By Assunta Ng
Since the Sonics moved to Oklahoma, I lost interest in basketball. Then, Lin-fever hit me. Last Sunday morning, I finally had a chance to watch him for the first time. Lin and the Knicks played against the Dallas Mavericks at Madison Square Garden in New York. What an exciting game! The Knicks won.
Lin-sanity, Lin-finity, and Lin-sation are not exaggerations. He was fun and exciting to watch. His moves are sophisticated, clever, and speedy.
Lin reminds me of Yao Ming, although Lin was made in America and Yao in China. I have seen Yao play for the Rockets at Key Arena. Yao’s skills are far less superior than Lin’s. Lin, who is 6′ 3″, runs fast and jumps high. Yao, who is 7′ 6″, dominated his opponents due merely to his size. Yao had a temper and no grace. When his team lost in Seattle, he refused to come out and greet his fans. He simply stormed into the bus and left.
On television, Lin seems to be more gracious and humble, always giving credit to other players, including his opponents. Lin seems to be more passionate about basketball than Yao, who spent a lot more time marketing himself in television commercials, endorsements, and opening a restaurant under his name.
Both Lin and Yao embrace education. Unlike many athletes who studied in colleges that gave them athletic scholarships, Lin picked Harvard University, majoring in economics and graduating with 3.1 GPA. Yao is now getting a college education in Shanghai, China, besides marketing his own wine and other products. He even once owned a basketball team. Yao’s whole life was centered in basketball. What he lacks is a good education. Hence, he applied and got accepted into the Jiaotong University in November 2011.
The Lin-Yao relationship
You might not know Lin and Yao are pretty good pals. When Yao went with the Beijing team to play in Taiwan for charity in 2010, he called Lin and invited him. Lin instantly agreed. They kept in touch after the game.
Though American-born, Lin speaks fluent Mandarin and has built a good relationship with Yao. According to Chinese media, Yao has given him advice on playing for the NBA.
Asked by a reported whether he is Lin’s mentor, Yao corrected that view. Asking that the reporter not even say that, Yao responded that Lin doesn’t need his help, for Lin is talented and there is not much he could teach Lin.
Lin told the media that he treats Yao as his bigger brother and teacher. They text each other often.
Lin isn’t coming to the Northwest
I checked to see if Lin is coming to the Northwest. No such luck! Lin’s team is playing against the Portland Trail Blazers on March 14. But the game will not be held in Portland. Bummer!
A secret partner in bringing b-ball back to Seattle?
Chris Hansen, a hedge-fund manager, appears to be the lone guy in the new basketball stadium project for Seattle. Wrong! A source called the Northwest Asian Weekly and told us a big partner is actually behind the scenes. Who’s that?
Hush! We are not supposed to say. (end)