Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Linsanity moves to Houston

As most of the world who follows the NBA or Asian American athletes or the very fine intersection of the two in the singular figure of Jeremy Lin now knows, Lin is moving to Houston to join the Rockets because the NY Knicks wouldn't match the Rockets' offer.

Lin accepting the 2012 ESPY award for best breakout athlete
 The New York Times has a piece that describes the reasons for the Knicks failure to retain Lin, and Jeff Yang of The Wall Street Journal talks about the impact this will have on Asian American fans.  Yang quotes my friend and colleague, Tim Yu, whose astute observations bear repeating in full:
“I don’t care who he plays for — I’m a Lin fan, not a Knicks fan,” says Timothy Yu, an associate professor of Asian American Studies (and Jeremy Lin Studies pioneer) at the University of Wisconsin at Madison. “What I’m mad about is that the Knicks just completely cut him loose — and they’re blaming him for cutting such a hard-nosed deal with the Rockets. The fact of the matter is that even the team that benefited from Linsanity doesn’t believe it’s for real. That really burns me as an Asian American fan. But shed no tears for Jeremy: An Asian American athlete is getting paid like a superstar, because he is one — and that’s cool.”
Like Yu, I am a Lin fan, not a Knicks fan.  In fact, I have been a Lin fan from back when he was playing in the Ivy League and awarded him a T.G.I.F. (The Great Impossible Feat) back in February 2010.  Who knew that just two years later, I'd have caught the fever called Linsanity.

Farewell  Jeremy.  I hope Houston treats you right.  Most importantly, I hope that you have an AMAZING season/career such that the Knicks and all the fans in NYC and around the world will weep at this decision.  I, for one, am just excited to be seeing you play and to know that you are getting what you deserve--a salary and recognition to match your talent!

So long NYC! I'm headed to HOUSTON!!!

[Update: 1:46pm EST:  Just saw an interview that Lin did before the 2012 ESPY awards last week--it's just under 4 minutes and at around the 2 minute mark he gets asked about his impact on the Asian community and talks about what it's like for him as an Asian American breaking stereotypes about Asian American athletes--you just gotta love this guy!]

[Second Update -- July 19, 2012: Just saw this GQ article in which the author, Devin Gordon, talks openly about what no one wants to say was part of the whole Lin-to-Houston kerfuffle: Lin's race and ethnicity played a part in the calculations of Dolan, the Knick's owner, even if subconsciously.  Here's a quote from Gordon that says SO MUCH of what I, and many other Asian Americans, think/feel:
"But here's what I am confident saying about Dolan on the subject of Lin's ethnicity: he has absolutely no grasp of what Jeremy Lin really means as a cultural phenomenon. It does not pierce his bubble. It stirs no emotion in him. He doesn't understand what it means for millions of people in this country, and around the world, to watch the first Asian-American superstar athlete excel on the highest stage, and what it means to have that player wearing the uniform of his team. The pride, the joy, the inspiration, the transformative effect it can have on an entire generation of kids."


Angeline Quick. said...

No Facebook, Twitter or email icons?

Jennifer said...

Hi Angeline,
Don't know why those icons disappeared--I just re-added them--thanks for letting me know!