I have heard of Jeremy Lin before, but I had never actually seen him play. I started googling his name, youtube-ing videos on him, and watched his documentary, and when I saw what this kid could do, the first thing on my mind was, “Damn that was a sick as move!” The kid has skill, talent, and he happens to be Asian American. Now the question is, do I think Jeremy Lin gets publicity for being an Asian American NBA player? Yes I do, but he is in the NBA and highly recognized and talked about not because he Asian American, but because he is an amazing, skilled, and talented player. It is true we don’t see a lot of Asian Americans in the Basketball profession, nor do we see many representations of Asian Americans have any athletic skill at all (with the exception of martial arts). Also, Jeremy is not the first Asian American to play in the NBA.
The first non white NBA player joined the league in 1947 and was of Japanese American descent, his name, Wataru Misaka, Nisei (2nd generation) Asian American. And later in the 1970’s Raymond Townsend a fourth generation, biracial Filipino American, and also in the mid 90’s Rex Andrew Walters, another biracial, Japanese American. Jeremy Lin is the first Chinese or Taiwanese American NBA player, he is 2nd generation American, and his parents are post 1965 immigrants from Taiwan, born in China.
The screen shot below shows precisely what I would like to talk about, the factor of race, race in the NBA. Jeremy Lin was a surprise to NBA, but why? My father, a basketball lover, and ex-player/coach, would say Lin, was under radar and then he proved he player through skill.
Through the lack of representation of Asian Americans as athletes and specifically basketball players Jeremy Lin is a surprise to the NBA. Also, the lack of Asian American representation in general in the U.S. is because of stereotypical portrayals of Asian Americans such as nerdy, computer geek, and math genius.
Because of stereotypes such as being nerdy and good at math, people “jokingly” attribute and describe Lin as being able to calculate his moves precisely and use formulas instead of just playing playing well, do to hard work, practice, natural talent, and skill.
For the people that agree with Flyod Mayweather that Jeremy Lin ONLY get’s attention and hype because he’s an Asian American player, that’s not true. Yes, I did say he got attention for being Asian American because there are so few representations however, Jeremy Lin is recognized for his skill and drive. Asian Americans show him a lot of support because he is a new role model that looks like them. The media outside of the sports world like to talk about his Asian-ness, but sports center isn’t talking about him because he’s Asian, he’s not playing on the court because he’s Asian, he’s playing because he good.
ESPN article on Flyod Mayweather Commit: http://espn.go.com/new-york/nba/story/_/id/7572690/floyd-mayweather-says-new-york-knicks-jeremy-lin-spotlight-race-not-play
Some more fun:
Tim and me agree: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gSGwWQ4sPeY&list=PLbqCSbbfOE4WDpv1FZduEKJMl65sTF-R8
about week after the above linked article was posted, SNL commented on Linsanity and Lin related puns.
“I’ve touched on this topic before when I playfully suggested that Harold and Kumar’s John Cho and Kal Penn would be ideal hosts(with Far East Movement thrown in as the musical act for good measure) so why am I picking on them again? After all, there’s plenty of other programs that are equally problematic in this area?
Partly, it’s because of what Saturday Night Live represents to our zeitgeist. Whether you think the show itself is good or not, SNL, more than any other non-news entertainment program, is the cultural barometer of the week’s events. The Daily Show or The Colbert Report may be sharper in its take on current events, but they don’t have anywhere near the reach of SNL even on its bad nights.”