clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

For Jeremy Lin, disrespect is the constant

If you buy something from an SB Nation link, Vox Media may earn a commission. See our ethics statement.

in an interview with Mike Vokunov of The Athletic, Jeremy Lin says it never ceases to amaze him how many street ballers think they beat him ... and tell him so!

But Lin, the ultimate competitor, has developed a ready-made answer. Sure, he’ll tell the guy, for $1,000.

“Quick $1,000 in my bank account,” he says. “It happens a lot. People just don’t get — these are the same people that couldn’t make it on their high school teams, couldn’t make it to college. It’s like you’re truly the best of the best of the best.

“There’s, whatever, 6-plus billion people and (in the NBA) 450 players and people criticize a lot and even now we watch the playoffs and we’re going to criticize so-and-so.”

Lin tells Vorkunov he thinks he knows why ... and it’s not because he’s the only guy in the league with an economics degree from Harvard.

“I’ve always wondered if I was a different race or I was a different ethnicity, would it happen that often?” he said.

Vorkunov spoke with Lin Saturday night in the basement of a Chinatown hotel just steps from the Manhattan Bridge, where Daily Show correspondent Ronny Chieng about his heritage ... and identity.

“Maybe what I experience is different, even beyond what the average person experiences because I’m in an industry where I’m the only Asian,” Lin said, answering a Vorkunov question about how Asian-American masculinity is portrayed in the U.S.

”On every team I’m the only Asian. So the comments I get from my teammates or from staff members or from fans really gives me an insight into how they view me. The Asian-American masculinity, basically, a lot of it is like Jet Li, Bruce Lee, Jackie Chan. That’s a lot of what I have heard from other people, but obviously a lot more. Yeah, I think the best thing we can do is to be great at what we can do and be shining lights.”

As for the Nets, Lin admits he’s still rehabbing his knee after his Opening Night injury seven months ago but remains optimistic he’ll be ready for training camp. He leaves next week on his annual “sharing tour“ of Taiwan and China.

Not to worry. He says he’s “pretty much at that point where everything is good to go.”

Probably can beat the next street baller, too.