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Half Man, Half AmASIAN

Writing about basketball is nothing new here on GATNB, but writing about race in sports is. Surprising to many, I am indeed passionate about serious issues like racism, politics, and religion. However, I prefer not to address it on this specific platform and reserve it for coffee shop conversations or wine nights in.

Having said that, all I want to know is WHAT IS IN THE FUCKING NY CHOW-MEIN THEY’RE FEEDING JEREMY LIN? Obviously, it ain’t the same as the kind they serve in the Bay.

Yes I know that statement may sound racist to some (which is the exact reason why I stray away from writing about it), but please believe it’s just my fucked up humor and not me being ignorant to the fact that Lin was born in Los Angeles, and that Taiwan and China aren’t the best of friends right now. But what-fucking-ever, I love chow-mein too.

When Lin was still a Warrior, me and my homie Scott would text each other like proud parents everytime he’d get his 15 seconds of shine on the court (more so him since he actually is Chinese). I think every Asian person in the building would rise to their feet and applaud everytime he played, regardless of how little effect he had on the score. You just couldn’t help but feel for the underdog. Now he’s a big dog for the Knicks, and you still can’t help but feel for him.

I don’t know where all this came from. Basketball skills aren’t acquired overnight, although to some it sure seems like it for Lin. Did he just need to warm up to it all? Does he feel more comfortable in NY? Is it just right timing? Was he just not given the opportunity to shine prior? Is it just a coincidence? I’m definitely a fan, but I’m still refraining from making any critical judgments about him. It’s still too early to tell. I mean, this streak can’t go on forever … can it? Regardless, I’d hate to see his talents just fizzle and him be the basketball equivalent to a musical one hit wonder.

I remember watching the Nets game that sparked the Linsanity thinking that alone was a major feat. Then, it happened again against Utah. Then, it just. kept. going. All the way until Tuesday when he pulled a game winning three-pointer with .5 seconds remaining. Let’s face it, in the basketball community, Asian players are a definite minority. So it’s no surprise that race will (unfortunately) be brought up. Hearing someone say “Holy shit, that kid is a beast. AND he’s Asian, whaaaat?!” isn’t out of the ordinary.

Floyd Mayweather Tweeted, “Jeremy Lin is a good player but all the hype is because he’s Asian. Black players do what he does every night and don’t get the same praise.” WELL DUH. Despite my distaste for Mayweather’s usual ignorance, I see where he’s coming from with this one. Jeyel brought up a similar reaction when a newcomer by the name of Tiger Woods took the world by storm with his exceptional talents in a predominately white sport. So in hindsight, I totally get what Mayweather’s saying.

It’s almost as if Lin being Asian is a double-edged sword. Depending on how you look at it, it can help as well as hinder his popularity. But Lin’s race/ethnicity/whatever the fuck you want to call it has nothing to do with him breaking the NBA record for most points scored in his first five career starts, a record previously held by my boo AI. “Men lie, women lie, numbers don’t.” There comes a point when sheer, undeniable talent negates what race you are. Looking a certain way may create a buzz and get you in the door, but the novelty eventually wears off. Talent is what keeps you there, it’s what remains and resonates when everything else fades away.

Jeremy Lin is a BALLER. Period, point blank. You’d have to be color-blind not to see that.

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