Let’s get the public’s outcry for using the made up word ‘Amasian’ by the New York Post out of the way. Twitter is going crazy with: “It’s a clear racial slur”, “If he were American, would you write that?” (by the way he is American and of Taiwanese descent) “That headline is so offensive”.
Give me a break. The Post combined the word Amazing and Asian. Jeremy Lin of the New York Knicks is both. So not offensive. He launched a 3-pointer in a tie game in Toronto Tuesday night at the last second, which sparked the Post to use that headline which seems to be making more news than Lin himself. We need to get over the creative headline and get to the real story.
Even if you are not a sports fan, you need to know this story. And you REALLY need to know this story if you are a parent.
A condensed version of where he came from: Jeremy Lin was a high school basketball star in Palo Alto California. Strangely enough, he was not recruited after his senior year, but Lin still loved the game and sent his resume with DVD highlights to all the ivy league schools, Cal, Stanford, UCLA and Pac 10 schools. A few schools offered him a walk on position, but it was Harvard that took the time to evaluate his game and offer him a position (Ivy League schools don’t offer athletic scholarships.)
Even though he had a great college basketball career, he went undrafted in the 2010 NBA draft. On July 21st, of that same year, Lin signed a contract with the Golden State Warriors. He had a bit of a cult following, but his success never really took off. He then had a short stint with the Houston Rockets. He was basically cut by both teams. On December 27th, the New York Knicks claimed Lin solely as a backup. He was living on his brother’s couch, but never gave up. On February 4th of this year, Lin’s life would change forever. He was put in the game against the Nets because the night before, the Knicks blew a 4th quarter lead over the Celtics. He scored 25 points against the Nets. The next game he played against the Jazz and had 28 points. On the 10th he had 38 points, leading the Knicks to a win over the Lakers. Which led us up to last night’s amazing 3-point shot and all the great headlines.
The lessons in the story are obvious. But this is why it struck a chord for me. My kids are in many different activities with varying results. I have one daughter who loves a sport, and has been doing it for a number of years. I’ve seen her struggle to master a skill and felt her pain as her friends moved up in levels while she’s remained where they all started. After all these years, I’ve had the following conversations with her multiple times, “Maybe we should consider other activities. Do you like art, other sports, music, etc.?” The answer is always the same. “I love this sport, and I’m going to continue. It’s going to happen mom.”
Yes, Jeremy Lin is a great example for kids to use when obstacles seem insurmountable, but Lin is an even better example for parents. Watching my daughter feel the pain of always being the one having to congratulate the athlete next to her on their success, was really hard. I took on that pain and was the one getting ready to cut and run. She wanted to persevere, and I was the one saying, we might want to throw in the towel. What is wrong with me? Did I need her to feel success so badly that I forgot about the journey? She is wise beyond her years, and has a strength that outdoes mine any day of the week. Thank you Jeremy Lin for reminding me that hard work, perseverance and dedication can pay off. My daughter may never achieve the notoriety of Lim, but it doesn’t matter. She shares his same characteristics, so she’s winning already.
Oh, and we’re part Polish. When she becomes incredibly famous, I will not be offended by the headline: Polishtively Perfect