A year ago, Evan Jackson Leong was a producer for MTV. He used his vacation days to shoot his new documentary, Linsanity, on the story of Jeremy LIn. Leong had been working on his documentary since Lin’s playing days at Harvard. It was a film that had no ending. He sat down to talk to MTV
“We had a bittersweet story. He made it to the NBA, which is amazing in itself, but it wasn’t a very good start to his career. That first game, he gave us an ending. And that second game, he gave us an ending, and he just kept going. We were just blown away.” said Lin. “We didn’t even know what happened. We’re like, “Oh yeah, we’re shooting a documentary!” And we have all the access before anyone else does.”
Leong said spending three years with Lin gave him the glimpse of Houston Rockets star that he’s very protective of. Its the Jeremy Lin behind closed doors that most people don’t see. Leong and Lin built a bond, a trust that enabled the film to happen. Lin didn’t like the nickname Linsanity when he first heard it. He just wanted to be called Jeremy.
Leong looks at how Jeremy dealt with all the distractions, how he dealt with the inevitable racism that every Asian Americans has to deal with. But for Jeremy Lin, that racism becomes magnified because of who he is.
“You see he has a little bit of a chip on his shoulder when he’s younger, a little bit of something to prove. He realizes that playing for that — those reasons — those aren’t the right reasons to play. By the end, I think we can all learn from how he deals with race. If everyone looked at racism in that sense, by letting it go and focusing that energy, I think what he did outshines any of that stuff by a tremendous amount,” said Leong.