Former New York Knicks star of ‘Linsanity’ moment was originally drafted by the Golden State Warriors out of Harvard University and Palo Alto High.
Santa Cruz Warriors guard Jeremy Lin, the one-time darling of the NBA for his brief breakout stardom with the New York Knicks known as “Linsanity,” said in a heartfelt post via Facebook and Instagram that he was called “coronavirus” while on the court.
It was unclear from Lin’s post whether this happened while playing in the G League bubble near Orlando but, according to Marc Spears of The Undefeated, the league has opened an investigation.
“Being an Asian American doesn’t mean we don’t experience poverty and racism. Being a 9-year NBA veteran doesn’t protect me from being called ‘coronavirus’ on the court,” Lin, who grew up in Palo Alto, wrote. “Being a man of faith doesn’t mean I don’t fight for justice, for myself and for others. So here we are again, sharing how we feel. Is anyone listening?”
Lin — the first American-born player of Chinese or Taiwanese descent in the NBA — and the Warriors are playing at the neutral G League bubble venue in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. Lin initially was set to become a “Sea Dub” in December before a deal fell through. A deal got done in January.
Golden State Warriors coach Steve Kerr tried to wrap his head around the situation with reporters before Friday’s game. Golden State is the parent club of the Santa Cruz Warriors.
“I applaud Jeremy for his words and echo his sentiments regarding racism against the Asian American community,” Kerr said 90 minutes before tipoff against the Hornets at Chase Center. “It’s just so ridiculous. And, obviously, spawned by many people, including our former president (Donald Trump), as it relates to the coronavirus originating in China.
“It’s just shocking. I can’t wrap my head around any of it. But I can’t wrap my head around racism in general.”
The 32-year-old Lin played 29 games for the Warriors as a rookie in 2010-11, then went to the New York Knicks and gained the popularity that spawned the nickname “Linsanity.”
Lin wrote the following on his Instagram and Facebook pages:
“Something is changing in this generation of Asian Americans. We are tired of being told that we don’t experience racism, we are tired of being told to keep our heads down and not make trouble. We are tired of Asian American kids growing up and being asked where they’re REALLY from, of having our eyes mocked, of being objectified as exotic or being told we’re inherently unattractive. We are tired of the stereotypes in Hollywood affecting our psyche and limiting who we think we can be. We are tired of being invisible, of being mistaken for our colleague or told our struggles aren’t as real.
“I want better for my elders who worked so hard and sacrificed so much to make a life for themselves here. I want better for my niece and nephew and future kids. I want better for the next generation of Asian American athletes than to have to work so hard to just be ‘deceptively athletic.’”
Read Lin’s full statement below:
And Lin followed up Saturday with another poignant post about race in America: