A few days before he sat down with Nets brass last week in his hometown of Palo Alto, Jeremy Lin sat down with a Chinese journalist, Tian Wei, at the World Economic Forum in Tianjin, China. They talked about everything from being an Asian-American at Harvard to his Christian faith to the importance of humility "while stepping on people's throats"
The half hour interview is a good introduction to Lin for those who haven't followed him and a good summary of where he stands on his career and values for those who have. As for why he spoke at the WEF, his program was about sports leadership ... and he does have a degree in economics from Harvard, after all.
Wearing earrings and a hair bun, which Lin joked had not met with his parents approval, Lin talked about a variety of issues...
On dealing with fame: "At first I felt like I lost my privacy when everything happened. Everywhere I went people wanted a picture … a video or an autograph.
"At first I got really upset and then I felt like I'm just a zoo animal. People just stop by and take a picture and then they go on their way … As I got older I really appreciated or embraced the platform that comes with it. I have a voice ... I'm able to impart my values."
On Linsanity in New York: "I remember how fleeting that moment of success was. I was happy but then two or three weeks later, all I'm thinking about is the next game, because if I don't play well then there's a backlash, and if I play well there's the next game.
"After the season is the next season. That's when I had an epiphany moment where, if being on top of the world isn't good enough, then what is? That's where I started to take another step spiritually."
On humility: "Humility is a strength because, if you look at this past year, why did we as the Hornets, why did we exceed expectations? We were expected to finish thirteenth in the Eastern Conference. We finished sixth and we're half a game out from finishing third. It's because we had humility on that team.
"We're willing to sacrifice, we're willing to play for each other. I think if you look at teams that overachieve, a big part is they are very humble … I think there's a big difference between being humble and being stepped on."
On what he wants out of this contract: "I'm tired of boxes, I'm tired of moving companies. and i want to find a home. And if you asked me what I want out of free agency, I want to see how good I can become. I'm 27 and an athlete's prime, at least in the NBA, your prime is usually 27 to 30. That when you kind of peak, physically, mentally, and that's when most players perform their best.
"So I'm going into my prime. I want to see how great I can be as a player and that's my purpose in free agency."
On where he most needs improvement: "I'm trying to be a great shooter because I can really drive to the basket and that's basically why I can play in the NBA. I can drive, but I feel if I can shoot at a more consistent and hit more types of shots, it will open up my driving game. So I'm shooting 700 to 1000 jumpes every day while I'm not on this Asia trip. every day we're just in there. We've got a rebounding machine and a huge big net that fires the ball out. We just keep shooting.
It's well worth the time.