About little less than three years ago, nobody really knew who Asian-American Christian basketball player Jeremy Lin was. Yet, his meteoric rise-to-fame story 'Linsanity' has inspired countless Asian-Americans and those in Asia to not give up in the pursuit of their dreams. While many professional sports player have limited their influence to on the court, Lin has continued to exude his positive influences both on and off the courts even to those working besides him.
"Jeremy Lin is the genuine article, the real deal," said Jason Friedman, sportswriter of Rockets.com, who wrote with great trepidation an article titled Beyond Linsanity, testifying of Lin's character through his first-hand encounters with Lin last spring and behind-the-scene observations. During the team's away game in Portland against the Trailblazers, the majority of Rockets' players, coaches, and staffs shopped at the Nike Employee store, and he was looking at a pair of blue running shoes and Lin came walking by.
"Oh, you're getting those too?" Lin asked him, who replied yes but that he had been hoping to find them in red, only to find that the store has been long out of stock on that particular color. Then, the two chatted briefly about the shoes. About two hours later, someone knocked on his hotel door, and when he opened the door, a bellman was holding a pair of shoes. They turned out to the red pair that he had wanted in his shoe size.
Lin's simple gesture of kindness "blew me away," wrote Friedman, adding that he was caught off guard not because of the shoes, but because of the "thought and effort involved." Moreover, he said this event reminded him how simple acts of kindness makes "such a difference in the world and how we perceive it."
On Oct. 13, the 24-year-old Taiwanese-American star and the entire Rockets' team traveled to Taiwan to play against the Indiana Pacers for the second NBA preseason game in his parent's country of birth, where Lin is warmly welcomed and embraced. Meanwhile, the two teams also played Oct. 10 in Manila, Philippines. There, Lin and the entire Rockets team was surrounded by reporters and photographers a day after their arrival to the nation with the second highest following of NBA on social media outside of United States.
Lin said that he is constantly battling against the temptations of fame and fortune. "I'm human, there's always the element of pride that I have to fight," said Lin, who added that his Christian faith "is very integral, not just me being an athlete but as a person," according to NBA.com.
As for pressure to perform as an Asian-American in Asia, Lin said, "I just want to be as much as myself as I can, and then be real and as authentic as I can be and let everything else follow."
Friedman, who has been part of the Rockets' entourage as the Rockets' sportswriter, said, "Such authenticity deserves to be admired - in him; in anyone who resolves to buttress their conviction with actions that make the world a kinder, gentler place; and in all of us who aspire to be the best versions of ourselves that we can possibly be."