"I thought it was going to end at some point within the first day or two," Jeremy Lin told ESPN's Rachel Nichols during a recent interview. "But it just kept going."
Indeed, "Linsanity" seems to only be gaining strength, even as we exhaust our supply of Lin puns. Although the New York Knicks' loss to the New Orleans Hornets on Friday proved the team won't win every game that Lin starts, the team's thrilling win over the Mavericks on Sunday showed they have no intention of descending back into mediocrity.
In a wide-ranging interview, Nichols asked the 23-year-old breakout star about his hard-won NBA success, the travails of being the next big thing and his preferred off-the-court indulgences. In a poignant moment, Lin admitted how close he was to giving up his NBA dreams as he struggled to find playing time during his rookie season.
"There were nights last year where I was just reduced to tears. I just couldn't take it anymore. And because from the outside looking in they're like, "Oh, you're fine," and "He's still collecting an NBA paycheck," and this and that," recalls Lin of his first-year struggles. "But for me, what really hurt was I felt like I had the ability to do it."
Nichols also asked Lin about the role that race has played in the way his game has been evaluated through the years. With the interview airing in the highly-charged aftermath of ESPN running an offensive Jeremy Lin headline, there is little doubting the continued significance that Lin's ethnicity plays in his story as well the coverage he receives.
You can't prove yourself one time. You can't have one good game and have everyone be, you know, "He's the real deal." It has to be over and over and over again," said Lin about the difficulties facing Asian-American basketball players. "And, you know, it's funny, people are still saying, "Oh, he's quicker than he looks." And, I'm like "what does that mean? Do I look slow?" Or, people are always saying, "He's deceptively quick, deceptively athletic." I don't know if that's just because I'm Asian or what it is.
Aside from touching on serious topics of racism, family and faith, Lin and Nichols also managed to discuss one of the funnier side effects of his newfound fame -- the Kim Kardashian rumors.
"Stuff about me dating Kim Kardashian, I mean, I have no idea where that came from and all these other rumors," said Lin when asked about the most ridiculous aspects of his stardom. When asked by Nichols if he was the "Kim Kardshian type," Lin responded by saying, "Nah, I don't think I'm that type."
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