so if you’ve been on facebook, twitter, espn, the ny times, colorlines, or just tuned into the last few knicks games, you’ve heard of new starting point guard and harvard graduate, #17 jeremy lin. you know he scored 25 points with 7 assists against the nj nets, and you know he racked up 28 points and 8 assists against the utah jazz. of course you do, my bad.
but now that the initial buzz about this newcomer with his sick drives to the basket and shot-clock beating 3s has quieted a bit, the discussions have turned to linsanity off the court.
as a prominent asian american athlete, it is inevitable that race is going to be part of the story. a lot of people have asked: why does race always have to be brought up?
well, for starters, there aren’t many visible asian american nba players. colorlines says that lin is the first in over a decade. so give us this one, ok? let us celebrate our asian american brother. let us drink beer and cheer every time he adds points to the board, regardless if we live in new york or not. we’re a tight-knit community and like phil yu from angry asian mant weeted: When I see @JLin7 play his ass off, I feel like a proud brother cheering from the bleachers
that’s how we feel when a fellow asian american does something awesome, like we’re watching a family member go forth and wreck shop.
because there hasn’t been much precedent, we’ve jumped full force on the storm that is jeremy lin. a few people have asked why other asian nba players haven’t received as much attention: yao ming (though i argue that we all love yao and i remember all the cutesy commercials back in the day), wang zhizhi, and yi jianlian, for example. there’s a huge divide between asian (born in asia) and asian american (born in america). asian americans are forever trying to prove that we are american. we’re american born, american raised, thus true americans despite what we may look like to others. so this is, i think, a big reason why the asian american community has fallen so hard for mr. lin: he’s american like us and he plays ball real well.
let us not forget the most glaring obvious reason as to why linsanity has come about other than his skills on the court—jeremy lin defies stereotypes placed upon the asian american body. how long have our men been seen as weak, emasculated, unathletic, playthings for women who just want their homework done? how many hollywood movies show asian american men as nerdy, awkward, sexless objects whose only real value is for comedic relief?
now, i don’t know the guy, but i’m going to guess that after 53 points and 15 assists in the 80 combined minutes of his last two games, the man is getting some.