LINSANITY, YOU BETCHA. Wrote long ago that Jeremy Lin and Asian Americans could hoop it up. Lin, a New York Knicks point guard extraordinaire via Harvard University and Palo Alto High School in Silicon Valley, is tearing up the National Basketball Association. Shaq calls him a "baby Nash" (as in Phoenix Suns superstar guard Steve Nash) who thrives at moving the ball around and making his teammates better. It's no coincidence that Knicks coach Mike D'Antoni coached Nash for many years in Phoenix, when the Suns were playoff contenders.
Lin's star turn doesn't surprise me -- or ColorLines writer Jamilah King, Disgrasian's Jen Wang, former Oakland Tribune editor Bill Wong, and the HuffingtonPost's Dan Treadway-- who show real depth and diversity of thought in their stories. I'm only surprised at how long it's taken b-ballers of Asian descent to make it in the pros. Yellows have played hoops at a high level since the 1940s, when hot-shooting guard William "Woo Woo" Wong starred at the University of San Francisco and Japanese American Wat Misaka played briefly for the Knicks. Raymond Townsend (part Filipino) and Rex Walters (part Japanese) also starred for many years in the NCAA and NBA. And many have played in schools and community leagues on the West Coast for nearly a century.
Good to see Lin get his shot with the Knicks (and the Golden State Warriors and Dallas Mavericks) in the pro sports workplace, where pure competitive merit should rule. He joins Olympic athletes, performing artists, fashion designers, professional chefs, literary writers, MMA fighters, and other Asian Americans as role models for a new generation of youths eager to explore untraditional careers. More anecdotal proof that walls will fall in today's polyglot, borderless world if we just peer past the cultural blinders.
- ColorLines, "The Subtle Bigotry That Made Jeremy Lin the NBA's Most Surprising Star" by Jamilah King.
- Disgrasian, "Chink in the Stands, an Asian American Fan's Notes" by Jen Wang.
- HuffingtonPost, "Why Jeremy Lin Is Important" by Dan Treadway.
- NYTimes.com, "From Ivy Halls to the Garden, Surprise Star Jolts the NBA" by Howard Beck.
- BleacherReport, "Jeremy Lin: Is the Knicks Guard the Next Tim Tebow?" by Bethlehem Shoals.
- (Added later) SFGate.com, "Am I Linsane? You Betcha" by William Wong.
- (Added later) WSJ Blogs, "Can Chinese Basketball Learn From Lin?" by Alan Paul interviewing Jim Yardley.