For me this has probably less to do with sport and more to do with sociology. Jeremy Lin, the Taiwanese-American basketballer from Palo Alto is sending the NBA world into a frenzy with his recent efforts for the New York Knicks. I love a good underdog story. I love it even more when the protagonist is Asian.
Maybe this resonates with me a lot because I have also experienced the life of an Asian growing up in a Western country, as someone who didn’t just want to be book-smart but to pursue sport and other extracurricular activities. I’m not egotistical enough to claim that I was able to rise to the challenge and succeed spectacularly against the odds like Jeremy has, but I will certainly be following his story with great interest. I might even learn something about basketball along the way!
From what little I do know of the sport, it seems to me that Lin is a team player. He is unselfish, always looking for the best time to dish the ball out and, when the opportunity presents itself, to go it alone. The Knicks’ offence is running much smoother with him in the line-up (we’ll see what happens when Carmelo Anthony comes back to the team). Kinda reminds me of an article I read way back in the NYTimes about the “No-Stats All-Star”, the kind of player who doesn’t do any one thing special but has this intangible, immeasurable quality that lifts the play of the entire team. Check it out, it’s a fascinating read. I think Jeremy Lin is that kind of guy, and I wish all the best to him as he breaks down the entrenched attitudes and misconceptions of Asian sportspeople.