Celebrity 360: Jeremy Lin

You’ve heard us speak of the balanced 360-degree Notable life – all of our YPs strive to achieve a balance of professionalsocialcharity and living life. To feed your weekly guilty indulgence of both male and female eye candy, coupled with 360- degree inspiration, we will profile a different celeb each week that we feel embodies this. Now that Linsanity has officially existed for about three weeks without slowing down, we thought it would be the perfect time to analyze the crazy turn of events for New York Knicks guard Jeremy Lin…

Basketball fan or not, if you haven’t heard of instant NBA sensation Jeremy Lin yet, you must be living under a rock. The New York Knicks player has gained instant fame after seemingly coming out of nowhere and kicking serious ass on the court, turning the team around and adding needed excitement to the NBA. Earlier this month, in about two weeks and seven straight games, Lin took an unprecedented rise from bench warmer to global basketball phenomenon. He went from an undrafted second-year player from Harvard to the Knicks starting point guard, averaging 24.4 points, 9.1 assists and 4.0 rebounds during that initial seven-game stretch.

Although commonly referred to as an “overnight success,” Lin in fact is far from this. He has been good for quite some time but has not been given the opportunity to shine until recently. He had been met with a few significant setbacks but kept persevering until he was granted his opportunity to shine in a fluke chance taken by Knicks coach Mike D’Antoni to revitalize the then-struggling Knicks. In his home city, Stanford didn’t offer him a scholarship. He had been cut from two NBA teams; both the Golden State Warriors and the Houston Rockets let him go as both teams were heavy in the guard position and couldn’t offer him playing time.

In the past month, Jeremy Lin has been a trending sensation on Twitter and has gone from virtually no followers to almost 600,000. He also became an overnight role model for Asians all over the globe. He has the top-selling jersey at NBAstore.com, which has shipped merchandise to countries around the world. He has also graced the cover of Sports Illustrated two weeks in a row in February. Companies have been knocking down the door for endorsement deals, prompting the construction of a team of marketing and public relations executives to handle it all. He wasn’t even scheduled to participate in the NBA All-Star weekend until about a week and a half ago.

Although his “perfect record” has since been broken and his performance is sometimes criticized for his high rate of turnovers, Linsanity doesn’t show any sign of stopping as Jeremy Lin continues to enchant the world with his skills and inspiring underdog story.

Jeremy Lin so far seems to be the poster child as a good role model and well-rounded individual, and much of this can be attributed to his social graces. In the face of racism, scrutiny and personal attacks, Lin has remained silent, and replied with “no comment.”  He avoided retaliation with media, other celebs (Floyd Mayweather) and Twitter followers over racist marks directed at him.   

Lin also fosters relationships with his teammates and is quick to turn the attention over to them and the support they have shown him. He also admires and is inspired by other athletes and is vocal in expressing this. He has openly expressed his respect and praise for NFL sensation Tim Tebow’s approach to the game, his charity and nonprofit work, and his influence off of the field.

Although he has instantly become a sought-after eligible bachelor, Lin has not been quick to jump on that bandwagon and seems to have stuck to his Harvard status when it comes to dating. In addressing rumours that he was dating Kim Kardashian, Lin has replied, “I have no idea where that came from and all the other rumours. I don’t think I’m that type.”

Jeremy Lin has expressed his dedication to charity and admiration to those who make differences in the lives of others. He already has his own charity, The Jeremy Lin Foundation, which is geared towards helping underprivileged youth in the Bay Area of California, his hometown. Part of his involvement includes touring local schools and addressing the kids about the importance of giving, in addition to bringing items for the school’s food drives.

Lin also plays in charity games whenever he can. In the summer of 2010, he played in Yao Ming’s charity game, as well as a Golden State Warriors charity game on November 5, 2011. The jersey Lin wore the night he scored 38 points against the Lakers was just auctioned off for $42,388, with the proceeds benefitting a Madison Square Garden-associated charity, the Garden of Dreams Foundation. 

This past Friday, he and his All-Star teammates happily got their over-sized hands dirty to help re-vamp the homes of the under-privileged in Orlando, Florida.

As we have said, Jeremy Lin exhibits a life rich with balance and a sound mental state. In response to his performance criticism, in true Lin style, he does not let himself get discouraged, stating, “I’m going to make mistakes and have bad games, but that’s fine with me. I’m going to grow as a player, so I’m not too worried.”

A refreshing trait about Jeremy Lin and the “Linsanity” that surrounds him is that he has remained so focused on the game that he has been somewhat ignorant to the madness surrounding him. It has been reported that he didn’t know he was being added to the All-Star Rising Stars Challenge or even which team he ends up on. He apparently wasn’t aware that Time Warner and MSG network had settled a dispute to put Knicks games back on TV in New York in response to the fans’ constant cries. 

Even at the height of the hype, Lin has been quick to turn down endorsement deals, some of which are worth millions of dollars.  He simply doesn’t want to jump into anything and wants to wait for the best fit. Although NBA players have typically been quick to jump on the luxury brand endorsement bandwagon, Jeremy, armed with his Harvard education, is smart enough not to do things just for the paycheck.  As such, he has yet to go on any major spending sprees, aside from the lavish lower Manhattan condo he now owns, a welcomed alternative to his spot on his brother’s couch.

Lin is also open and dedicated to his faith. On Janaury 27th, when the Knicks played the Miami Heat, Lin went to a pregame chapel with a few fellow NBAers. Another element about he holds in high regard is his Asian-American heritage. He has openly expressed his pride for his culture and embraced it. He can speak and write a little Mandarin and took classes while at Harvard to improve these skills.