ESPN: Charmin comments from Kobe still rub Jeremy Lin the wrong way

AsAm News: 

Last December an article titled Time for Jeremy Lin to get into Kobe’s face ran in AsAm News. It came after Kobe Bryant accused Lin of being soft like Charmin in front of all his teammates and the assembled media. Four months later, the incident is something that still bothers Lin.

In an excellent piece in ESPN Magazine by Pablo Torre, Lin said

Just because I have a certain demeanor, it doesn’t mean you can tell how much I want something,” Lin says. “You can’t just say that the more you talk, the more you care,” said Lin in apparent reference to Bryant’s more vocal leadership style versus.

“I’m not very outspoken. I might not be the guy who’s going to cuss somebody out.

“Asians are very easy to make fun of. We’re the model minority. So everyone can joke about Asians: They’re nice people, respectful people; they won’t do anything. People look at me, and they’ve always jumped to conclusions. They don’t see toughness. But how do you define that?”

His reinsertion into the starting lineup for the Lakers, notwithstanding, this has been a very frustrating season for Lin.

You can read Lin’s very candid comments about the lowest point in the season and thoughts from his former coach, Mike D’Antoni, in ESPN Magazine

Varun Ram: Division I NCAA basketball guard (and neurobiology/physiology major) making Indian Americans proud

AsAm News/Washington Post:

The Maryland Terrapins take on the West Virginia Mountaineers in the second round of the NCAA Basketball Tournament today.

The Washington Post reports they may not have gotten there without the heroics of a little used Indian American guard who disrupted a last ditch attempt by Valparaiso in their first round game, giving Maryland a 65 -62 victory.

Varun Ram is one of a handful of Indian Americans playing Division I NCAA basketball. His teammates mobbed him on the court after their first round game and Indian Americans watching on TV cheered him with pride.

It’s kind of like seeing your own hopes and dreams come true a little bit,” Shaun Jayachandran said. “He’s living the Indian Terrapin dream.”.  Jayachandran  runs a basketball academy near Boston aimed at Indian American kids.

Ram journey onto the Terrapin squad is quite unique. He’s  a neurobiology and physiology major with a 3.99 GPA. Coming out of high school, he spent a year at boarding school to increase his chances of getting on a Division I basketball team. Some questioned his parents for allowing him to do that.

Just do what most Indian kids do, just go study, and your life will be okay,” Ram remembered people saying. “That’s why I’m so happy that my parents have been so great to me, because I think it’s opened people’s eyes. This is more than just a game. YouCAN do so many other things with it. You CAN balance academics and sports.”

You can read more of Ram’s story in the Washington Post.

CBS: LA Lakers could feature an all Asian-American starting backcourt

AsAm News/CBS Sports:

CBS Sports is reporting that Jeremy Lin could join Filipino American Jordan Clarkson in the starting line up. This would be an NBA first–the first line up featuring an all-Asian American starting backcourt.

Speaking of Lin, coach Byron Scott was quoted in Lakers Nation as saying “He’s really started to get into a groove, ”

Lin scored seven of his 14 points in the 4th quarter of the Lakers 101 – 93 win over the Milwaukee Bucks. He also added four of his six assists in the fourth quarter, according to Sportige. Earlier this week, Lin dropped 25 in a victory against the Utah Jazz. The Lakers have won three straight.

Clarkson has also been playing well. He scored 16 in last night’s win over the Bucks. Since joining the starting line up, he has averaged 14 points a game.

CBS says Clarkson would play the point and Lin the shooting guard. Lakers Nation also reported that Scott planned to put Lin back in the starting line up, but was uncertain if he would play the point or shooting guard.

The line up change could happen sometime in the next week.

Dual-wielding free thrower masters the game of arcade basketball

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RocketNews 24:

There are all sorts of masters lurking in arcades around the world. We’ve seen quite a few in Japan, where taiko drum experts and claw game champions reign supreme. But if this video of a basketball free-thrower is anything to go by, Chinese game centers seem to have their own breed of skilled gamers. However, what makes the skills of the guy on the left all the more amazing is the fact that he’s making one-handed free throws with both his left and right hand four times faster than the other players.

Check out the video here:

Blake Griffin thinks he’s a pilot in this Kia Commercial

As part of his ongoing commercials with Kia, Los Angeles Clippers power forward Blake Griffin teams up with the South Korean car manufacture on another comical clip. In this short, the NBA All-Star trades in his jersey for a flight suit and helmet. Sat in the cockpit of the new Kia Optima, Blake prepares for take off despite reminders from runway marshals that he’s in an automobile. With a turbo charged engine, Blake’s ready to catch the enemy off guard in his new sedan.

ASICS GT-Cool Dark Blue/White

The newest ASICS GT-Cool just might be the latest pickup for fans of the New York Knicks. The ball club’s recognizable jersey color scheme, has been duplicated onto the lowtop sneaker. A predominantly blue upper, outfitted in suede and mesh detailing has been paired with orange accents. White streaks, and a complementary white midsole completes this popping addition to ASICS GT-Cool sneaker line.

Retailing for $120 USD, full sizes are now available for purchase from Sneaker Politics.

Nike’s wild new shoes for Chinese basketball league

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RocketNews 24:

Shoemaker Nike owes its success as much to the marketing that backs its footwear as the science behind it. But as one of the biggest athletic apparel companies on the planet, the Nike swoosh is hardly a rare sight these days, so if the Oregon-based company really wants to catch people’s eyes, it has to get a little more flamboyant with its designs.

That’s as true in emerging markets as it is in established ones, which is why Nike’s new pair of kicks made especially for China might be the wildest the company has ever made, and come packed with all sorts of imagery meant to make sure fortune smiles on theirs wearers while everyone is looking at their feet.

Called the Nike Air Foamposite One China Tianjins, the ostentatious high tops are named for Tianjin City, home of the Tianjin Lions professional basketball team. The Lions are one of seven teams in the China Basketball League, and have reached all 11 championship contests the organization has held, winning five of them.

You won’t see any overt basketball references on the Nike Tianjins, though. What you will find, though, are a collection of auspicious images and phrases. Near the laces there’s a pattern evocative of fish scales, chosen due to the words “fish” and “abundance” being homonyms in Chinese.

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The theme continues with what looks to be at least one swimming crimson fish per side of the shoe. The graphics also feature such images of good fortune such as a field of blossoming lotus flowers and a plump child.

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The Tianjins are even working to bring you luck in places where no one can see it. On each insole, printed in gold letters, is the phrase Prosperity for years to come.”

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Unique as the Tianjins may be, though, some online comments in Japan show that not everyone is impressed by the aesthetics of Nike’s decision to cram so much cultural significance into the limited canvas the shoes provide.

“I don’t even think [crazily costumed idol singer] Kyaru Pamyu Pamyu would be caught in these.”
“I can imagine see some old lady strutting around wearing them in [Tokyo’s senior mecca] Tsugamo.”
“Instead of making these ugly things, can Nike hurry it up with the self-tying shoes already?”

The opinions of these Japanese detractors are kind of a moot point, though. The Tianjins will be sold exclusively in China, where they go on sale February 7, just in time for Chinese New Year.