All of this despite the fact that Lin never got an contract offer from the Knicks, despite the fact that the Knicks asked him to set his own market and he did, and despite the fact that it was the Knicks who pushed him out the door.
It’s hilarious, really.
It’s also amusing to me because it exposes the underlying racism behind what Asian Americans do no matter how successful we are*. People (other minorities, generally) always say that Asians are more accepted or whatever, but we’re not, really. We’ve just made the most of our opportunities and sort of forced the issue, but the moment we do something that isn’t to expectations of us, it all degenerates back to the same “YOU FUCKING DISLOYAL CHINK” type shit that other minorities are faced with.
*I’ve always said this, but in that month or so where he was the media darling in America, Jeremy Lin did 500 times more for Asian Americans than K-pop could ever do. Hence, I don’t really care about the latter making an impact here, just like I don’t care if anime becomes a thing again or whatever. Sorry, but Asians getting mocked like One Direction or Justin Bieber by the mainstream media isn’t going to change shit (I’m sure boy group members making out with each other will do wonders for Asian American male stereotypes!), but stuff like Jeremy Lin fisting the Raptors and swagging the fuck out of it does. Therefore, I’m a supporter by default, unless he plays the Lakers, then I hope Steve Nash shoves a moose up his ass.
People yelling racial slurs and what not is nothing new though, it happens everywhere and to everybody. The more concerning issue is the subtle bullshit.
The moment I knew for certain that the Knicks were done with Jeremy Lin was on Sunday, July 15, when Carmelo Anthony publicly called Lin’s offer from the Houston Rockets “ridiculous.” At that point, the Knicks were still saying their minds weren’t made up, and maybe that was true—maybe they were only 99 percent sure. Even still, Melo’s remark was like an X-ray of his psyche, and, because Melo is the only person other than owner Jim Dolan who really matters in the Knicks organization, it was a glimpse into what the entire franchise thinks about Lin.
What’s relevant here is not whether Melo was right or not about Lin’s contract. Plenty of NBA players surely agree with him. What’s relevant is that he said it out loud. Bad-mouthing another player’s deal is a serious breach of the unwritten code among pro athletes, which is why it happens so rarely, no matter how many stupid deals get handed out, no matter how many franchises are crippled by bad contracts, no matter how many superstars find their paths to a title blocked by the bonehead decisions of their teams’ front offices. It’s also why, conversely, players almost always praise each others’ deals in public, and offer congratulations – we’ve all seen the tweets – for getting every penny that the market could generate. It’s a fraternity.
Apparently, to Melo, Jeremy Lin is not in the fraternity. Or at least, Lin’s place in it is dubious enough that he has not earned the omerta that every other player gets. Anybody wanna try to convince me it has zero to do with Lin being Asian-American? Because, and let’s cut to the quick, Carmelo Anthony never ever would’ve made that remark about a black NBA player’s contract, and I doubt that he ever would’ve said it about a white player’s, either. If Melo thought that Lin was being wildly overpaid but still, fundamentally, belonged in the club, he would’ve kept his mouth shut. He didn’t because he doesn’t.
And then there’s Jim Dolan, whose fury over Lin’s “betrayal” has leaked over the last 72 hours into every single sports publication with a working NBA beat reporter. There’s no point in parsing the reasons why Dolan feels betrayed and whether they’re valid. The real question is, why is Dolan taking it so personally? Lin was reportedly disappointed the Knicks told him to shop around in the first place—he wanted to stay put—but he got over it. Why was Lin aggressively testing the market (i.e., doing what the Knicks told him to do) such an affront? Could it be that Dolan thought the nice, quiet, devout Christian Taiwanese kid would be too cowed by The Great Man to play hardball over money? Could it be that he thought he owned Lin, had made him, and became furious when Lin refused to behave like it? Could it be that he expected Lin to be more – ethnic stereotype alert – submissive?
And how do we explain leaks about Dolan (reportedly) using words like “betrayed” and “deceived” to describe Lin over the same weekend that newly acquired Knick Jason Kidd got so fall down drunk that he crashed his car into a tree—with nary a word of criticism from Dolan? Jeremy Lin is the bad guy here?
Wait, the media has told me that Blacks and Latinos couldn’t possibly be racist. My world is shattered. Asian kid isn’t loyal to white guy? THE FUCK?! I thought these little slants were obedient and shit?
WHY WON’T YOU CONFORM TO OUR STEREOTYPES?!
So amusing to watch it all unfold, especially since most of the blind hate comes from fellow minorities in Blacks and Latinos, who you would think might know better than to act like bigoted jackasses. Then again, perhaps I’m just expecting too much of people, which is to say I give humanity the benefit of the doubt to be at least semi-rational. Hate being proven wrong.