It’s official, Jeremy Lin is part of Time’s Top 100 Most Influential people in 2012.
The Taiwanese-American sensation who showed up out of nowhere in February and shone the spotlight on Asian Americans in professional sports as the starting point guard of the New York Knicks demonstrated home, success, stereotypes, and financial impact that a minority in the United States can bring.
The author of the list, mentioned:
[Lin has] dispelled the idea that Asian-American guards somehow couldn’t hack it in the NBA — and that being a world-class athlete on the court is somehow at odds with being an excellent student off the court. [...] I don’t care whether you are an Asian-American kid, white, black or Hispanic, Jeremy’s story tells you that if you show grit, discipline and integrity, you too can get an opportunity to overcome the odds.
Lin didn’t rely on moping and off-the-court antics to get attention to get into the league. Despite several failed attempts to land a secure roster spot and thrown around in the development league worked hard and played true to his Harvard game. With an incredible basketball IQ and solid fundamentals, he played with confidence under the bright lights of Madison Square Garden and shone like a star.
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His story couldn’t have started any better, with the New York Knicks’ stars Amar’e Stoudemire and Carmelo Anthony out and the Knicks spiraling down. without a floor leader, Lin’s emergence was immediate and well-timed. His stellar play allowed a team of role players win consecutive games in thrilling fashion and ignited a media frenzy unseen since Tim Tebow of the NFL in late 2011.
His humility, ethnicity, devotion to his faith, and impact to the team provided endless media and business exposure that made the NBA even more relevant in countries where basketball is a minor sport like in South East Asia.
Read the Time Magazine piece on Jeremy Lin here.