Over the last week, the one name that pops up in nearly every conversation or on my Facebook news feed is Jeremy Lin, a basketball player for the New York Knicks.
If you don’t know by now, Jeremy Lin one of the few Asian American to ever play in the NBA. Since Yao Ming retired and famously became an investor, Lin has been the new star and idol for Chinese basketball fans.
An American born Chinese to Taiwanese parents and an Economics Harvard graduate, Lin shot to fame after leading his team to victory in stellar form, in the first few games he started playing for the Knicks. Just to compare, it took Yao Ming 127 games to score more than 38 points but Lin only 3 games! Even Kobe Bryant has praised Lin for his on fire performance after being out-classed by him.
China has a large legion of around 300 million basketball fans, and this number will grow given the hope that Lin has given them. Already Lin or 林书豪 has become one of the hottest people on Weibo. As of today, he has over 857,000 Sina Weibo followers compared to just 207,131 on Twitter.
Now that Lin is a kind of superstar, many people are trying to claim them as their own. The same thing happens to actors like Russel Crowe who was born in New Zealand but lived in Australia but became famous in America. Anyone can argue their point. But some in Zhejiang province in China have traced Lin’s roots back to Zhejiang and now calling him the “Pride of Zhejiang”.
Perhaps now, ‘Lin’ will be the popular name on the back of basketball jerseys across China and America.