|Jeremy Lin, left, drives past a defender.|
Three years from the Linsanity phenomenon, Lin rarely mentions that word any more.The season hasn't been going the way Lin hoped for when he was traded to the Lakers from the Houston Rockets.
Maybe it is because ESPN.com senior writer Pablo Torre is a Filipino American - a fellow Asian American - that Lin felt comfortable enough to let the public mask down. Here's a sample:
"There's this whole thing where it's OK to make fun of certain guys more than it is other guys," Lin tells me. "And 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." He thinks about this dynamic often. "People look at me, and they've always jumped to conclusions. They don't see toughness. But how do you define that?"For once, we see past the athlete, past the public persona ... past the image built by the New York media and ignored by the L.A. media.
I know the feeling Lin's expressing. People look at you and because you wear glasses, have black hair and almond eyes and your skin is of a certain shade, you are judged, categorized and pigeon-holed before you even utter a word. Inside, you're yelling, "You don't know me!"
There's a loneliness to being a trail-blazer, says Lin, "who can you talk to that can really relate?"
Nice job by Pablo. Nice job, Jeremy.