Jeremy Lin has had a roller coaster 2012. Sleeping on coaches, becoming a New York media darling while playing for the Knicks and finally ending up with the Houston Rockets. As the world waits to see if Lin is the real thing or just a fun fad from the lockout shortened season, Lin graces the cover GQ magazine to discuss his time with the Knicks, their fans and how racism effects him as an Asian-American NBA player:
Lin on what lies ahead for him:
“People are always saying, ‘He’s only started twenty-five games, there’s so many uncertainties.’ And I agree. I totally agree. I don’t know how my next season’s going to turn out. The things that I struggled with before last year, I’m going to struggle with next year—there’s that learning process. Just because you have x amount of good games doesn’t mean that you have drastically improved as a player. It just means that what you could do is finally being shown. But I have to getbetter.”
…on his style of play:
“I’m trying to find a balance. I’m not like the next Michael Jordan, but I’m also not what everyone saw me as before I started playing in the NBA, either.”
…on race having something to do with perceived limitations in pro basketball:
“If I can be honest, yes. It’s not even close to the only reason, but it was definitely part of the reason. There’s a lot of perceptions and stereotypes of Asian-Americans that are out there today, and the fact that I’m Asian-American makes it harder to believe, even crazier, more unexpected. I’m going to have to play well for a longer period of time for certain people to believe it, because I’m Asian. And that’s just the reality of it.”
…on his shock at becoming a Houston Rocket:
“The Rockets thought I was going to be a Knick. They told me when I signed there, ‘We think it’s an 80 to 95 percent chance of that happening.’ That was consistent with what everyone was saying to me.”
…on New York, The Knicks, and the fans:
“You can’t ask for a city or a fan base to embrace somebody more than they embraced me. I know it’s kind of silly to talk about it with only two years under my belt in the league, but going in before free agency, I was like, ‘I want to play in front of these fans for the rest of my career.’ I really did. I really wanted to play in front of the Madison Square Garden fans for the rest of my career, because they’re just unbelievable.”
I don’t mind slim fit pants but there is a point when they are TOO tight, I can say confidently that GQ frequently surpasses that point when it features athletes.
photos via Paola Kudacki / GQ.