Team(s): Warriors, Knicks, Rockets
Years active: 2010-Present
Career stats: 146 G, 11.5 PPG, 5.2 APG, 2.7 RPG, 1.5 SPG, 0.3 BPG
You know the story. Asian baller doesn't get recruited out of high school, goes to Harvard to play, goes undrafted, gets signed by the Warriors, ends up being waived by the Warriors and Rockets, ALMOST gets waived again—this time by the Knicks, who wanted to save $788,000 by cutting his nonguaranteed contract to sign Mike James (WHO?). Instead, he got his one shot against the Nets at MSG, scored 25 points, and rode the Linsanity wave until a knee injury/James Dolan's pigheaded nature ended his time with the Knicks. Then he signs a a four-year, $28 million deal with Houston. It's the kind of story that movies are made of.
As an Asian-American myself (if you haven't noticed, there are a lot of us now) who once had hoop dreams, Jeremy Lin's success—as average as it may be relative to the rest of the point guards in the NBA—means a lot. The first Asian-American athlete to transcend his sport, Lin's relevance will always be warranted, no matter what his Stephen A. Smith-minded detractors say.