A New Chapter for Asian American Heritage in the NBA

November 24, 2010

During this season's first Asian Heritage Night, there was a special Q&A session with Jeremy Lin post-game.

Last Friday, the Golden State Warriors hosted the New York Knicks in their sixth home game of the season. There was a lot to celebrate that night. The NBA had only a week earlier approved of Joe Lacob and Peter Guber taking over as the new owners of the Warriors. With the owners come a fresh perspective and a philosophy of rebuilding a team with the new coach, Keith Smart, and young and rising talent, including the Bay Area’s own Jeremy Lin.
Lin is the first Asian American to play in the NBA since Wataru Misaka, who played three games in his brief career with the New York Knicks back in 1947. From playing basketball at Palo Alto High School, then at Harvard University, and now on his childhood-favorite team, the Golden State Warriors, Lin has finally seen his dream come true. “This is where I wanted to be, I wanted to come home,” said Lin.
Lin made his NBA debut on Asian Heritage Night at Oracle Arena earlier this month during the Warriors’ second home game. Lin received a thundering welcome as he stepped on to the floor for his first regular season game. While Lin didn’t bother putting up a shot that night, as the Warriors commanded a double-digit lead with only minutes left in the game, his presence as a professional basketball player had a profound effect in terms of breaking ground for the Asian American community and giving Asian American youths a role model to whom they can relate. “I’m just thankful to God and thankful to the Asian American community,” Lin said with a huge smile on his face. “To have this support so early on, it means a lot to me.”
Lin supported his teammates from the bench during last Friday’s game during a nail-biting loss to the Knicks, but the event was nothing short of exciting. The Warriors celebrated Filipino Heritage Night for the third (QC) year in a row during the first sellout of the season. Cultural performances and a guest appearance by Ana “The Hurricane” Julaton, the Pinay world champion boxer, had the crowd on their feet for most of night. While the Warriors took their first home loss of the season, there is much to look forward to as the Warriors find their groove. Expect another big night as Warrior fans celebrate the upcoming Asian Heritage night in the spring.