You’d think that nearly a half-decade after peak “Linsanity” and tons of racist snubbing, the NBA’s first American-born player of Taiwanese descent might not have to justify his place anymore. But as it turns out, he still does—literally.
Charlotte Hornets point guard Jeremy Lin told ESPN on Friday (March 25) that despite his superstardom, he’s often carded by opposing teams’ arena security if he doesn’t wear his jersey—something he calls “just a part of being Asian in the NBA”:
“It’s one of those things where it literally happens everywhere,” Lin told ESPN.com after Thursday’s practice in Detroit, where the Hornets will play the Pistons on Friday. “At opposing arenas, it happens all the time. Just the other night in Brooklyn, I was trying to leave [Barclays Center] and one of the ladies was like, ‘Hey, I need your credentials for you to pass.’ And then someone else was like, ‘Oh, he’s a player. He’s good.’ I’m used to it by now. It’s just part of being Asian in the NBA.”
Lin laughed as he relayed the story. It’s part of his coping mechanism, but it’s also Lin’s way of shrugging off distractions and keeping things moving.
As Angry Asian Man’s Phil Yu points out, Lin has faced this treatment throughout his career. A clip from the 2013 documentary “Linsanity” features Lin’s recollection of early days playing for the New York Knicks when security at Madison Square Garden didn’t recognize him as a player. Lin tweeted last year about security at Time Warner Cable Arena—where the Hornets play—doing something similar, using the hashtags ”#EverywhereIGo” and “#Literally.”