If you’re American. Or a basketball fan anywhere, I don’t have to talk about the media sensation that Jeremy Lin, the undrafted, twice cut, Harvard basketball player starring for the New York Knicks.

But I have a personal connection to the newly crowned King of New York – when he was in Shanghai last summer, visiting his ancestral home of Pinghu, I was lucky enough to be the NBA staffer assigned to look after him and his family that weekend.

It’s difficult to really gauge someone’s personality whom you’ve only met through limited exposure – and NBA players doubly so. But based on my limited exposure to him, he’s got a really good head on his shoulders, works really hard and regardless if he continues to put up dominating NBA numbers or normalize into a regular NBA player, he’s got the right mentality for it.

The other thing I thought was interesting is just how normal a kid he really was. Instead of it feeling like a work/player babysitting assignment, it felt like my mom called me up and asked me to take some friends of hers out in Shanghai. One quick anecdote, when we were walking along the Pudong side of the Pujiang River, Jeremy and his little brother Joseph bought some lasers being sold by the tourist vendors. And in the car on the way back to their hotel, they were shining the lasers all around and at buildings and other cars and their mom went “Jeremy! Joesph! Stop shining lasers!”

Here’s some photos from a photo shoot Jeremy did with Inside Stuff magazine – obviously the Harvard and basketball story resonated very deeply with the Chinese media.

Jeremy Lin 2

Jeremy Lin 3

Jeremy Lin 6

Jeremy Lin 7

I hope the Linsanity continues!

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8 Responses to Linsanity!

  1. WoAi says:

    I’ve absolutely no idea who this guy is but have noticed his name all over Facebook and other sites recently. But those lasers are freaking awesome. From Puxi you can hit the top of the Pearl TV tower easily. And all for between 20-100 RMB depending on how well you haggle.

    I saw Madonna on a chat show last week and she was saying how her kids don’t give a damn how big a celebrity she is when they’re at home she’s just mum. I guess that’s a bit like your laser story, but in reverse. And that’s how it should be!

  2. terence says:

    I suppose the equivalent would be if an Oxford or Cambridge graduate played on his university team, played a few games in his local beer league, got noticed by Sir Alex, called up to ManU, and then after every mid-fielder on Man U got hurt or was playing poorly, got thrown into the game and began to dominate and basically play as well as any big money player for the span of 9 games.

  3. WoAi says:

    I’ve done some research and I feel less ignorant now as apparently until a few weeks ago most Americans also didn’t know who he was. Thanks for your attempt at explaining it in English terms. I guess it’s like if Christian Ronaldo went to Oxford then. Sort of.

  4. Terence says:

    He’s not quite as dominant as C Ronaldo and he really came out of nowhere, whereas CRonaldo has been known since he was 14 or 15

  5. WoAi says:

    Yeah that’s my point, there isn’t really an equivalent in the EPL. Theo Walcott?

  6. Catherine H says:

    I admit it: I am totally Linsane! I figured you might be too, and I’ve been meaning to look you up since the second game. It’s no surprise that you spent time with Lin (your life is rad!). I just hope you are getting to partake in as much Linsanity in China as I think many of us are feeling in the States. Has he become a household name there? I have never rooted for a Knicks player and certainly never rooted for anyone to beat the Lakers (despite my ambivalence toward Kobe). But I can’t get enough of Jeremy Lin. I hope the Warriors get him back, stat. He’s the perfect star for the Bay Area. I love the idea of Jeremy Lin and Brian Wilson as our two athletic figureheads — can’t think of a better combo to describe San Franciscans. But alas, it will be just a dream until we can woo him home. Until then, I’ll keep tuning into the Knicks and shopping for cool #17 shirts. 🙂

  7. terence says:

    Nah. I don’t think there’s an equivalent in any sport, anywhere. Well, maybe Kurt Warner who was a grocery bagger and playing minor league football (American) and then came off the bench and led the Rams to the Super Bowl. John Starks is another grocery bagger who played for the Knicks in the mid-90s.

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