Jeremy Lin is not only changing mainstream America's view of Asians. The New York Knicks star could broaden the aspirations of Asian-Americans themselves.
Aaron Vincent Elkaim/The Canadian Press/AP/File
It says something about the improbable season of Jeremy Lin that in two months he has gone from bench warmer to injured NBA star whose injury and six-week absence might keep the New York Knicks from making the playoffs.
Then again, everything about Lin has been improbable since he stepped onto a basketball court Feb. 4 and led the woeful and depleted Knicks to the first game of a seven-game winning streak. An Asian-American Harvard graduate – with a degree in economics to boot – was suddenly outscoring NBA stars. Commentators quickly dubbed it "Linsanity" – noting how odd it seemed that an Asian-American was the hottest thing in pro sports.
As an Asian-American, I have another word for his rocket-fueled season: inspirational. The bucking of the Asian-American stereotype is likely to have a positive effect, not only on the attitudes of non-Asians toward Asians but also on the aspirations of Asian-Americans themselves.