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Christian NBA Star Jeremy Lin Focusing on Winning, Honoring God Amid Debate Surrounding Talent, Discrimination

( [email protected] ) May 03, 2016 01:16 PM EDT
Christian NBA star Jeremy Lin has said he's ignoring the debate surrounding his ability and alleged unfair treatment and is instead focusing on honoring God with his career.
Lin is one of the few Asian Americans in NBA history, and the first American of Chinese or Taiwanese descent to play in the league. Photo Credit: USATSI

Christian NBA star Jeremy Lin has said he's ignoring the debate surrounding his ability and alleged unfair treatment and is instead focusing on honoring God with his career.

"I'm thankful for all the experiences because I think through it all, I've been able to really just tune everybody out, the good and the bad, and I think the one thing that I can hold onto is I feel like I did things the way God would want me to do things," the 27-year-old Charlotte Hornets point guard told the Charlotte Observer. "... I try to hold myself and live with high character in a way that God would be proud."

He added, "I'm not perfect. I've made many mistakes. But that's what I try to put my effort towards: playing and living in a way where if God looked at me, he'd say, 'Wow, I'm proud of you,' So that's the ultimate approval I could get is God's, versus a reporter's or a coach's."

Lin, the only player of Chinese or Taiwanese descent in the NBA, also downplayed the significance of a viral YouTube video that showed opposing players whacking him in the face without ever drawing a flagrant foul.

"When the calls come, they come, and if they don't, then that's all right. I'm just gonna keep playing," he said. "Pretty much anything that I do, someone will talk about race."

Lin, who got his big break with the New York Knicks in 2012, saw his success culminate with the start of Linsanity. At the time, he became the first player in NBA history to put up numbers of at least 20 points and seven assists in each of his first four starting games. In his first week starting for an NBA team, he also made headlines as the second-highest scoring player in league history over a period of four game starts.

However, Lin admitted the following years were "difficult" for him, as he went on to sign on with the Houston Rockets, Los Angeles Lakers and finally landing with the Hornets.

During a 2015 offering in Beijing, the athlete explained that the overwhelming pressure he placed on himself caused him to question the meaning of the meaning of success: "For me, that's when I shifted my perspective from accomplishments to love," he explained. "God has always shown his love for me throughout my whole life. I think if you look at my life, every bad situation, God always turns to a good situation."

He added, "I think it's really important for us to think outside ourselves and love other people. Regardless of what you do or where life takes you, success doesn't lie in what you accomplish. True success is love. Understanding God's love and spreading that love to others."

Earlier this year, Lin told the Los Angeles Times that he "reset" his mindset during the All-Star game, allowing him to play with a "free mind."

"It's like while I'm playing, I'm reminding myself that regardless of the results, just play, play for God," he said. "It seems very basic, but when you care a lot about the game, you really care about the results, obviously."