KnicksNow: Jeremy Lin – Making History

I have a piece up at KnicksNow.com about Jeremy Lin and his journey to the NBA (and the history of how the Knicks had the very first Asian-American player in the NBA back in 1947 with Wataru Misaka):

Recently, Misaka was asked about Lin by ESPN’s Jared Zwerling, “I wish him luck. I don’t know exactly what kind of player he is, except for what I’ve read about him. I sure hope that he can stick. New York could be a great place for him.”, He also added that he wished to tell Lin, “Ganbare,” which is Japanese for “hang in there.” Misaka added, “I’d like to just tell him, ‘Hang in there, something good might happen.'”

“Hang in there, something good might happen” has been Lin’s mantra ever since he failed to be recruited by any Division 1 schools coming out of high school despite being first team All-State in California. Lin sent tapes of himself to all the Ivy League schools, Cal, Stanford and his dream pick of UCLA. The three PAC-10 schools each offered him an opportunity to make the team as a walk-on, but only Harvard and Brown offered him a guaranteed spot on their squads. So despite the fact that Harvard does not give out athletic scholarships, Lin chose to attend the Ivy League school. After having a stand-out career at Harvard, Lin once again suffered a set-back when he went undrafted in the 2010 NBA Draft. After excelling on the Dallas Mavericks’ mini-camp and Summer League squads, Lin was signed by the Golden State Warriors for the 2010-11 season. He was waived before the current season and signed by the Houston Rockets, who waived him after they needed a roster spot for newly acquired free agent center Samuel Dalembert.

The Knicks then picked him up and if his brilliant performance in leading the Knicks to victory against the Nets is any indication, it is no longer a question whether something good might happen to Lin – it already has.

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10 thoughts to “KnicksNow: Jeremy Lin – Making History”

  1. Best of luck to Lin. Kid finally got a chance to showcase his skills and does not shy from it! We got ourselves a PG.

  2. Nice story. Did not realize Lin was that good (assuming first team all-state in California = being so good) yet got such minimal interest.

  3. @2 – to be honest (and not to be dramatic), I think there is probably some amount of racism re: Jeremy Lin and why he hasn’t been given a chance over and over again. One of the Bay Area sportswriters said it too – that he lives 10 min from where Lin played high school ball and saw over and over again that other teams just didn’t respect his game (and got carved up by him). In college, he basically dominated in games against tough D1 competition (see games against BC, UConn, etc.) when he was basically the only guy on the Harvard team who could even possibly be a bench guy in those programs.

    Anyway – a couple of articles from 09 and 10 about him:
    http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1953708,00.html

    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/09/15/sports/basketball/15nba.html?pagewanted=all

  4. The one thing I note in his high school stats, he wasn’t a high per minute scorer, only 15 per game. The first lesson at any level, if you want to be noticed by guys at the next level, score a lot…

  5. Thanks Frank. Without any information I didn’t want to come out with ethnic reasons on why he slipped through the cracks.

  6. This is no different than being a white WR or a white CB in the NFL. No matter how fast u ran you still won’t be given the respect u deserve

  7. Owen, you are so right. Scouts only look for kids that score but true PGs are not score first guys. They are facilitators. Why do you think that Steve Nash ended up at Santa Clara instead of Duke or Kentucky? There is a fair amount of racism in high school and college sports, not saying it is the norm but it is still there. My son was a top flight cover corner in high school and got no burn because and I quote from the coach “asians don’t play football”. So I have seen it first hand. Hey, their loss becomes the Knicks gain. I wish Jeremy Lin the best of luck and hope he becomes the missing piece of the puzzle.

  8. I do really enjoy it when you do these pieces, Brian–always good stories. Just one request–you could probably do with about an 80% reduction in exclamation points.

  9. Well, if there is a place that embraces diversity, underdogs and good guys, it’s NYC!
    I really hope the kid continues. Someone said this before, but it feels good to have a young kid to cheer for.

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