5 Things

Queerty’s Gay Guide To: NBA Superstar Jeremy Lin

Do you find yourself wondering what the hell “Linsanity” is?

Granted, anyone who opens a newspaper, turns on the TV or surfs the Web has heard about rising NBA star Jeremy Lin. But why should gays care about him?

Don’t worry, we’ll walk you through it.

Herewith, the top five things you need to know about the 23-year-old point guard:

1. Jeremy Lin is the most talked-about player in basketball right now.

He’s consistently made the front page of every New York newspaper—not to mention Sports Illustrated, ESPN.com, and countless sports sections. Not only is he a phenomenal player but he almost wasn’t going to make it off the bench—it wasn’t until a teammate got injured that Lin got his chance at the big time.

This month, Lin was on a seven-game winning streak, only to narrowly lose a matchup with the New Orleans Hornets, 89-85. (The Knicks lost again Monday night, to the New Jersey Nets). Still, Lin’s been scoring between 23 and a career-high 38 points per game.

Although his astounding record speaks for itself, Lin is one of the few Asians in NBA history, and the first Chinese-American player in the league. His devoutly Christian parents emigrated here from Taiwan in the 1970s. Prior to his meteoric rise, Lin crashed on his brother’s couch on the Lower East Side. Now he lives in a fancy apartment at the Trump Tower in White Plains, NY, close to the Knicks’ Westchester training arena.

Most outlets have reported Lin’s ethnicity sensitively but, over the weekend, an ESPN.com reporter was fired after using the headline “Chink in the Armor” to describe Lin’s loss to the Hornets.

The ensuing controversy sent the blogosphere atwitter.

2. He’s an Evangelical Christian but all signs indicate he’s not a homophobe.

Lin graduated from Harvard in May 2010 with a 3.1 GPA and a major in economics. At Harvard, he was a leader in the Asian American Christian Fellowship and has said that he could see himself becoming a pastor later in life—one that heads up charitable nonprofits, though, not some fire-and-brimstone anti-gay preacher. (Successful Ivy League players in the NBA may be rarer than Asian ones: The most recent was Yale’s Chris Dudley in 2003 and the last Harvard player in the NBA was in 1954.)

While Lin has never spoken about homosexuality publicly (and the Knicks have yet to record an “It Gets Better” video), he seems like a generally nice, goofy guy who’s smart enough to not to post some homophobic tweet.

3. He doesn’t really drink or party that much, and definitely doesn’t have a way with women.

It seems like Lin is too focused on his career to canoodle with female folk, although they have been taking a liking to him (see this photo). Sources say the rising star has no serious girlfriend now, but he did have a one in college, with whom things “ended amicably.”

Last week after a victory Lin was spotted at Avenue nightclub, where he nursed one Bud Light all night—even as his teammates enjoyed the six bottles of champagne the club sent over.

He didn’t hit on any babes, either. Earlier in the evening, he celebrated his victory with a quiet dinner with his parents.

4. He’s not gay, but he is cute.

Sadly, Lin is, by all accounts, straight. And we don’t see him becoming a gay icon like David Beckham or Mark Sanchez. Still we’re glad Lin’s reminded gay and straight America alike that Asian men are athletic and sexy, too.

And Gaysian blogger I Am Yellow Peril reports his Adam4Adam account has started blowing up since Linsanity began: “And the result of these monumental shifts in the tectonic plates of global pop culture? I’ll get laid. Progress!”

5. Famous people are obsessed with  Jeremy Lin.

Right wingers are jumping onto Lin’s story to shoehorn it into their God-makes-Christians-successful narrative. Tim Tebow praised Lin as a “great role model” and conservative braniac Sarah Palin called him “an American story—uplifting, positive… He unifies our country!”

Linsanity has also struck Mary J. Blige, Paul McCartney, Eva Longoria and Kevin Costner. Kim Kardashian might be spreading rumors the two are dating, Lin swears it’s not true.

+++

So now you’re an expert on Jeremy Lin. But what do you say if his name comes up in conversation, say at an office party, family reunion or somewhere else you might bump into hetero sports fans?

You could mention how great it is to see an Asian Ivy Leaguer making it big in the NBA.

Or you could go with the insider approach: “He’s definitely taking care of the ball better and will definitely nail that triple-double.”

Just be sure to quickly walk away so no one can ask a follow-up.

Photos via nikk_la, Yu-wen Cheng

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17 Comments

  • Dave

    [quote]Sadly, Lin is, by all accounts, straight. And we don’t see him becoming a gay icon like David Beckham or Mark Sanchez. Still we’re glad Lin’s reminded gay and straight America alike that Asian men are athletic and sexy, too.[/quote]

    Queerty showing it’s heterophobia and sour grapes about straight men they’ll never get yet again. There’s nothing wrong with the fact that Lin is heterosexual or that someone is heterosexual.

  • Abe

    @Dave: How is that heterophobia? That’s just like saying it’s homophobia when women say “Oh, why is he gay?” It’s just wishful thinking because you find the person attractive.

  • Kamikapse

    What exactly makes David Beckham a “gay icon”?

    Just because he does underwear ads?

  • dsp

    @Kamikapse: +1

  • Law

    First of Chinese descent? Try Yao Ming.

  • elvis

    Why are they saying he is the first asian basketball player..bla bla bla..

    WHAT ABOUT YAO MING?????

  • yaoming

    “Lin is … the first Chinese-American player in the league.”
    Yao-ming is Chinese (from China).

  • B

    FYI our local newspapers have had a lot in it about him growing up in a town adjacent to Stanford University, about 30 miles south of San Francisco. This is a “liberal” area that voted overwhelmingly against Proposition Eight.

  • Jaztm

    Just for cultural accuracy. Taiwan =/= China. Ergo, Taiwanese =/= Chinese. USA is actually very responsible for that one.

  • Mrs. Cynthia Rosenthal

    If he’s good enough for our Sarah he’s good enough for me. He’s a handsome normal straight athlete; cute as a button albeit probably smaller in penile size than most caucasian men but at least he puts in in the right hole.

  • Justin Huang

    @Mrs. Cynthia Rosenthal: You are such a douchebag. I hope your comment was a bad attempt at satire.

  • Palto

    Yes I’m gay and Mrs. Cynthia Rosenthal is f*cking hilarious as always.

  • Gah!

    @ jaztm: your noble attempt at teaching asian history and culture is lost and wasted on this crowd of brain dead amberzombie gay white queers. They are more interested in telling racist dick jokes, which is not funny, lazy tired and played out. If you think it was funny you are stupid. How many times can white people tell the exact same joke and still think it is funny?? Apparently, A LOT. It is like they are on a treadmill of racist stupid lazy crazy.

  • B

    No. 11 · Justin Huang wrote, “@Mrs. Cynthia Rosenthal: …. I hope your comment was a bad attempt at satire.”

    I hope the target was supposed to be Sarah Palin and no one else. It’s not something I’d ever say, if only because I wouldn’t want to offend Asian friends.

  • Still don't know why I should care...

    Article fails to explain why I –or for that matter, gays– should care about this new basketball ‘phenomenon.’ Spill the T when some of them big girls come out or are outed. Until then, I’d appreciate Queerty’s assistance in keeping my RAM free of bullshit. Thank you. The first “WTF” is courtesy of yours truly.

  • kendoll

    Why the fuck should we need reminding that asian me are sexy? That is so fucking stupid. This article blows.

  • sam

    I am very happy to see this young man be a WINNER IN SO MANY MANY WAYS as outlined in this article and the news around the World.
    He is an American, why can’t we just be proud of him?
    These negative remarks by some here are signs of ,,, possibly,,, jealousy, racisum,..

    Look, do you see any stupid tattoos on this guy.
    Look, did he drop out of school like so many,, etc.,,, .
    Look, what is the % of Asians in our prisons? Ans: The lowest % is Asians.
    Look, what is the SAT scores of Asians in our schools? Ans: The highest scores Asians.
    Look, what is the unemployment rate of Asians? Ans: The lowest % is Asians.
    Look, what is the per capital income of Asians? Ans: The highest is Asians.
    These negative remarks by some here are signs of ,,, possibly,,, jealousy, racism,..

    We,,, as gays should not act like stupid “cutting/bitchy queens.”
    Or, we should not complain when people treat us like we behave.
    We,,, as gays should try our best to be positive and supportive of all minorities when ever possible.
    I have a theory,,, ,,,
    If we the gays and ALL MINORITIES stuck together,, voted together, etc.
    WE WOULD BE THE MAJORITY.
    Sam

Comments are closed.