Lin Gets His All-Star Weekend Close-Up





ORLANDO – Fortunately, Jeremy Lin’s first press conference at NBA All-Star Weekend included a question about Jeremy Lin having any sort of press conference, period, at All-Star Weekend.

Even though it had only been three weeks since Lin “blew up” as the NBA’s biggest story – underdog Asian-American kid from Harvard coming off the bench to revive one of the league’s marquee franchises in America’s media capital – the frenzy had become the new normal for many.

Oh, of course Lin would be on the cover of Sports Illustrated (again). Oh, of course he would outsell every NBA All-Star in replica jerseys. Oh, of course he would have his very own press conference in an interview room that went SRO 10 minutes before he arrived.

Screeeeech! Someone finally stopped the Linsanity and asked Lin – who never asked for any of the hype or mania surrounding him – if he could appreciate how surreal this was. From sleeping on his brother’s couch a few weeks ago to a private audience with a global sporting press, beyond what the actual All-Stars were getting.

“Oh, absolutely,” the second-year point guard said. “Just any press conference of my own in general, let alone All-Star Weekend. Just to be here and to see the company and all the players that are here is just – it’s been unbelievable, and I’m just trying to take it all in and embrace it and enjoy it every step of the way.”

The legend of Jeremy Lin is pretty well known by now: Undrafted out of Harvard. Signed by Golden State as a free agent in July 2010. Modest rookie season with the Warriors (2.6 ppg, 1.4 apg in 9.8 mpg). Cut in December 2011. Picked up and quickly dumped by Houston. Signed by New York two days after Christmas but barely used through nine appearances, averaging about six minutes, across five weeks.

Then – kaboom! – Lin scores 25 points off the bench against New Jersey. Twenty-eight vs. Utah. Twenty-three with 10 assists at Washington, 38 against the Lakers … and the Knicks win nine of 10 games. He becomes the NBA’s flavor of the month and beyond, a wholly unexpected, happy story in an odd post-lockout season. A downright phenomenon that – even after losses to the Nets and the Heat in recent days (and an ugly stats line vs. Miami of eight points, eight turnovers and 1-of-11 shooting) – shows little sign of abating.

Though Lin expects it to soon.

“Hopefully as the season progresses, it will go from [Linsanity] to ‘New York Knicks,’ ” he said. “We can make a good push after the All-Star break and people will start talking about the Knicks and not necessarily me.” New York is 17-18, at No. 7 in the East and chasing a second consecutive playoff berth after a six-year drought.

Lin shared some other tidbits with the inquiring minds Friday, in the hours before he played in the Rising Stars game at Amway Center.

–  Landry Fields, Carmelo Anthony, Tyson Chandler and Jared Jeffries have been the New York teammates who have been most supportive and helpful as he has learned, and been tested by, the league.

– Had Knicks guard Iman Shumpert not gotten hurt and dropped out of Saturday’s Slam Dunk contest, Lin might have participated with a replica of his famous couch: “Landry was going to roll a couch out with a cover over it, I was going to be sleeping underneath it and then we were going to pull the cover. I was going to throw to Iman an alley-oop from the couch. And he was going to jump over both me and the couch, windmill it and then sit down and have Landry hand him a Sprite.”

– He hasn’t splurged on any purchase. “I’m still a minimum [salary] guy. That hasn’t changed.”

– His job security was precarious enough in January that he said a prayer in pregame chapel in Miami, as the date for guaranteeing contracts (or dumping those without them) approached.

– Yet he never had a solid Plan B in his back pocket, in the event New York did cut him. “Obviously I was thinking about three main options: overseas, D-League or to just take a break or give up basketball for a while,” Lin said. “I was just trying not to think about it, basically.”

– Lin met head-on a question about his ethnicity and whether it worked against him with NBA scouts. “I think it has something to do with it,” he said. “But I think just being Asian-American, obviously when you look at me, I’m gong to have to prove myself more so, again and again and again, and some people may not believe it.

“I know a lot of people say I’m ‘deceptively athletic’ and ‘deceptively quick,’ and I’m not sure what’s deceptive. But it could be the fact that I’m Asian-American. But I think that’s fine. It’s something that I embrace, and it gives me a chip on my shoulder. But I’m very proud to be Asian-American and I love it.”

70 Comments

  1. Montagu says:

    Time will show his unlimited skills and talent

  2. wise guy says:

    concerning the ethnicity issue, I’m amused by the thought that if a Jewish kid – especially if he was ultra-orthodox: you know, playing with a skull-cap on his head and fringes sticking out from under his pants, eating only kosher food, avoiding looking at or (God forbid1) touching someone of the opposite sex, etc. – had done the same thing when I was growing up in New York (’40s and ’50s) exactly the same sort of ‘Goldberg-mania’ would have hit the city. So it’s the apparent incongruity of what’s happening, plus the hope and excitement it provides for Knick’s fans, that’s the real driving force for all the ‘hype’, not the irrelevant factors like “how does he stack up compared with (whomever)?” that many of you insist on focussing upon. Actually, Jack Molinas, who starred for Stuyvesant HS and Columbia U. before becoming an rookie-of-the-year and an all-start in the pro’s, comes closest to my fantasy about those days of yore, but he was in the spotlight all along, and Columbia was a big-time basketball school at the time (same with Bill Bradley later at Princeton, who was also a Rhodes scholar, so BRAINS COUNT !).

  3. BC says:

    He chose 17 because Melo took 7. Good answer though.

  4. Alvin says:

    here we go:
    Legend
    In
    New york

  5. VT says:

    Lin’s success has nothing to do with being a Asian. He was cut twice because of he is Asian. Compare with other players, Lin is small. But Lin’s courage is bigger than all of them. He reminds me David and Goliath.

  6. Anderson James says:

    Lin is definitely a sight for sore eyes, breath of fresh air in sport, we not only enjoy his skill of playing ball but also the positive attitude toward to struggle of life. I want to see a move made of this amazing story, anyone with me ?

  7. Ashley Freeze says:

    Sometimes, this simple game involving a ball and a basket could show something so profound about life.

    Hard work, hope, faith, being prepared, picking up after being knocked down…

    Not everyone is born with an extraordinary talent, athletic, intellectual…. Most of us are not… If so, it wouldn’t be called extraordinary….

    What makes Lin’s so compelling is that we all know he’s not Jordan, an extraordinary talent. He will likely never be in the same league as Jordan…

    But he aspires to be great through hard work, preparation, and unyielding faith… He is mature beyond his years, remains humble…

    To me, the rarity in this Lin story is not so much a story of an Asian player in the league dominated by other ethnicity. Rather, it’s a story of personal strength, perseverance, and humility that have been missing in a league that has so highlighted natural talents and bravado that they almost always accompany.

  8. renewedknicksfan says:

    J-Lin handled the press conference like a pro. Very smooth and honest too. Jeremy, why not run for the next NY senator? I bet he will get a lot of votes. The name recognition is already there.

  9. 4PS4SuperLintendo says:

    The kid flat out rocks his interviews – better than his game, and he’s got game too.

  10. byyabb4ever says:

    GOD BLESS THIS GUY!,

  11. Lin need Rest says:

    Actually Lin will be better off coming off the bench for the knicks since it is easy for Lin to score. With Carmelo and Amare in the line up the knicks need defensive players like Iman to be in the starting line up.

    Lin, Fields, Novak and J.R Smith should all come off the bench. Chandler has good chemistry with Lin and Carmelo.
    Most importantly do not let LIN AVG MORE THAN 30 MINUTES PER GAME or else he will get number of turnovers that will haunt Lin.

  12. Ron says:

    I love Lin. Great guy. And not so much for his points, as it is for the person he is. He represents all of us. The best of us. Being a black guy, I find Lin refreshing in the NBA. With a sport that is so heavily influenced by the ‘hip hop’ culture over the years, it was became unbearable to watch. Everyone just seemed selfish and about making money and walking around with that basketball ‘I’m da man’ swag. Nice to see a guy who is about the team, learning from mistakes, a Harvard grad, and not ashamed about being a Christian. Great story. Glad my sons can see this.

  13. Nicole says:

    At first, I was #linsane but, the players have played so well I’m #KnickSanity! I watch every game and it’s intense sometimes. The game with the Miami Heat was intense. I thought the Knicks played great! But they could work on their turnovers a little. All of the players are incredible and I can’t wait til Wednesday!

  14. an asian old lady says:

    minimum means minimum lifestyle, not minimum salary..

  15. BRICE says:

    IT S LINEVITABLE

  16. alex says:

    great story for everyone in this world. so great kids!!!

  17. amasian says:

    the problem with some people is when the knicks lost they’ll say lin is just a hype or overrated..
    come on! give lin a break!
    you forgot melo,chandler and stoudamire also needs to perform…
    even the great michael jordan has some off night…
    heat knows what lin is capable of and they show why they(miami heat) are one of the best defensive team in the league…
    thats been said, at least melo or stoudamire should step up their game…
    when melo is out on an injury lin stood up and do something about the team..
    like they say in a team sport “every team needs a hero and every hero needs a team…”
    specially when that hero is not performing well…

    • MagicLin says:

      Very good point. Lot of people forgot about Melo and Stoudamire. They both combine making 38 milloin. What Lin makes? 760 grand? Both of them need to step up!

  18. John says:

    Rp, while i agree with you that Lin is a bit hyped but you have to see the fact that Lin was also underrated just because he is Asian. Basically being underrated then overrated afterward balance it out, don’t you think?

  19. Tickerdude says:

    What a breath of fresh air!

  20. w says:

    喜歡他 因為他像小孩進入大人的世界 充滿挑戰又有學習的精神 謙虛又有禮貌 和善令人喜愛

  21. I4sun says:

    He’s not a superstar like Kobe or Rose but he simply carried out coach’s instruction. That’s better than a one man show!

  22. myriam says:

    I am very proud that New York Knicks has a player who is so down to earth. Love this player!!!!

  23. KATHY HER AIRNESS says:

    JEREMY LIN IS THE BEST THING THAT EVER HAPPENED AFTER MICHAEL JORDAN :) SIMPLE AS THAT!
    I KNOW HE’S NOT AS PERFECT AS HIS AIRNESS BUT THE KINDNESS, TALENT AND HUMBLENESS THAT FLOWS IN HIS VEINS ARE AMAZING!

    I WISH THE BEST FOR JEREMY :) HAVE GOOD YEAR

  24. Ced says:

    Give it time to sink in. It’s not just about the skill. It’s the greatness of the story and the message. When was the last time you saw a star player with this kind of chemistry with his team and the city he plays for and added with the facts that he was over looked, that he is of a different ethnicity, and a catalyst for turning around a losing team.

    Kobe was scouted when he was 18 and Yao did not get nearly this type of attention. The “Hype” is not about skill, it’s about heart and courage. Because he obviously is not a Kobe or any other #1 draft pick. He’s a kid that almost did not make it.

    If you are a basketball fan and you don’t get this story you really are missing out on probably one of sports greatest stories.

  25. Johnny Shady says:

    GOD BLESS THIS GUY!, I don’t care what anyone says in this world, this dude knows how to put a smile on your face and fill your pride up!! this is what I like about this dude, he is so honest, humble, I just HOPE he can become a better basketball player and keep averaging them 20 points!!! Go jeremy!!

  26. LEAVElinALONE says:

    I hope the media/press/attention thing can get off this kid. Just give him a break. Give him some time that he can be himself. Do not like it when all the media/press keep the focus on him.
    Even though his words are almost flawless in this press conference, I can see how this is so overwhelming… It will be so awful if this kid lost himself because of too much attention…

    Just as Skullz mentioned, if things continue to be like this, he will just be a term instead of a good role model for a lot of young people to follow — humble, work hard, be prepared and be friendly…

    If you want him disappear like a bubble, give him more attention, otherwise, just leave this kid alone. This is too overwhelming and too much to handle…

  27. DP3 says:

    @ Rp – what’s kinda stupid was your comment. Nobody said he was Kobe. Or LeBron or D Rose for that matter. I bet Lin can take your A to school any day though, literally AND figuratively. This also isn’t an issue about race. Guy got skills, no question about it.Stop hatin’ and start appreciatin’ dude.

  28. mat says:

    I don’t think the fact that he’s asian should influence how this young rising star’s story is spectated. He’s a good sports man with phenomenal work ethic and I don’t understand how people can even question his physical ability to remain one of the top players in the league, when smaller men than him (spud webb, allen iverson, steve nash) only to name a few, have achieved elite heights in the league, given the superb team this young man is surrounded by, bench included, and the fact that he is humbly willing to learn. There is no reason why he shouldn’t develop over time into a premier player in the sport

  29. Rp says:

    Lin is alright at best. all hype to be honest. he ain’t no kobe, he is Asian and getting attention just like YAO MING or anyone beside a white or black man would. Kinda stupid is you asked me.

    • jj says:

      hater.. and its “if you ask me” not “if you asked me”.

    • JJ says:

      alright at best? nobody said he was Kobe, and the fact that he’s ethnically asian is only a thin veneer of his story. get a grip loser

    • What it does says:

      Look at yourself in the mirror, and smell your breath. Congrats with your meaningful life. Great job! We forgive your insecurities. Have a good life, and know the word diverse sometimes.

    • wise guy says:

      This seems to be fairly typical of loads of bloggers who JUST FAIL TO GET THE POINT: the hype isnt’about how “good he is” compared to other players (who cares, actually?) but simply WHAT HE’S DONE FOR HIS TEAM: turned a bottom headed team, despite having two superstars, into a shoo-in playoff team even without them. The hype wouldn’t have been any different had he done nothing more than just be on the floor doing whatever, and not necessarily even touching the ball. [In fact, that would have been been an even more incredible feat!]. So from now on it’s merely going to be a matter of him slowly improving and getting integrated with the big scorers on the team ….. so why all the bloated expectations, the dire predictions and the total failure to appreciate what’s really going on? Einstein once said that it’s not the universe, but human stupidity that’s infinite, and an awful lot of people out there seem bent on proving him right….. this is not ‘Lin’sanity’, its L’INANITY!

    • The Aggressive Napkin says:

      um i think in his first like 6-8 maybe even 10 starts or so he has more points than magic johnson, larry bird, kobe bryant, lebron james, and you know that guy what was his name again?…oh yeah, michael jordan. so please explain how it’s all hype? the hype is well earned. and he was the 15th man on a team that wasn’t winning with two superstars, then the two superstars are not playing and this kid comes out of nowhere and leads the team to a 7 game win streak i mean com’on. And considering he hasn’t even played in 40 NBA games yet in his career i’d say he’s going to be a pretty good player. and by the way, i love number 24 but kobe was trash as a rookie and his career was considered over after that airball. so you can’t judge yet.

    • EC says:

      the thing is, he never asked for all of this coverage and neither did he ever or anyone else say that he is as good as Kobe or LBJ or any other superstar. He just wants to play in this league and be a player that contributes to a winning team and he can certainly do that since he has proven he can. I do not get why people can’t accept him as a good basketball player who is trying against all of the odds. Race does play a part, but if you think about it, why would it not? First Asian American to play in this level of basketball. Its amazing. Breaking barriers and stereotypes always starts with someone and he is the target of both the love from most people and the hate from some.

    • SP says:

      To Rp: It IS kinda stupid to have asked you. But actually… no one did.

      “He ain’t no kobe, he is Asian”? – nobody said he was Kobe, and yes, he is Asian. Well-noted.

      Being Asian-American is certainly a large part of the reason JLin’s getting all this hype, but I think that’s an important aspect of this whole story. Just as it was a big moment when the first African-Americans joined the NBA, it’s a big deal that an Asian-American is having success in it and opening the way for less-represented minorities in the league. And the double standard of political correct-ness when it comes to racial issues in this country has been a pretty eye-opening lesson in the wake of “Linsanity,” which makes his story valuable in even larger ways.

    • KJ says:

      Lin is alright at best – familiar comment from sore losers. Kinda stupid if you ask me.

  30. Janine says:

    Wow, how can you not love this guy? So humble and smart. As long as he knows that he can improve and learn from his mistakes, he will only continue to grow. Let the linsanity continue – but with maybe less of a media hype.

  31. Skullz says:

    I myself like Lin … But I’m afraid he is just going to be a phase. Come next season and he will be a has been. I hope it doesn’t come to this as I like him and love fairy tale endings, but we have to look at both sides of reality here. Will he succeed or is he another has been? Please Lin be a superstar we as fans need someone like you. And this is coming from a Kobe Bryant Fan = go Kobe :)

    Dreams can become a reality

  32. ewet says:

    its good and nice to see how unknown players instantly become a star,its the fruit of all the hardwork patience and most importantly prayers…in what happened to lin we can all realize that everyone still has a chance if we only dont lose hope,just continue working and oneday youll just notice the fruit of your labor without even noticing it..ur an inspiration to all of us..go LINSANITY!!!!

  33. B says:

    Spell check please

  34. wang says:

    I love this guy. Very good kids. Very positive

  35. celtic533 says:

    whoo this guy knows how to handle the press!Smart answers.

  36. J-C Knicks says:

    Chill, intelligent, honest, humble, funny, and cute as well–that’s why we love him so much! Hats off to the new american idol!

  37. Cat says:

    he is an incredible speaker, no joke. the level of questions that are asked are all over the place (some are just ridiculously sub par) and i’m surprised by his ease to eloquently answer all of them.

  38. JJ says:

    Pretty sure what he meant about minimum guy wasn’t about his salary but on how is lifestyle is minimum.

  39. Green says:

    Well said, Jeremy, proud of you!

  40. lude says:

    gooo lin, you can do it!

  41. Newyorker says:

    It’s great to hear Jeremy Lin talks about overcoming life’s obstacles and bias against him in a calm and educational manner to everyone who still stereotype Asian Americans. Regardless of any stats, at the end of any good or bad day, Jeremy Lin will always have his Harvard degree, the support and love of his family and friends, and of course, his faith.

  42. Charles Johnson says:

    A great inspirational, He’s not letting the media influence his plays and his mindset; a great basketball player, and an awesome person, keep it up!

  43. Tien says:

    The linsanity (past 2 weeks) is just the beginning. I am glad I saw it with my eye. For a player who just being a starter for 2 weeks. Lin will grow stronger faster than anyone in next few years under this pressure.

  44. cp says:

    Lin was attacked heavily by Heat and failed. It shows that he is also human and he is not holy. It makes his story with flesh and blood, not just an empty spirit. Jesus was whipped, tortured, nailed, and stabbed by a spear, but he was not degraded. Instead, he was elevated by God for being a human. Jesus’ death makes him closer to us and we can feel it. Jeremy Lin was beaten and we can identify more with him. Above all, in victory, he was humble. In defeat, he was persevering. In insults, he forgives. In relationships, he praise others. In team work, he gives credits to others. He is a sublime model of positive thinking! One of the best educational story for all our children!

  45. The night game says:

    Take the advise from blake griffin and give yourself some rest…

  46. lee says:

    i like this guy, an inspiration to all. One way or another you can see yourself through lin, Then you start asking yourself, if this guy makes it against overwhelming odds then why can’t you? Thanks to you lin you keep the fire burning to reach my dreams and goals in life.

  47. Law says:

    Great point about the ‘deceptive’ part. Hadn’t thought of it that way. It’s great that Lin is handling all these stereotype situations so well.

  48. prix says:

    1st Kaman break Linstreak and after Deron stabbed NY and now the Heat just show they don´t care about Linsanity.. above all this… Linsanity will always be Jeremy Lin story..Above and beyond our understanding..a gift, a blessing and an inspiration for all…

    • wHinkjr1969 says:

      YEAH-RITE …WHATEVER….U KEEP POSTING YOUR MISLEADING COMMENTS JUST THE WAY THIS SITE EXPECTS ALL MENTALLY RETARDS TO DO. YOU HAVE OBVIOUSLY FORGOTTEN WHY THIS GUY BLEW-UP SOOO RAPIDLY THIS SEASON; THE REASON: BECAUSE THE PROFITS THAT WERE LOST AT THE START OF THE NBA SEASON BACK IN OCTOBER. DO YOU REMEMBER THE LOCKOUT????? COMMISSIONER STERN ALREADY KNOWS THAT THE MORE EXPOSURE GIVEN TO THIS GUY’S ATHLETIC SKILLS THE MORE REVENUE AND PROFIT THE NBA GENERATES AND BANKS MADE-UP FROM THE LOST OF PROFITS THAT WOULD OF BEEN EARNED. THE OWNER OF THE KNICKS MAKES A CONSIDERABLE PROFIT AS WELL. BUT LIN, IF HE HAS NOT BEEN OFFERED AN OUTSIDE ENDORSEMENT HE WILL NOT MAKE OR SEE ANY OF THE SO-CALLED “LINSANITY” PROFITS. BESIDES THAT…ENDORSERS ALSO KNOW THIS GUY IS JUST A ROOKIE. HE WILL HAVE TO PUT IN MORE PLAYING SKILLS ALSO KNOWN AS: “PAYIN’ DUES”, B4 HIS BB CAREER REALLY LAUNCHES. AFTER THIS ALL BLOWS OVER AND THE SPOTLIGHT DIMMS HIS NEXT ANSWERED QUESTION TO THE PRESS ROOM WILL SOUND SOMETHING LIKE…,”WELL…Y’UH-KNOW, BACK WHEN I FIRST CAME OFF THE BENCH FOR THE KNICKS I NEVER GOT PAID ANY OF THE PROCEEDS AND PROFITS THE NBA MADE DURING THE EXPOSURE THEY ONLY GAVE ME…” AND THAT’S BECAUSE THIS GUY IS A DISTINCTION FROM THE REST OF BLACK NBA PLAYERS IN THIS COUNTRY. THIS LITTLE GUY IS NOTHING MORE THAN A TOKEN THE NBA IS MILKING WHAT THEY CAN FROM HIS ATHLETIC PERFORMANCE HE’S PUTTING ON IN NYK. HE’S AN INSPIRATION FOR THE NBA’S GUARANTEED CHECKS THEY MAKE FROM HIS ASIAN-AMERICAN FANS IN CHINA AND HERE IN THE U.S.