Jeremy Lin is recounting the moments when he felt misunderstood as an Asian who happens to be really, really good at basketball. “There's just so many opportunities when I felt like everyone's looking at me, but no one really understands me,” he shares. “They are either jumping to conclusions or they're making fun of me or they just judge me based on my skin colour, but no one's actually getting to know me.”
The NBA champ is in California visiting his parents and brothers. A basketball hoop stands in the distance and behind it, the sun casts its late-afternoon light, which hides Lin’s face in shadow. He continues, “And when I play well: ‘He’s not that good. We're still not going to give him an opportunity. We’re not going to help him.’ Or when I wouldn't play well: ‘See, I told you. He's just horrible. He's not good enough.’ [They were] just very quick to count me out…”
Looking back at Linsanity
Lin’s abbreviated origin story goes like this: A college basketball player from Harvard University, the point guard is overlooked in the 2010 NBA draft. He plays the NBA Summer League for the Dallas Mavericks, which leads to a stint with the Golden State Warriors, before being signed with the New York Knicks in December 2011, where "Linsanity" soon happens.
In February 2012—after warming the bench in previous games—Lin finds himself on the court, scoring 25 points and helping the Knicks bag a victory against the New Jersey Nets, the start of the team’s seven-game winning streak. This is followed by more double-digit performances and career highs. He racks up 38 points in a win against the Los Angeles Lakers (and Kobe Bryant) and later finishes with 27 points, including a buzzer-beating three-pointer, in a win against the Toronto Raptors.