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

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.

Best Asian American athletes in 2014


Northwest Asian Weekly (By Jason Cruz)

It was another stellar year for API sports.

It started off with Doug Baldwin and the Seattle Seahawks bringing home the team’s first ever Super Bowl and a parade that seemingly the whole city of Seattle came to see.

The Winter Olympics were a bit of a disappointment for Asian Americans. Mirai Nagusa was denied making the U.S. women’s figure skating team despite making the top three.

J.R. Celski earned a Silver medal in the men’s Short Track 5000-meter relay but failed to medal in any of the three individual events he competed in.

Julie Chu, the first Asian American woman to play for the U.S. women’s ice hockey team ended her career with a Silver medal for the U.S. team. However, her quest for Gold was thwarted just three minutes before the end of the Gold Medal Game against Canada. With the U.S. up 2-0, Canada made a furious comeback and scored two goals in three minutes to send the game into overtime where Team Canada scored another goal for the Gold. Chu played in an unprecedented four Olympics and was the U.S. Olympic team’s Flag Bearer for the closing ceremonies.

In April, Manny Pacquiao returned to the ring and avenged a controversial loss to Tim Bradley by winning a convincing unanimous decision.

The World Cup was held in Brazil in June and the two Asian nations competing, South Korea and Japan, did not fare well. Both were eliminated in the first round of the tournament.

Also in June, Michelle Wie won her first major golf championship with a win at the U.S. Women’s Open. At the same tournament, 11-year-old Lucy Li became the youngest qualifier in the U.S. Women’s Open.

University of Washington men’s golf team member Cheng-Tsung Pan played in the British Open in July. The UW junior earned the spot by tying for second at a qualifying event in Thailand. This fall, Pan decided to turn pro.

The U.S. Tennis Open featured great runs by 24-year-old Japanese star Kei Nishikori and China’s Peng Shuai.

Nishikori, who was coached by Chinese American Michael Chang, made it all the way to the men’s final before losing to Milos Raonic.

Shuai made a surprising run to the semifinals where she had to retire (forfeit) due to continued leg cramps.

Absent from the women’s side of the tournament was Li Na who announced her retirement in September.

In October, Apolo Ohno finished the famed Ironman Triathlon in Kona, Hawaii.

November saw Manny Pacquiao’s return to the ring as he destroyed Chris Algieri. Pacquiao’s next opponent…Floyd Mayweather?

In December, the University of Oregon’s Marcus Mariota won the Heisman Trophy, college football’s biggest individual award.
Mariota becomes the first Asian Pacific Islander to win the trophy.

And without further ado, here are the top 10 API athletes of 2014:

10. Harley Kirsch

Kirsch, who is part Korean, was the quarterback for the Eastside Catholic High School team that defeated the vaunted Bellevue High School football team to win the Washington state class 3A football championship. Located in Sammamish, Washington, the school ended Bellevue’s 67 game winning streak. Kirsch is only a junior and will return next season to lead Eastside Catholic.

9. Amelia Andrilenas

The junior gymnast at Juanita High School qualified for the state meet and placed first, second, and fourth in all-around meets during the 2013-2014 season.

For the outsider, the most astonishing thing about the 4’11” gymnast is that she has only one hand. Andrilenas, who was adopted from China, took up gymnastics at an early age and has excelled since.

8. Jeremy Lin

Lin was traded to the Los Angeles Lakers this past offseason to complement Kobe Bryant. So far, Lin has not done much to help Kobe. He’s averaging just 10 points for the currently 9 win and 22 loss Lakers. He did score a season high 21 points in the Lakers’ first win. While he is far-removed from the days of New York and Linsanity, he still is a contributing member of the Lakers who hope to rebuild.

7. Tim Lincecum

It seems that every other year Lincecum and his San Francisco Giants seem to win a World Series. The Giants won baseball’s World Series this year making it three times in the past five years that the team has won the title. Lincecum, who is a Washington native and part Filipino, pitched his second-career no-hitter against the San Diego Padres in June. He also picked up his 100th career win this past September. Although Lincecum played sparingly in the World Series, he picks up his third ring.

6. Chloe Kim

At only 14, Kim was too young to compete in the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics but the snowboarder did earn silver in the “superpipe” at this year’s Winter X Games. Look for the Korean American to make the next team in the 2018 Winter Olympics which are in her parents’ home country of South Korea.

5. Julie Chu

A pioneer in the field of women’s hockey as Chu was the first Asian American to be on the women’s team and the first to play in four Olympics. She also starred in a commercial with her mother shown during the Winter Olympics.

4. Mirai Nagusa

The 21-year-old Los Angeles native was denied a spot on the 2014 Winter Olympics women’s figure skating team despite winning the Bronze medal at the U.S. Championships. Usually, the top three are awarded spots on the Olympic team. However, the U.S. Figure Skating committee determined that Ashley Wagner, the fourth place finisher make the team based on Wagner’s stronger international record. Although it was reported that Nagusa would appeal the decision, she later decided not to pursue it.

3. Apolo Ohno

The Olympic medalist is keeping busy in retirement. Last year he ran the New York Marathon. This year, he has completed one of the most grueling events out there, the Kona Ironman Triathlon. Ohno finished in 9 hours, 52 minutes and 27 seconds. What will he do next?

2. Marcus Mariota

The Oregon Duck won the Heisman Trophy in December and leads his team into the first College Football Playoff. Mariota is certain to be a top pick in the 2015 NFL Draft.

1. Doug Baldwin

It’s pretty easy to pick Baldwin as he was a key part of the Seahawks run to the Super Bowl last year and remains one of Russell Wilson’s most valuable receivers. Hopefully, we’ll see Baldwin (and the rest of the Seahawks) with another Super Bowl ring in 2015.

 

Jeremy Lin wears “I Can’t Breathe” shirt at game warmup

Angry Asian Man:

The Los Angeles Lakers have joined the growing number of athletes protesting the deaths of unarmed black people at the hands of law enforcement. Nearly all the players on the team, including Jeremy Lin, wore black shirts with the phrase “I Can’t Breathe” — referring to Eric Garner‘s dying words at the hands of the NYPD — during warmups before Tuesday night’s game against the Sacramento Kings.

With all but one Laker rocking the shirt, it marks the most complete protest by any one team thus far. Ball Don’t Lie‘s Eric Freeman also notes that Jeremy Lin is the first player who is not black to wear the shirt — a powerful statement and a significant gesture of support of the movement as “a broader human issue.”

Lakers empower Lin, and he responds

 

ESPN: 

 

Tie score with T-minus five minutes — around these parts, that’s Kobe Bryant’s time. He’s been the proprietor of the ball under those circumstances for a while now. On Friday night, in said scenario, he was calling for it yet again.

But Jeremy Lin said no. The first-year Los Angeles Lakers point guard waved off the team’s volume-shooting star, drove right off a pick-and-roll and heaved a prayer-like 3-pointer with Chris Paul in his mug and the shot clock near expiration.

And the shot went in. And the Staples Center crowd erupted. And it looked like the player the Lakers — especially Bryant — had called out to be aggressive and assertive was finally being aggressive and assertive, especially with Bryant.

Bryant loved it. Even though the team lost, 118-111, Bryant was upbeat and raved about Lin, about that play and what it showed him about his new backcourt teammate who arrived in L.A. via a trade with the Houston Rockets.

You have to be able to assert yourself, especially on a team that I’m playing on — especially on a team I’m playing on,” Bryant said with some added emphasis. “Because I don’t want chumps, I don’t want pushovers, and if you’re a chump and a pushover, I will run over you.

“It’s important for him to have that toughness and to say, ‘I believe in myself. I can step up, I can make these plays, I can perform.’ I think that is very, very important.”

Bryant, who scored 21 on 6-of-15 shooting from the field, has had players wave him off before. All the time, in fact.

The teams that I’ve played on, the teams that won, we used to do that all the time,” he said.

But Lin? Bryant said he hadn’t seen that from Lin before. Bryant said he wasn’t even sure if Lin’s former teammates had told him to do that sort of thing before.

It’s like,” Bryant said during his postgame news conference, then leaned forward and pounded his fist on the table, “you’ve got to put your mark down, man.”

At some point, you’ve got to piss on the fire hydrant.”

With that line, which was a tad heavy in machismo and was punctuated by a few more fists pounded onto the table, Bryant left for the night.

But the implications were clear: Lin took a key step forward after subpar performances in the Lakers’ first two blowouts that led to him being dogged by Bryant and Lakers coach Byron Scott.

Specifically after a 20-point beating in Phoenix, Bryant and Scott said Lin played timid, uncertain, etc. They told him to take charge, run the offense and not be afraid. They empowered him.

Lin responded with 17 points, nine assists and several leader-like plays in what amounted to a night-and-day different performance from the Suns’ loss.

I’m like every other human,” Lin said. “I’m going to be more comfortable, I’m going to do more, when I feel empowered.”

Scott was impressed.

I liked what I saw,” he said.

Bryant, too.

That’s exactly what he should do — is be the point guard and orchestrate things and get us into sets and get us flowing, get us moving, be aggressive,” Bryant said.

This is the blueprint for him and how to continue to play.”

Bryant and Lin had a long chat after the Phoenix loss.

I don’t think any of us really slept much,” Bryant said.

Text messages detailing X’s and O’s pinged back and forth between several Lakers.

And then today before the game,” Bryant said, “we talked a little bit about making some adjustments and how we wanted to play and open up the floor.”

Then Lin captained an offense that did just that, whereas in previous contests the ball didn’t leave Bryant’s hands all that often — unless he was shooting it.

We were trying to get everything moving, the ball popping, get it side to side,” Lin said. “We started trusting each other more and learning what that means. It’s not like we were ever like, ‘Hey, we don’t trust each other.’ We’re growing and we’re figuring out how to trust each other the best way.”

Said Jordan Hill: “Everybody gets to touch the ball now. The ball is moving a lot. Coach said, ‘If you see a shot that you like, take it.’ So that’s what we’re doing.”

Hill had a team-high 23 points and had the same number of shots as Bryant (15). Lin was right behind with 13 shots, Carlos Boozer had nine and Wesley Johnson had eight.

In other words, there was balance, which wasn’t there before, and which will almost certainly be necessary for the Lakers to be competitive on a nightly basis.

We all knew there would be growing pains at some point,” Lin said. “Maybe they came a little earlier and a little tougher than we anticipated.”

The Lakers still tied their worst start since the team moved to L.A. (They were also 0-3 in three other seasons, including 2012-13).

But after consecutive blowouts, the Lakers considered it a moral victory.

It felt really, really good,” Bryant said. “I couldn’t be more pleased in this loss, actually. I think we figured a lot of things out, a lot of things.”

When was the last time Bryant felt this good about a loss?

Probably never,” Bryant said. “But we really played well. And it wasn’t like we played out of our minds. We executed really well. We did things that can be done consistently, if that makes any sense.”

Basically, baby steps.

Bryant is hard on his teammates, a high-risk, high-reward approach.

Yeah, we’re all brothers,” Bryant said. “I think the most important lesson that I wanted to share with them is that we must challenge each other and bring the best out of each other. I think that’s important for them to understand that.”

But he has to teach more now, communicate more. His role has evolved.

I’m just trying to show them,” Bryant said, “the DNA necessary to be a champion.”

The Lakers won’t be anywhere near the Larry O’Brien trophy this season, unless you count the ones in their El Segundo practice facility from previous championships.

Still, Lin has responded well to Bryant’s challenge, and it helped the Lakers nearly put a Halloween scare into their rivals, and that’s the best treat their fans could have asked for.

 

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Jeremy Lin, a starter for now, relishes fresh start with Lakers

Sports Illustrated

Jeremy Lin found out he’d be the Lakers’ starting point guard in peculiar fashion. Magic Johnson vouched for Lin last Wednesday, shortly after Steve Nash was ruled out for the season with a back injury. And yet coach Byron Scott, Johnson’s Showtime backcourt partner, delayed his decision until after Ronnie Price bruised his right knee in the preseason finale on Friday. Once Scott was ready to choose Lin as the starter for Tuesday’s opener against the Rockets in Los Angeles, he informed reporters before telling Lin or his teammates.

Many NBA players might be taken aback by not receiving a direct show of support or a team-wide pronouncement, but the world learned at the beginning of Linsanity in 2012 that Lin isn’t easily included in the group of many NBA players. In less than eight months he went from the D-League, to the toast of the Big Apple and global superstardom, to a three-year, $25.1 million offer sheet with Houston that went unmatched by the Knicks. During his first year with the Rockets, Lin transitioned quickly from presumptive No. 1 option to second fiddle behind James Harden, who was acquired on the eve of the ’12-13 season. In his second season in Houston, Lin lost his starting job to Patrick Beverley, and then his jersey number to Carmelo Anthony during an offseason recruiting pitch. Those hard, fast turns of fortune have left Lin sounding cautious, too aware of what might happen next to bother celebrating.

[Being named starter] is more like a game-to-game thing than a permanent thing,” Lin told SI.com by telephone on Sunday, a few hours after learning the news from the media. “I know how fast things can change. … If [coming off the bench] is what the team needs, I’ve shown I’ll make sacrifices.

Don’t mistake his humble hesitancy for a lack of desire. Lin has admitted deep disappointment about his struggles in Houston, and those feelings are a prime motivator this season. He is also not afraid to stake his claim to the starting job, even if that means sharing minutes and touches with Kobe Bryant.

Starting has always been a goal for any team that I’ve been on,” said Lin, who expressed his appreciation for Johnson’s public endorsement. “Part of me is like, Wow, Magic knows who I am. The fact that he thinks what he thinks, I’m blown away by it.

That L.A.’s point guard spot remained in question for so long is somewhat surprising. By any objective analysis, Lin is easily the team’s best floor leader. Nash, 40, was set to be the league’s oldest player after appearing in only 15 games last season. Price, 31, hasn’t posted a Player Efficiency Rating above 10.0 since 2009-10 and he is on his fifth team in five years. Rookie Jordan Clarkson has potential, but he wasn’t selected until No. 46. Lin, 26, is far from perfect, but he averaged 12.5 points and 4.1 assists last season, shot a respectable 35.8 percent from three-point range and posted a PER (14.3) just below the league average of 15.0.

Scott’s indecision throughout the preseason, though, stemmed from two major factors: injuries and roster fit. In early October, before Nash and Price were injured, Los Angeles lost its premier bench scorer, shooting guard Nick Young, for eight weeks because of right-thumb surgery.  Assorted other Lakers — including shooting guard Wayne Ellington, swingman Xavier Henry and power forward Ryan Kelly — are also banged up. Using Lin and Bryant together, then, could leave the Lakers with a feeble second unit. Spacing out their minutes, on the other hand, could provide stability over 48 minutes.

But the fit question loomed larger. Are Bryant and Lin redundant as scoring guards, or can they be complementary? Would using a stand-in starter such as Price allow Scott to maximize the offensive abilities of Bryant and Lin by staggering more of their minutes?

Lin faced the same question about sharing the ball in both New York, with Anthony, and Houston, with Harden. Last season Rockets coach Kevin McHale paired Harden with the defensive-minded Beverley in the first unit (Lin ended up starting 33 games because of injuries to Beverley), a duo that posted an excellent plus-10.4 net rating in 1,245 minutes, topping the strong plus-7.6 net rating achieved by Harden/Lin in 1,339 minutes.

The Rockets were on to something using Lin as a third guard because he needs the ball to be effective,” a rival scout said. “He’s not a bad shooter and he plays with such good pace. His biggest strength is putting pressure on the defense off the dribble and in transition. His challenge will be to play off Kobe. He has to grow his offensive game for that to work.”

Lin believes his time with Harden has prepared him for life with Bryant.

I challenged myself to become a multidimensional player because James was ball-dominant,” Lin said. “I became a better spot shooter, a better cutter, and I got better at moving without the ball.”

 

Jeremy Lin works undercover at an Adidas Store in Taipei, and asks shoppers if they know Jeremy Lin

 

[The video is in Mandarin, so click on the “CC” button at the bottom right corner to show English subtitles ]

It’s not everyday an NBA star will take time out of his busy day to do fun stuff like this, so watch what happens when freshman Los Angeles Lakers point guard Jeremy Lin disguises himself as an employee at an Adidas store in Taipei selling basketball shoes.