NBA, We Reminisce / Feb 15, 2012 / 12:39 pm

We Reminisce: Jeremy Lin’s First Appearance in Dime Magazine

Jeremy Lin Featured In New Nike Sportswear Spot

Editor’s Note: Back in the April 2009 issue of Dime Magazine, we ran a two-page feature on a kid from Harvard named Jeremy Lin, who was ripping up the Ivy League and knocking off ACC schools almost single-handedly. We thought our readers would enjoy this look back at that story and the foundation of what made Lin the player he is today. — PC

Two hours before his squad was to take the floor at the San Francisco Pro-Am, Jeremy Lin entered the gym inside the historic Kezar Pavilion in downtown San Fran. It was the summer of 2007, and the 6-2 guard had just wrapped up a stellar freshman season at Harvard where he was the Crimson’s sixth man.

Lin was all set to test his skills against some of the Bay Area’s best on hallowed ground once graced by Tim Hardaway, Jason Kidd, Gary Payton, Steve Nash, and Gilbert Arenas. But before Lin, who is Taiwanese, began warming up, a volunteer at the event approached him to let him know “There is no volleyball tonight, it’s basketball.”

Never mind that Lin was named theSan Francisco Chronicle and San Jose Mercury News’ High School Player of the Year a season earlier. Never mind that he dropped 17 points on nationally-ranked Mater Dei High to deliver Palo Alto High to its first state championship in decades. Never mind that he was on the brink of starting at point guard for Harvard that upcoming season. That volunteer could only see one thing.

While the mix up was an honest mistake, it shines a light on an unfortunate truth: most Asian basketball players in America are not respected for their skills. In the League, Yao Ming and Yi Jianlian have definitely softened the stereotype against Asian ballplayers, but they are both seen as physical anomalies. Even if these two represent Asian basketball players, they don’t really connect with other elite Asian-American basketball players, who make up less than half a percent of D-I hoops.

Jeremy knows all about it. He’s been fighting pre-conceived notions ever since he first picked up a basketball.

“Growing up a lot of people have always told me I would never play high school or never play college,” says Lin. “You don’t see too many Asian-Americans.”

“There are things that might have happened that we might not be aware of that he’s had to deal with being an Asian basketball player,” adds Peter Diepenbrock, who was Lin’s coach at Palo Alto High. “He keeps a chip on his shoulder a little bit I think.”

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  • DC

    Nice piece. Just Lin Baby. Will be stuck at work. How am I supposed to watch Linrage?

  • http://www.zwani.com/graphics/funny_pictures/images/88funny-pictures128.jpg JAY

    I got this copy. Good read.
    That was about the time I discontinued my DIME subscription due to the amount of shoes in the magazine.

    I’ve never understood the mind of a sneaker fiend. All i need is 1 pair for training, 1 pair for ball, 1 everyday pair, and a couple pairs of dress shoes. I don’t understand a closet full of kicks. If you have more pairs of shoes than pairs of underwear, then YOU got a problem.

  • http://www.zwani.com/graphics/funny_pictures/images/88funny-pictures128.jpg JAY

    HustLIN’, HustLIN, YO!

    Maybe Lin should use that song as his anthem… at least the chorus.

    HustLIN’ – Kardinal Offishall.

  • http://www.livingcheapla.com hakasan

    nice piece…

    just want to point out that hindsight is 20-20…
    who would have guessed drafting jordan 3rd overall was a mistake… ben wallace/jose calderon/darrell armstrong/bruce bowen/avery johnson/brad miller/john stark all went undrafted and have/had very good nba careers…

    i think it’s awesome that lin is doing great in the L right now, but… i don’t think it’s crazy that a high schooler avg 16/8/8 with 5 steals with no particular freakish physical attributes did not get a D1 scholarship… there have been POYs every year out of the Ivy League, and how does Lin’s 18/6/5 and 3 steals distinguish him from anyone else? also… maybe the reason he didn’t get PT at GSW is because he’s playing behind Monta Ellis and Stephen Curry… arguably the best guard tandem in the L for the past few season…

    arguably, it was actually better for Lin to play at harvard where he was the star and received all the attention to nurture his game as opposed to not being a focus on a tournament bound school interested in getting the most out of their freakish freshmen…

    so… what i’m trying to say is that it is great to see Lin balling at such a high level, but i really don’t see how it is considered a fatal mistake for people who didn’t give him a chance before…


  • leech

    You don’t find it surprising that the leader of a California state champion HS team didn’t get a single D1 scholarship offer? Not saying he needed to be recruited by Kentucky/Duke/Kansas/UNC or other powerhouses, as 15/7/6/5 is not jaw-dropping, but Cali has some good HS bball talent and JLin’s squad took on all comers. A 6’2/6’3 combo guard that is athletic enough to grab 5 steals a game would typically be worth a look at one of the 344 D1 programs, wouldn’t you think? He may still have chosen to play at Harvard instead of taking a scholarship at, say, Creighton or St. Mary’s, but how does he not get a single D1 offer?

    As a comparison, here are Steve Blake’s senior year stats in HS: 8.8 points and 7.3 assists at Oak Hill (he played for Miami Senior HS as a junior, alongside Udonis Haslem, but I couldn’t find stats). He got recruited heavily and ended up playing for Maryland in a very tough ACC conference. No jaw-dropping stats, but he got credit for his team’s success. If Blake was an Asian American, would he have gotten the same recognition? Jeremy Lin’s experience suggests that the answer is “No.”