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Joe Tsai takes to Twitter to defend showing LinSanity documentary at Barclays

TAAF Heritage Month Summit & Celebration - Day 2 Photo by JP Yim/Getty Images for The Asian American Foundation

“38 at the Garden” is a 38-minute documentary on LinSanity, that string of Knicks games in 2012 that became a cultural phenomenon and one of the greatest New York sports moments in recent memory.

Produced by African-Americans, written and directed by Asian-American filmmakers, it tracks Jeremy Lin’s journey from undrafted G Leaguer to international sensation, culminating with his 38-point game against the Lakers and Kobe Bryant at Madison Square Garden. As one writer described it, the Garden levitated. It is also more than that. The film describes how Asians and Asian-Americans felt about one of their own breaking through, breaking stereotypes.

On Tuesday, Barclays Center announced that will show the film on Saturday at the arena, in partnership with The Asian-American Foundation. TAAF is an organization Joe and Clara Wu helped found two years ago and financed through their foundation. Partly in response to anti-Asian violence, partly to showcase the role of Asians and Asian-Americans play in the American experience...

It’s also part of Asian-American and Pacific Islanders Heritage Month which Tsai has embraced in a wide variety of ways, honoring Michelle Yeong the first Asian to win best actress, releasing a report on Asian-Americans’ fear of violence. On the weekend, he — and his son, Jacob — even played in an Asian-American all-star game at HSS Training Center.

TAAF Heritage Month Summit & Celebration - Day 2 Photo by JP Yim/Getty Images for The Asian American Foundation

But led by WFAN’s Evan Roberts, some Nets are upset that Tsai (who employed Lin in his last NBA gig) was promoting a Knick phenomenon. Better not to post some of the tweets. Most weren’t ugly as much as they were simply oblivious to the larger issues.

Tsai, however, was having none of it, pointing out, accurately, that LinSanity was bigger than basketball...

And then, he made a little news: The Knicks passed on showing the documentary at the Garden! Not surprising considering how James Dolan has sent all things Lin down the memory hole (at best.)

Indeed it is a New York story. It is also American story. Uniquely so. And in the context of the heritage Tsai wants to promote through TAAF, a perfect opportunity.

(And the tickets are free.)