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Tuesday, February 14, 2012

NBA ‘Linsanity’ Gives Asian-Americans A ‘Jackie Robinson-Like Moment’

Fans cheer for New York Knicks point guard Jeremy Lin during the second half of an NBA basketball game against the Washington Wizards, Wednesday in Washington. (AP)

“Linsanity” returns to the NBA Tuesday night when Jeremy Lin and his fellow New York Knicks travel to Toronto to take on the Raptors.

New York Knicks' Jeremy Lin. (AP)

If you missed it, the 23-year-old Asian-American Lin came off the bench and out of nowhere to begin a hot streak that has made him a sensation.

In his record-setting spree, Lin has averaged almost 27 points and 8 assists in his last five games and he’s now the Knicks leading scorer, playmaker and spiritual leader, taking the struggling team on a five-game winning streak.

And his jersey, No. 17, is the NBA’s top seller. Steven Colbert even said that he’s come down with a “raging case of ‘Linsanity.'”

A ‘Jackie Robinson Moment’ For Asian-Americans

New York Times reporter Michael Luo has a lot in common with the 6-foot-3 inch point guard. Both are second generation Asian-Americans, both are Harvard graduates and both are Christians.

Luo writes that as an Asian-American, watching Lin’s streak is like a Jackie Robinson moment:

For me, as an Asian-American, the chants of “M.V.P.!” raining down on Lin at the Garden embody a surreal, Jackie Robinson-like moment. Just as meaningful to me as a Christian, however, is the way the broadcasters have hailed Lin as not just the “Harvard hero” but the “humble Harvard grad.” His teammates appear just as overjoyed at his success as he was. Both seem to be testaments to his character.


  • Michael Luo, New York Times investigative reporter

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Robin Young and Jeremy Hobson host Here & Now, a live two-hour production of NPR and WBUR Boston.

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