenario for a team’s point guard, the court general who directs everyone and is the leader of the floor to be disrespected like that.
But it’s the typical stereotype for Asian Americans playing in the USA. It’s still a sport dominated by Whites and Blacks and Asians don’t get much respect for that. Lin who led his highschool team in points, steals and assists was the Chronicle’s Metro player of the year averaging on his senior stats with 15.1 points, 7.1 assists, 6.2 rebounds and 5 steals per game but there was not even one division I school that offered him a scholarship.
He went to Harvard and was the only NCAA division I player who ranked in the top ten for scoring, rebounds, assists, steals, blocked shots, field goal percentage, free throw percentage and 3 point shot percentage and was a consensus All-Ivy league first team selection and yet no one ever drafted him in the 2010 NBA draft. Are we missing something here? Is Eric Bledsoe’s turnover festival better than Lin’s all around game?
Lin knows it’s all a part of the whole package. If you want something you just have to work hard to earn it. Nobody wanted to do anything with him even if he exceeded expectations and he knows as an Asian American it doesn’t only requires hard work but it needs a lot of patience and to put on a mask every time he goes in the court. There is no room for sensitivity.
Basketball is all about abilities and if he just gave it all and maybe somehow someone will notice. And that someone was Dallas executive Donnie Nelson. He knows Lin’s limitless potential and invited him to join the Las Vegas summer camp.
NBA executives were already tentative in signing Lin. He was a hybrid guard who is undetermined to be a point guard or a shooting guard. But Lin stayed in the game and when it was his turn he knows it’s time to put on the show.
When Dallas played with the Washington Wizards Lin played hard against the NBA’s number 1 draft this year John Wall. He went toe to toe against Wall giving him good defense, aggressive plays and a good leadership. It earned him a contract with the Golden State Warriors a feat that was never been duplicated by any Asian American since 1947.
Suddenly the taunts and the insensitive comments are beginning to sound like a mere whisper nowadays. Nobody dared to cross the barrier in playing in the NBA but not Lin nobody can say anything to him that could stop him. It was his goal to be in the NBA and his goal is to break the label on all Asian Americans… It wasn’t about talking or getting into fights it was just all about playing… It’s the one thing Jeremy Lin knows too well. It breaks all barriers and all stereotypes after all basketball is a universal language.
“I realize that I’m black, but I like to be viewed as a person, and this is everybody’s wish.” – Michael Jordan