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Jeremy Lin is big in Taiwan (he’s there with Rockets right now)

Oct 11, 2013, 2:12 PM EDT

BASKET-PHI-US-HOUSTON ROCKETS-JEREMY LIN Getty Images

The American version of Linsanity lasted only a few weeks. It was a perfect storm of on-the-court opportunity mixed with the kind of frenzy you only get in New York, but it subsided almost as quickly as it came. Lin still has some very loyal fans — particularly in the Asian American community — but there is not the frenzy around him there once was.

But it’s different in his ancestral home of Taiwan — there Linsanity never died.

The Rockets play the Pacers are in Taiwan for the first ever NBA game (preseason or otherwise) in Taipei this Sunday and everyone is feeling the full force of Linsanity — he is a rock star. Fans wear Lin T-Shirts and Lin signs are up all over the city.

Lin talked about it, as reported by the Associated Press.

“I kind of see this as a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity,” Lin told a packed news conference. “I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to come back and play a NBA preseason game here where my parents were born and raised.

“Definitely, I am looking forward to it. It’s a celebration in some sense.”

Taiwan is just part of the NBA’s reach into that part of the world, where basketball is growing in popularity and the market is huge.

Lin is likely to get a lot of run in Sunday’s game — and he needs to show something. After watching the first couple Rockets preseason games Patrick Beverly is making a push for that starting point guard spot thanks to his defense and tenaciousness. Lin needs a game where he shows what he brings to the table.

Whatever his role, Lin is going to get a lot of minutes this year and the chance to run a lot of pick-and-roll with Dwight Howard. And no matter what, he’s going to be a rock star in Taiwan.

  1. whalexcel - Oct 11, 2013 at 3:43 PM

    Kurt, I am a big fan of your blog, come here all the time. However I can tell you didn’t actually watch the Rockets games that you refer to here. Lin has looked excellent (Linsanity-esque) in both, despite playing very limited minutes:

    Versus Pacers (23 min):

    Versus Pelicans (19 min):

    You insinuate that Lin is losing his starting job as a result of his own play/Beverly’s outstanding play. On the contrary, Lin’s move to the 2nd team appears to be much more about Beverly’s inability to initiate offense for that unit. Beverly has looked very good playing with the starters, however, where he can rely on Harden and Howard to create offense, and thus he has logged more minutes than Lin in both games.

    By the way, not all of Lin’s fans are Asian. I wish you’d stop smugly insinuating that (you aren’t endearing yourself to anyone). I am a white male who has never lived in New York or the Bay Area who simply follows Lin because I find his story inspiring. Lin’s story transcends basketball. It is about something much bigger.

    • Kurt Helin - Oct 11, 2013 at 6:49 PM

      What I got from those first couple games is Beverly is a better fit overall with the starters — they need his defense more than Lin’s shot creation. Lin with the second unit to generate shot creation matters as well, but I think Beverly’s play has improved.

      And I didn’t watch all of both games, but about a half each.

  2. nygrwy - Oct 11, 2013 at 4:33 PM

    I watched his documentary. I was pretty stoned but it was pretty awesome. As a Knick’s fan I would have liked him to stay but that’s a whole different story. The doc paints him as a serious talent that has been held back because he is Asian which is def possible. Editing is a funny thing. It can make someone look great or terrible.

    If Hakeem says that the talent is there I have to believe he knows what he is talking about. However he was making people look stupid on the doc but the competition was not NBA. Regardless the linsanity ride was awesome. It was def something great to be apart of.

    I wondered last night though. What is a bigger high? Linsanity or winning a chip? Its a toss up……….

  3. jimeejohnson - Oct 11, 2013 at 5:21 PM

    Think you meant “I was pretty stoned AND it was awesome”…the stoned part, right?

  4. gmsingh123 - Oct 12, 2013 at 3:49 PM

    I’m sure Lin is *very* big in Taiwan: I’m guessing the average height for men there is 5′ 6″.

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