Jeremy Lin gets his first big game in the NBA
In the Asian and Asian American communities, Jeremy Lin is a known name. Not quite household, but that’s what happens when you’re the
only Asian player in the NBA after Yao Ming retired (Correction: forgot about Yi JianLian). The problem was that Lin wasn’t quite the star that Yao was. He barely got any playing time while on the Golden State Warriors, and has been sent to the D-league multiple times. It didn’t help that he was a star before he started playing, and crowds would chant his name every time he was near the ball, amounting to even more pressure than most rookies faced.
In December 2011 he ended up with the New York Knicks. He got some garbage minutes and had moderate impact, but there’s only so much a player can do with that kind of playing time. He got sent to the D-league again, and made some small waves when he got a triple double. Great news, but it’s easy to point out that the talent level isn’t even close to that of the NBA. I’ve been waiting for the day where Jeremy Lin could make headlines somewhere.
Last night he finally played his first big game in the NBA, and it’s everything I’ve hoped it would be. He’s been accredited with providing the spark needed for the Knicks to pick up a much-needed win against the Nets, and shutting down Deron Williams. On ESPN’s game page, the entire summary was about him, and he deserved it. His final stats were 25 points, 7 assists, 5 rebounds, and 2 steals. Making it to the NBA is an accomplishment, but to succeed in the league is another story altogether. The coverage has been amazing, and I think his name was trending on Twitter during the game. Most comments weren’t about his race, and a majority of the ones that were put it in a positive light. It looks like sports isn’t much different from entertainment; do it well and it will be hard to ignore you.
It’s just one game, so let’s not bring the hype machine back in full force. But one big game already makes a statement. The top comment from this thread on Reddit summarizes how I feel: “What he has done to all us Asians’ self esteems is amazing”. I hope he sees more nights like these in the future, because I want to see him succeed, but it’s good to see the difference this makes. He’s in good position to play more minutes for the Knicks (as opposed to fighting for minutes with Curry and Ellis on the Warriors), so let’s hope so. Asian Americans can always use more inspiration in professional sports.