August 23 is Jeremy Lin's 26th birthday. This year, he received two notable birthday presents that certainly make a statement of his notoriety as America's first Chinese-American NBA basketball player - a collectible figure of him designed by himself and a wax figure unveiled at the wax museum Madam Tussauds on San Francisco's Fisherman's Wharf.
While Lin is an American-Born Chinese, he has always had the habit of collecting small figures that were very popular in Asia whenever he and his family would visit his relatives in Taiwan, and decorate his room with them, dreaming that one day he can produce his own figures. This dream was finally realized on this year's birthday. The world's first figurine "Kung Fu Linsanity" will go on sale in Taiwan on the 23rd.
Meanwhile, Lin, who is the first Chinese-American NBA player, helped unveiled Thursday a wax figure of him, posed in mid-slam dunk, hanging from the rim.
Lin wax figure joins those of celebrities including Michael Jackson, Obama, Steven Spielberg, Lady Gaga, George Washington, Martin Luther King Jr., Abraham Lincoln, Muhammad Ali, Tiger Woods, Serena Williams.
"It's awesome," said Lin, who at first was shocked by the wax figure's resemblance of himself. "It's a little too real! It looks a lot like me."
Born in Torrance, Lin, the first Chinese-American basketball player and a devout Christian, grew up in Palo Alto. He led Palo Alto High to a state basketball title in 2006, and began his NBA career with the Golden State Warriors in 2010, before gaining his notoriety with the New York Knicks in 2012.
In July, Lakers acquired Lin from Houston Rockets in a trade.
For his wax figure, Lin met with Madame Tussauds' artists for detailed measurements that began the painstaking production process that involved more than 20 artists.
Lin posed for the figure for two hours at a hotel in Palo Alto about a year ago in summer time, holding his right arm up for the entire duration. He recalled his inability to keep his arm up at the end. Nevertheless, Lin expressed his gratitude to the museum's decision to make a wax figure of him to be placed alongside with those of some of the world's most recognized individuals.
"I am so honored by the way Madame Tussauds has captured me, it's truly incredible and I am humbled by the gesture and artistry," said the SF Bay Area native.
Lin turns 26 on Saturday, August 23, which is also the birthdate for his new teammate Kobe Bryant, shooting guard for Lakers, 11 times All-Star and NBA Champion.
On his new journey with the Lakers, Lin has high expectations for what lies ahead in this new NBA season.
"I'm excited to be in Los Angeles," Lin said. "A fresh start is like a breath of fresh air. It's a chance to be part of something new."
The video showing Lin, with his family, seeing the statue (and touching it) for the first time can be found by clicking here.