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Sunday, April 20, 2014

Linsanity: How Racial Stereotypes Worked For And Against Jeremy Lin

While basketball pundits are analyzing what characteristics made Jeremy Lin a sleeper N.B.A. player, perhaps it is just as interesting to understand what makes Lin an international media figure. One simple answer to Lin’s popularity is his “rags-to-riches” story, where an underdog fought against the odds at every level until he reached the highest plane of competition. However, there’s more to Lin’s story than meets the eye.

To understand more about the Lin-centric media frenzy I reached out to a stereotype scholar (who also happens to be my wife) Dr. Anastacia Kurylo. She affirms that Lin’s extreme popularity is a product of race. A recent study by the National Basketball Association showed that 82% of its players are black, which makes them the “ingroup” representing the majority group. Once a population has ingroup status, all other people who are not members of that group are viewed as part of the “outgroup” and perceived as inferior. People associate positive attributes to ingroup members, which means in this case black basketball players are characterized as being exceptional athletes.

Dr. Kurylo asserts Lin’s Asian heritage meant that in the realm of basketball he was in the outgroup. Stereotypes against Asians subjected Lin to ingroup bias that allowed others to overlook him due to favoritism towards the ingroup, despite Lin’s ability. This would explain why he was disregarded by college and professional scouts despite his success at every level of competition.

The most common stereotypes of Asians in America portray them as intelligent but short and unathletic. Since basketball is a sport that favors taller players, these stereotypes of Asians make them appear to be ill-suited for hoops. These views exist despite the numerous successful Asian athletes. More shockingly though, even when Asian athletes achieve at a high level it reinforces the bias. So 10 time M.L.B. All Star Japanese outfielder Ichiro Suzuki, 3 time Olympic gold medalist Chinese gymnast Yang Wei, and Korean born 4 time N.F.L. Pro Bowler Hines Ward are treated as rarities that succeed despite the odds being against them. In this way, they are treated as the exceptions that prove that the stereotypes are true for all but the most extraordinary outgroup members.

Instead of showing that the outgroup and ingroup can share the same characteristics, Asian born N.B.A. players like Yao Ming, Wang Zhizhi, and Yi Jianlian further fuel Asian stereotypes. All three are at least 7 feet tall, which is unusual for any racial group. Yet, their success bolsters the perception that only the anomalies of the outgroup can succeed while the average members of the group would be unable to perform as well as ingroup members. Even their success, however, confirms the stereotype as they are labelled “skilled” players instead of “athletic” players, which plays into the intelligent and unathletic stereotypes of Asians.

Once Lin had a chance to prove himself capable at the N.B.A. level, he became the “model minority” where his achievement was now consistent with the majority of professional basketball players. Lin’s ability to generate steals, split double teams, and drive to the hoop are characteristics of the athletic ingroup. In this way, Jeremy Lin’s case is different from the other Asian N.B.A. players, because he is only 6’3″ tall and is physically gifted.

According to Dr. Kurylo, Lin transitioned into the ingroup gaining his current popularity as a media figure. With his sucess, Lin has earned status as a member of the ingroup of “N.B.A. players” while retaining his ingroup status in his Chinese-American and, more broadly, Chinese ethnic ingroup and his Asian racial ingroup. People who belong to any of these groups can claim Lin as their own. Hence those that appreciate the ingroup of “N.B.A. players”, can bond with Jeremy Lin on that basis, but Lin also enjoys an extra advantage of appealing to people who identify with “Chinese-Americans,” “Chinese,” or “Asians.”

Other non-Asian professional basketball players, even ones more talented than Lin, don’t have that same ingroup access. Playing for the Knicks, a team in an area with a sizable Asian population, creates a large built-in fanbase because even those that normally would not follow basketball may become interested due to this newfound ingroup bond. Lin is now an international media figure, not because of the generic rags to riches story that could be told about his basketball career, but because of his Chinese identity and how its value has shifted within the NBA once he broke through the America stereotypes of Asians.

Anastacia Kurylo, is an assistant professor of communication arts at Marymount Manhattan College. She is the founder of TheCommunicatedStereotype.com.

46 comments on “Linsanity: How Racial Stereotypes Worked For And Against Jeremy Lin

  1. maudlin17

    Interesting piece. I agreed with a lot of what is said here. However, Hines Ward is bi-racial, Korean mother/Black father. From what I’ve witnessed, a majority of the bi-racial athletes, rarely if ever identify with their Asian heritage. Tiger Woods is one of the best examples of this. After his success on the PGA tour, many Asian American groups attempted to give him awards. He refused them all. Instead, he chose to identify with his African American side, appearing on the cover of magazines such as Jet and Ebony.

  2. Mike Kurylo Post author

    maudlin17:
    Interesting piece.I agreed with a lot of what is said here.However, Hines Ward is bi-racial, Korean mother/Black father. From what I’ve witnessed, a majority of the bi-racial athletes, rarely if ever identify with their Asian heritage.Tiger Woods is one of the best examples of this.After his success on the PGA tour, many Asian American groups attempted to give him awards. He refused them all.Instead, he chose to identify with his African American side, appearing on the cover of magazines such as Jet and Ebony.

    That may be a factor of how society views him. For instance in America even if a percentage of someone “is black”, even a small one, that person is largely considered “black” by society with all the good/bad that comes with it. Same goes for a child of Caucasian/Asian parents, that will identify with Asian more than Caucasian, because that is how other people see them/treat them.

    Some day…

  3. maudlin17

    Mike Kurylo: That may be a factor of how society views him. For instance in America even if a percentage of someone “is black”, even a small one, that person is largely considered “black” by society with all the good/bad that comes with it. Same goes for a child of Caucasian/Asian parents, that will identify with Asian more than Caucasian, because that is how other people see them/treat them.

    Some day…

    I agree that a lot depends on how society views them. In addition, a lot depends on whether or not the biracial person passes the eye test. Unless you actually knew that his mother was Thai, Tiger Woods appears black to most(not all!) people.

    My experience with biracial people is that up until recently, most chose to identify whatever made it easier for them get through life. In most cases, this would be NOT Asian.

  4. Juany8

    The tiger woods thing is ridiculous, he looks black, every who sees him is going to assume he’s black, if he suddenly went up to someone and introduced himself as asian it would be confusing, there’s no reason for him to do that except to be difficult. Most bi-racial people tend to identify with who they grew up being. My Colombian-Japanese sister-in-law identifies herself as Colombian because she grew up there and speaks only Spanish, but her much older brother who lived in Japan for work identifies himself as Japanese. Most people don’t totally think of themselves as having a “split” identity, and nobody sits down and thinks out all the racial reasons for picking an identity.

  5. max fisher-cohen

    Tiger Woods’ rise to fame is very similar to Lin’s. Yeah, Woods has proven a lot more as a golf player than Lin has as a basketball player, but the fact that he was a black guy in a very white sport made him a big deal even before he proved to be dominant.

    What makes the reaction to Lin different I guess is that Americans are not as sensitive to Asian stereotypes as they are to ones about African Americans. You can make a fortune cookie joke or an SAT score joke or a small penis joke (okay, Whitlock did take some heat for that), but no one could ever get away with making a fried chicken joke or a watermelon joke… or a single mom joke.

    I wonder if when Tiger Woods was taking his shot when he was first on the PGA tour, the TV broadcasts zoomed in on black spectators.

    That whole racial reaction to Lin is kind of creepy to me. It feels like the 1950s all over again.

  6. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    Juany8:
    The tiger woods thing is ridiculous, he looks black, every who sees him is going to assume he’s black, if he suddenly went up to someone and introduced himself as asian it would be confusing, there’s no reason for him to do that except to be difficult. Most bi-racial people tend to identify with who they grew up being. My Colombian-Japanese sister-in-law identifies herself as Colombian because she grew up there and speaks only Spanish, but her much older brother who lived in Japan for work identifies himself as Japanese. Most people don’t totally think of themselves as having a “split” identity, and nobody sits down and thinks out all the racial reasons for picking an identity.

    It’s not ridiculous at all. That you identify him as black does not mean that everyone identifies him as black. In critical race theory, this is called differential racialization; the definition of race is not a stable construction and changes over time due to interest convergence, and material and cultural conditions. Explaining his reasons as naught but to “be difficult” is short-sighted and armchair psychology. Furthermore, I’m not sure how much you’ve studied postcolonial theory, but the concept of double (or multiple) consciousness is at play, here. Having some traits of African, Asian, and caucasian cultural identities produces a negotiation of the self in respect to these “static” identities, and this can be a difficult process for an individual.

    This is all to say that you don’t have the agency to tell Tiger Woods that he should or should not identify himself as a particular race.

  7. jon abbey

    meanwhile, the bubble may have popped on Linderella, second terrible game in three games in that last one. I do think he’s a solid NBA contributor, but I will be very surprised if he is an above average NBA starter (which would be top 15 PGs in the league).

  8. Frank

    @8 – I obviously hope you’re wrong, but even if he ends up being in the middle of the PGs in the league, that’s not that bad — there are a lot of good PGs in this league right now. Just looking by PER (for lack of something easier to find) here are the top 15 -

    Paul, Rose, Westbrook, Curry, Nash, Parker, Lin, D-Will, Lou Williams, Kyrie, Lowry, Lawson, Wall, Rondo.

    Below #15 are some guys who seem reasonably ok also – Jennings, Conley, Calderon, Sessions, Rubio, Andre Miller. Even if he ends up in the Conley/Calderon/Sessions tier – that’s pretty damn good for basically found gold.

  9. jon abbey

    agreed, I’m not especially optimistic he’ll be anywhere near that, but I hope he proves me wrong.

  10. Ben R

    Jon – You do realize that Lin is in his second year and is in a lot of ways still a rookie. Of course Lin had some bad games he will probably have many more but he should improve, and then struggle, then improve again like most young players. I don’t know where he will end up but considering how good his good games are he has elite PG potential.

    Lin has played less than 900 minutes he is bound to have some bad games. Look how many bad games Rose, Willams, Parker, etc all had over their first 900 minutes. In fact all three shot less than 52% TS% and had WS/48 of less than 100 over their rookie seasons which consisted of a lot more minutes han Lin has played over his entire career.

    Lin may not improve and end up being an average player but to say that this was all a fluke and he is merely average or worse is awfully pessimisstic. I don’t understand why people are so desperate to lower Lin’s ceiling. He is young and has just as much of a chance to improve as any other young player.

  11. jon abbey

    it’s not the results as much as the way he looked against Miami and Boston, I’ve rarely seen a starting NBA PG ever look so overmatched.

    I’m not desperate to lower his ceiling at all, I hope he turns into a perennial All-Star, but I think he’s going to end up being a lot closer to Goran Dragic or Ramon Sessions than he is to the top guys in the league.

    also his actual game makes me nervous, as a good chunk of it seems to consist of looking to draw contact inside before shooting. that is a recipe for leg/ankle injuries.

  12. jon abbey

    anyway, between my lowered expectations on Lin, the realization that Chandler is going to play hurt all year, my lack of faith in D’Antoni (although it was nice to see JR Smith tweet earlier today “First time I heard good game in 6yrs from my head coach! This Man gives me confidence!”), and the brutal schedule, my expectations for this team aren’t too high right now.

  13. Frank

    Re: Chandler’s wrist – it is obviously bothering him when catching balls – and it’s probably no coincidence that the lob game to him seems to have disappeared (although I’m also sure that teams are specifically game-planning for that too). He specifically mishandled at least 2 excellent passes from J-Lin against Boston, both of which should have been dunks.

    What this equals to me is an obvious opportunity to get Amare back in the flow as a roll man. According to Synergy, Amare still has it when he gets to finish the play as the roll man. He is averaging 1.16 PPP which would rank him 15th in the league this year, and is shooting 56.8%. By comparison, in 09-10 when he was still with PHX and playing with Nash, he was not that much better – 1.21 PPP ranking 18th in the league. The major difference is that 18% of his possessions in 09-10 were PNR roll man, and only 8% of his possessions are this year.

    I don’t want to give up on TC as the roll man, but if he’s not healthy and can’t catch the ball, then it’s time to see if Amare has anything left as the player he used to be.

  14. jon abbey

    thought this was interesting re Amare from ESPN today:

    “If Amare Stoudemire look a little lighter, it’s because he is.

    The Knicks’ power forward came into the season at 260 pounds, but over the course of the season, he’s lost weight. Stoudemire said Tuesday he’s now 246 pounds.

    “Still strong,” he said before shootaround in anticipation of Tuesday night’s game against Dallas.

    Stoudemire has endured back issues in the past and the tight schedule, because of the NBA lockout, could put a strain on a player’s body.

    “A lot of condensed games, but I feel great,” he said. “Just getting a lot of rest, doing a lot of swimming, a lot of icing. Just taking care of my body, stay in the weight room, that’s about it.”

    Stoudemire said he normally loses weight in the second half of the season, so to him it’s not a big deal as long as he’s still strong.

    “My body fat reduces as the season goes along,” said Stoudemire, who said it’s about five to six percent.”

    http://espn.go.com/blog/new-york/knicks/post/_/id/13679/stoudemire-is-lighter-but-still-strong

  15. bobneptune

    max fisher-cohen:

    What makes the reaction to Lin different I guess is that Americans are not as sensitive to Asian stereotypes as they are to ones about African Americans.

    there is a reason for that, namely the stereotypes of asians today are generally very positive, making fun of their excelling in academic pursuits, etc.

    stuff like this well known internet meme:

    http://images.cheezburger.com/completestore/2011/1/26/2bb9f52b-cd4b-4847-b424-e380d9b5c622.jpg

    is a positive sort of stereotyping asian parents as demanding success in all things for their kids, while the stuff aimed at blacks in the past was far more mean spirited.

  16. outoftowner

    I stumbled upon the Bulls – Pacers game last night, in the first half Indiana was running the same defense against Rose that teams run against Lin now – trap up high, collapse in the paint when he turns the corner, let anyone else beat you. Rose looked a lot like Lin in the Miami / Boston games – he missed a lot of shots at the rim, and had an awful turnover to Korver that ended up in the 2nd row. He ended up shooting 5-16 for 13 points.

    People are going to say that Lin is “regressing to the mean” but I think its just the misfortune of facing 2 elite defenses in 3 games (and, unfortunately, one more tonight). If a well coached team with quickness and length on the perimeter focuses on shutting down one guy, often they can do it, even if its Derrick Rose.

    I think there was interval progress from the Miami to the Boston game. Miami was the worst performance I’ve ever seen from an NBA point guard. Boston was just a regular-bad game. Dallas tonight is the next big test.

  17. jon abbey

    that’s a fair

    outoftowner:
    I stumbled upon the Bulls – Pacers game last night, in the first half Indiana was running the same defense against Rose that teams run against Lin now – trap up high, collapse in the paint when he turns the corner, let anyone else beat you.Rose looked a lot like Lin in the Miami / Boston games – he missed a lot of shots at the rim, and had an awful turnover to Korver that ended up in the 2nd row.He ended up shooting 5-16 for 13 points.

    People are going to say that Lin is “regressing to the mean” but I think its just the misfortune of facing 2 elite defenses in 3 games (and, unfortunately, one more tonight).If a well coached team with quickness and length on the perimeter focuses on shutting down one guy, often they can do it, even if its Derrick Rose.

    I think there was interval progress from the Miami to the Boston game.Miami was the worst performance I’ve ever seen from an NBA point guard.Boston was just a regular-bad game.Dallas tonight is the next big test.

    reasonable post, although you leave out that Rose had 9 assists/2 turnovers and didn’t need to do anything in the 4th quarter because his team was already up by 19.

  18. xcat01

    jon, to add to what you posted about Amare, I live out in Phoenix and I remember when Amare was playing much like he is right now for the Suns. All the talk was where Amare was going to traded and then he went off. He played like the MVP player we saw early last year. He almost single handedly carried the Suns and scared the heck out of the Lakers. Amare is a strange player in that sometimes he needs motivation, that is why I would hope that D’Antoni would reduce his minutes on days when Stat is not playing hard. You want to motivate a superstar player? Give his minutes to a rookie, start giving more of Stat’s minutes to Jorts and I bet you will see Stat start to bust his but a little more.

  19. bobneptune

    jon abbey:
    meanwhile, the bubble may have popped on Linderella, second terrible game in three games in that last one. I do think he’s a solid NBA contributor, but I will be very surprised if he is an above average NBA starter (which would be top 15 PGs in the league).

    i doubt any bubble has popped. look at the overall picture. before lin manned the point the knicks were losing with regularity to teams they should beat on paper like charlotte and toronto at home. now , they beat those teams with regularity.

    2 games ago he played the #1 pick in the draft to a draw at worst. they beat dallas. they played the celts (on a 3 game winning streak) to a draw at home on nat’l tv with himself in foul trouble and his #1 offensive option glued to the bench with stupid foul woes at the end of the half and the begining of the 3rd quarter and win easily if chandler had 2 working wrists and could have handled 3 perfect passes lin hit him with right between the numbers for easy dunks.

    i mean, i don’t know what you expect from this guy. he has single handedly restored order to the season that was headed to the lottery. i mean , did you expect to get oscar robertson off the waiver wire? i sure didn’t , but i’m happy to get dick barnett without the foot kick……

  20. jon abbey

    xcat01:
    jon, to add to what you posted about Amare, I live out in Phoenix and I remember when Amare was playing much like he is right now for the Suns.All the talk was where Amare was going to traded and then he went off.He played like the MVP player we saw early last year.He almost single handedly carried the Suns and scared the heck out of the Lakers.Amare is a strange player in that sometimes he needs motivation, that is why I would hope that D’Antoni would reduce his minutes on days when Stat is not playing hard.You want to motivate a superstar player?Give his minutes to a rookie, start giving more of Stat’s minutes to Jorts and I bet you will see Stat start to bust his but a little more.

    he definitely paces himself for the second half of the season, but it’s the second half now and he looked pretty terrible last game. such an odd situation with him…

  21. Owen

    Good read from the Kurylo’s! Loved it…

    I agree with Jon on Lin’s ceiling but I think his floor is a little higher. I think he looks to me like an above average NBA point guard, which is a pretty valuable asset.

    His relationship with the refs may define his career. If he gets to the point where they start giving him superstar foul treatment, that would be a big boost to his effectiveness.

    I also agree injuries could be a major issue. Watching Devin Harris’ career has been pretty instructive as to the perils of living in the paint. There is a reason NBA players love the midrange shot…

  22. outoftowner

    jon abbey:
    that’s a fair

    reasonable post, although you leave out that Rose had 9 assists/2 turnovers and didn’t need to do anything in the 4th quarter because his team was already up by 19.

    I agree, just thought it was reassuring to see D Rose struggle in the first half against a similar defense. 2nd half he played better.

    Biggest problem Lin faces is of the next 10 games, 6 are against top 7 defenses (Miami or better). His stats aren’t gonna look good in March. On the flip side, its good preparation since 6 of those top 7 defenses are Eastern Conference playoff teams. He’s getting his playoff reps in now.

  23. Frank

    wow – some reports that Boris Diaw is going to be waived by the Bobacts. I know he’s fat and out of shape, and we already have a crowded rotation, but he played so well for MDA before…

  24. Kikuchiyo

    I won’t say I disagree with Dr. Kurlyo’s argument, but I think it’s fair to say that Lin’s race is a non-factor (or just a very tiny factor) to Knicks fans. I can’t understand why people suddenly take an interest in sports, as with the Super Bowl each year. And, yes, I understand that those people (hardly fans) might find the whole story of Lin fascinating. I’m amazed at the amount of discourse this month of games from a team still below .500 has generated. So, yes, this “extreme popularity” may be about race and larger narratives.

    But for us, Linsanity is/was entirely about seeing an exciting PG bringing energy and wins to the Knicks. If it had been ______ who played like this, or Shump, there would be exactly or nearly the same level of interest, I think. I even have a bit of Barondacity after watching BD play recently. With Lin, the first factor is the great play; the second factor is the unexpected nature of it (an end-of-the-bench player). Especially in New York, I can’t see that race means much here.

  25. The Raging Platypus

    Owen:
    Good read from the Kurylo’s! Loved it…

    I agree with Jon on Lin’s ceiling but I think his floor is a little higher. I think he looks to me like an above average NBA point guard, which is a pretty valuable asset.

    His relationship with the refs may define his career. If he gets to the point where they start giving him superstar foul treatment, that would be a big boost to his effectiveness.

    I also agree injuries could be a major issue. Watching Devin Harris’ career has been pretty instructive as to the perils of living in the paint. There is a reason NBA players love the midrange shot…

    I was encouraged to hear Lin’s recent interviews where he actually demonstrates his awareness of the injury issue down the road. It’s a good thing he’s demonstrated some aptitude with that righty tear drop – though he definitely needs to figure out how to use it from the left side – and he’s canned quite a few midrange stop-and-pops.

  26. stratomatic

    I’m going to put a different spin on this issue.

    I don’t think there’s anything wrong with looking at and using statistics that suggest that some races, ethnic backgrounds etc… are more or less likely to be good or bad at some things. Stats like that are not attempting to explain the reasons for success or failure. They are just attempting to measure the probability of success/failure of a random group of “X” background.

    The thing is (and this is CRITICAL), people often have to make judgements about individuals BEFORE they have sufficient information available to judge them on their individual merits. So they ARE to some degree a random group.

    IMO, to ignore stats in cases like that would be foolish.

    What probably happen to Lin a few times is that he lost out in some very marginal cases because of his Asian background. In other words, with very limited information available to the scout/talent evaluator/coach, he and another guy looked exactly equal. So they went with the default value of the black guy because of the high level stats.

    A interesting question is “ALL ELSE BEING EQUAL” in terms of limited information about talent/skill etc… if you took an Asian kid 500 times and took a black kid 500 times, which way would you be better off long term?

    I don’t know the answer.

    Perhaps they would be equal.

    However, I don’t think I could really blame someone for taking the black kid “ALL ELSE BEING EQUAL”.

    There were way bigger problems down the line at Golden State (Houston really didn’t have him long enough to evaluate him). They had plenty of time to evaluate him as an INDIVIDUAL in practice, games, etc… where race should have become a non factor, but they still screwed up. So that might have been a case where bias create a negative result.

  27. jon abbey

    to me the stereotype that probably hurt him more than his race was coming from the Ivy League, no one has been drafted from the conference since 1995. Chris Dudley waa a big white guy who went to Yale who wasn’t taken until the 75th pick overall (so he wouldn’t have been chosen under the current two round system), and who ended up playing 16 years in the league.

  28. stratomatic

    jon abbey:
    to me the stereotype that probably hurt him more than his race was coming from the Ivy League, no one has been drafted from the conference since 1995. Chris Dudley waa a big white guy who went to Yale who wasn’t taken until the 75th pick overall (so he wouldn’t have been chosen under the current two round system), and who ended up playing 16 years in the league.

    That could easily be also.

  29. Frank

    jon abbey:
    to me the stereotype that probably hurt him more than his race was coming from the Ivy League, no one has been drafted from the conference since 1995. Chris Dudley waa a big white guy who went to Yale who wasn’t taken until the 75th pick overall (so he wouldn’t have been chosen under the current two round system), and who ended up playing 16 years in the league.

    the only reason he went to Harvard was because NO ONE ELSE offered the California HS player of the year a D-1 scholarship. THAT was because he was Asian.

  30. JLam

    xcat01:
    jon, to add to what you posted about Amare, I live out in Phoenix and I remember when Amare was playing much like he is right now for the Suns.All the talk was where Amare was going to traded and then he went off.He played like the MVP player we saw early last year.He almost single handedly carried the Suns and scared the heck out of the Lakers.Amare is a strange player in that sometimes he needs motivation, that is why I would hope that D’Antoni would reduce his minutes on days when Stat is not playing hard.You want to motivate a superstar player?Give his minutes to a rookie, start giving more of Stat’s minutes to Jorts and I bet you will see Stat start to bust his but a little more.

    I think some players get motivated just by trade talk. How about Rondo he’s playing so well despite all the trade rumors.
    Being fired or cut motivates people too. Without the threat of being fired DA might be bold enough to give Lin minutes. Without the possibility of being cut Feb 10 Lin might not be playing this well either.

  31. Z

    jon abbey: he definitely paces himself for the second half of the season, but it’s the second half now and he looked pretty terrible last game. such an odd situation with him…

    He was pretty terrible in the 2nd half of last year. It’s been a full year now since he’s been good.

  32. nicos

    Also, at GS it was Smart’s first year as head coach and you have to think most of his energy had to spent on getting on the same page with Ellis and Curry and working in Lee rather than working with a guy who was going backup minutes at best. With the Mavs, you had Kidd, Terry, Barea, AND Beaubois so it’s not surprising he didn’t really get a look there. Numbers game with Houston as well. It’s not like he was ignored completely (whether because he was Asian or Ivy league), he got a chance to start midway through his second season- he hasn’t been floating around for years.

  33. Owen

    One question, Lin was first team all state for Division 2 in California. Are most of the good players in Division 1?

  34. xcat01

    My thought is that JLin should have another bounce back game, for two reasons 1) He has shown that ability after prior poor outings and 2) JKidd is no longer the athletic threat that Rondo is. Lin should have an easier time guarding Kidd thus giving him more energy for offense. Also, he has already beaten this team before and has seen their defensive sets before. The one thing that IMO will make JLin a top tier NBA PG is his ability to learn from mistakes and the fact that he is a film junkee. With the day off, I am sure that BDiddy and Lin were pouring over tape of the Mavs and seeing what will be available to them. I expect a good game from both players and a Knicks victory IF the two superstars come to play tonight.

  35. jon abbey

    Z: He was pretty terrible in the 2nd half of last year. It’s been a full year now since he’s been good.

    again, maybe you missed game 1 of the playoffs last year before he hurt his back. I’m not saying I know what’s going on with him, but I don’t think anyone else really does either.

  36. xcat01

    Owen, Lin was Division II Player of the Year and First Team All-State which includes all divisions. So yes, he should have been noticed but as it has been said before, What scout is willing to put their job on the line for a solid but not flashy asian kid. The reason Lin is so productive today is the determination that was burning in his belly from being slighted and how that made him work twice as hard to get stronger and play harder then the next guy.

  37. 8missedYet

    Owen:
    One question, Lin was first team all state for Division 2 in California. Are most of the good players in Division 1?

    Means smaller school by enrollment. Mater Dei High School is a national powerhouse, which Lin’s team beat for championship.

  38. Z

    jon abbey: again, maybe you missed game 1 of the playoffs last year before he hurt his back. I’m not saying I know what’s going on with him, but I don’t think anyone else really does either.

    I remember the game. I was at it. Amar’e was really good in it. But he wasn’t very good for 6 weeks leading up to it, and he hasn’t been very good since it.

    I get that you are more swayed by momentary glimpses of greatness/ineptitude than by the greater body of evidence (see Fields v Allen; Baron v Dallas; Walsh v the 2009 draft board), and I’m not saying you’re wrong. Just that there is a large body of evidence to draw conclusions from, and for whatever reason Amar’e and Fields have both been largely unproductive since the day Carmelo arrived. (And now that Lin I playing along side Anthony, he too has looked pedestrian).

  39. daJudge

    Mike, thank you and your wife for the article on stereotypes. If I may digress a bit. I have one white child, two bi-racial children and two bi-racial grandchildren. My two bi-children are very light skinned and can, what people used to say, “pass” for white. I think they truly consider themselves biracial. In fact, my son looks like the guy in the Seinfeld episode who Elaine erroneously thought was black. To me, the children’s racial identity depends in large part on who they are hanging out with, i.e., the context or setting. Weirdly, when my son was in the Army, he was kind of a red neck. My grandkids are dark skinned and people naturally perceive them as black. My youngest grandkid (7) says she is brown like Beyonce. My oldest grandkid (11) is just plain freaky-deaky. God, I love her. My family is aberrant in my neck of the woods (and I mean woods), so the kids kind of roll with the punches. So don’t we, as they say. Fortunately, being biracial is much more acceptable these days thanks to folks like your good ole wife. Keep up the good work!

  40. TelegraphedPass

    I think it’s safe to acknowledge the possibility that Lin was overlooked as a recruit largely because of his race. He has several of the things you look for in a great point guard: size, speed (comparable to guys like Kyrie Irving), and a great work ethic. He led his high school team to a state championship and his high school numbers were very good: 15.1 ppg, 7.1 apg, 6.2 rpg, and 5 spg helping Palo Alto to a 32-1 record. UCLA was nearby and decided not to extend a scholarship to Lin, a hometown kid. I just don’t see sufficient evidence to support that decision.

    This reminds me of teams overlooking Serge Ibaka in his draft year. Despite his physical gifts, after seeing guys like Saer Sene and Gana Diop fail to realize their own potential, teams seemed to have developed a fear of selecting “raw” African prospects with substantial draft picks. With all the pressure on the scouts to make good decisions on these prospects, more than a few have decided to err on the side of caution and avoid the risk of suggesting a bust.

  41. inquisitive

    People need to know that Harvard does not offer athletic scholarships. Harvard was the only place that allowed Lin to play basketball, thus he chose Harvard. I am shocked that a 2nd tier basketball school like Stanford passed him up though.

  42. Mike Kurylo Post author

    daJudge:
    Mike, thank you and your wife for the article on stereotypes.If I may digress a bit.I have one white child, two bi-racial children and two bi-racial grandchildren.My two bi-children are very light skinned and can, what people used to say, “pass” for white.I think they truly consider themselves biracial.In fact, my son looks like the guy in the Seinfeld episode who Elaine erroneously thought was black.To me, the children’s racial identity depends in large part on who they are hanging out with, i.e., the context or setting.Weirdly, when my son was in the Army, he was kind of a red neck. My grandkids are dark skinned and people naturally perceive them as black.My youngest grandkid (7) says she is brown like Beyonce.My oldest grandkid (11) is just plain freaky-deaky.God, I love her. My family is aberrant in my neck of the woods (and I mean woods), so the kids kind of roll with the punches.So don’t we, as they say. Fortunately, being biracial is much more acceptable these days thanks to folks like your good ole wife.Keep up the good work!

    Pretty much what I was alluding to with “some day…” but much more in-depth! ;-)

  43. Mike Kurylo Post author

    xcat01: Owen, Lin was Division II Player of the Year and First Team All-State which includes all divisions. So yes, he should have been noticed but as it has been said before, What scout is willing to put their job on the line for a solid but not flashy asian kid.

    One thing to consider, that being the Division II Player of the Year doesn’t matter much in a small state like California where basketball isn’t really important.

  44. JLam

    Mike Kurylo: One thing to consider, that being the Division II Player of the Year doesn’t matter much in a small state like California where basketball isn’t really important.

    Jeremy was a first team all-state pick in 2006 along with Ryan Anderson and Chase Budinger. Anderson plays for the Magic and Budinger plays for the Rockets. Lin was actually chosen at the time over other notables as Landry Field(second team) , Russell Westbrook(third team) and Brook Lopez(third team)
    So at 6’2″ PG in high school Lin should not have a problem playing at the next level. Lin was overlooked by major colleges likely because of being Asian.
    I am actually very happy that he gets overhype now as I believe he wasn’t under appreciated by the Div I college and major media outlets since high school.

  45. JLam

    JLam: Jeremy was a first team all-state pick in 2006 along with Ryan Anderson and Chase Budinger. Anderson plays for the Magic and Budinger plays for the Rockets.Lin was actually chosen at the time over other notables as Landry Field(second team) , Russell Westbrook(third team) and Brook Lopez(third team)
    So at 6’2? PG in high school Lin should not have a problem playing at the next level. Lin was overlooked by major colleges likely because of being Asian.
    I am actually very happy that he gets overhype now as I believe he was under appreciated by the Div I college and major media outlets since high school.

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