Jeremy Lin coming to Toronto was as epic as Toronto Batman. He gave me something to cheer for other than the Raptors.
I first heard about Jeremy from a friend of mine. Lin was a former D-league player that got to be on the starting line up due to injuries on the team. Though he is exceptional at basketball, what caught my attention was that he was a Harvard grad and he was also Asian.
An Asian basketball player? Sure this is nothing, we already have Yao Ming already, but a good Asian-American point guard? Lin-sanity! He has all the odds stacked up against him, natural height, tiger parents, and Asian passive nature, yet he is still able to be successful.
On the issue of Height, I’m fortunate enough to be 5’11”. But some of my other Asian friends are less lucky. My Filipino friend told me that basketball is huge in the Philippines. He would play basketball bare foot from sun up to sun down. He feels that the Filipino international team is very strong technically, but the biggest drawback is the height. When the average height of the team is 5’6” its next to impossible to play against a team average height of 6’7”. Jeremy Lin has parents that are both 5’6”, it must be the milk or something in the States that made hims balloon to 6’3”.
Growing up with Tiger parents, parents that want their children to become a doctor/lawyer/engineer/accountant, I know first hand how hard you have to fight your parents and go down a path that is much less certain. After all Lin was sleeping on his brothers couch because he wasn’t even sure if the Knicks would keep his contract. From the another article it seems that Lin’s father was supportive, but his mother wasn’t trilled about a basketball career. After all both parents are Engineers. So that’s another block he was able to overcome.
Finally, Lin was able to overcome the passive nature of Asian culture. Taoism has been around for a few thousand years and Chinese culture at least, and it emphasizes peace and being passive. I feel most Asians still follow this path of non-confrontation, which makes playing most contact sports difficult. Though basketball isn’t strictly a contact sport, you definitely need to be comfortable with contact as fouls happen. Lin can drive to the net, he has that aggression needed to succeed at this sport.
With all these point he has overcome, no wonder people feel it’s a Linderella story.