Jeremy Lin slashing stereotypes as well as he slashes down the lane
NEW YORK—His given name is Jeremy Shu-How Lin, he graduated from Harvard with a major in economics, a minor in sociology, a 3.3 GPA and a piece of parchment that would land him most any job but the one he craved. He’s as thin as a wisp and as quick as a wink and sometimes when he slashes through the paint you can hear echoes of the most awful racial stereotypes.
What else is there to know about the 23-year-old point guard for the Knicks who has captivated Manhattan and given the rest of the league whiplash? Though Lin is hot off three straight 20-point games, and though he can finally move off his brother’s couch now that his contract has been guaranteed, he admits to being prone to bouts of self-doubt. Getting zero scholarship offers out of high school, going undrafted, being twice cut by NBA teams and shuffling in and out of the D-League can make a guy slightly insecure.
Gazillions of hours in the local Y, the father schooling his sons on fundamentals he learned from TV, led to Jeremy being a near unanimous choice for player of the year as a California schoolboy. Still, Pac-10 colleges asked him to walk on, and Ivy League universities mostly ignored the homemade highlight reels he composed, edited and sent.
Was it because of Lin’s ethnicity, some unintentional racial profiling? His high school coach, Peter Diepenbrock, tells the story of Lin going to a pro-am game in San Francisco’s Kezar Pavilion and being stopped in his tracks by someone saying, “Sorry, sir, there's no volleyball here tonight. It's basketball."
But the first American of Chinese or of Taiwanese descent to play in the NBA mostly lingered on the bench, a cult novelty used more for marketing schemes revolving around an underdog reaching his dreams. On the first day of training camp in December, the Warriors dumped him to free up salary space.