This past Saturday night, a kid from Harvard named Jeremy Lin came off the bench and propelled the New York Knicks to a thrilling 99-92 victory over the Nets at Madison Square Garden. Two nights later, Lin made his first start in the National Basketball Association lighting up the court with 28 points and 8 assists in a win over the Utah Jazz. Wednesday night, Lin continued his monster week with an incredible performance against the Washington Wizards leading the Knicks with 23 points and 10 assists.
Lin is the NBA’s first American-born player of Taiwanese or Chinese descent and only the fourth Asian-American in league history. Lin’s parents, Shirley and Gie-Ming, who are engineers, emigrated from Taiwan to the United States in the 1970s. Lin’s Asian roots are rare, and that is significant, considering that the NBA has been pushing its entry into both the Chinese and Taiwanese markets for years. A United States-born star with Asian ties could be a tremendous fit for NBA International and its corporate partners in Taiwan, Japan and China.
Lin’s play for the Knicks so far has been nothing short of remarkable. In fact, it might be time to safely say that Jeremy Lin mania is out in full force on the streets of Manhattan. What Lin is about to realize, if he hasn’t already, is that his success is much bigger the just his play on the court. From a marketing and endorsement standpoint Lin has a tremendous amount of potential.