NBA champ Jeremy Lin responds to his doubters

Jeremy Lin on Ryan Higa podcast, Off the Pill
Jeremy Lin on Ryan Higa podcast, Off the Pill

Views from the Edge

Toronto Raptors guard Jeremy Lin answered those who expressed doubt that he deserves to be called an NBA champion.

A couple of days after the Raptors dethroned the Golden State Warriors, Lin, the first Asian American to win an NBA championship, responded to questions about how much he deserved to be called champion considering he played less than a minute in the six-game series.

“There were times, in all honesty, where I felt I had to tell myself I deserve a championship,” Lin said in an appearance on the Off The Pill Podcast, which is hosted by his friend Ryan Higa. “As a competitor who plays and has played my whole life, I’m not used to not playing, so I was like, ‘This is tough, do I really deserve it?’

Lin sat on the bench the entire championship series except for 51.7 seconds in the closing seconds of Game 3 when the Raptors had the game in hand.

The Raptors signed the former Knick and Net in February. during the regular season, Lin, who started the year with the Atlanta Hawks, played in 23 games for Toronto, starting just three.

“I started to think about my whole journey and I definitely do. I contributed to the team, I played 23 games in the regular season. I play against these guys all the time, whether it’s in workouts or whatever, even watching the game and talking to guys, giving my opinion, being a voice.

“That’s very, very valuable. In terms of staying ready and working out, I worked really, really hard this year.

“I wish people understood just how hard we have to work, even the guys who never touch the floor, because you never know when you’re gonna get that opportunity. You have to do everything to be ready to play.”

Lin told Higa that he believes that there was an element of racism among some of his doubters.

“I was like, man, I definitely deserve it too because I got here,” Lin said. “There’s billions of people and there’s only 450 spots [in the NBA]. I’m there, I made it, I worked hard to be here.

“It’s tough because I can understand what people are saying. I don’t mind necessarily if people make jokes of, ‘Oh, you didn’t do anything but you got a ring’. But they always highlight you’re the Asian, the first Asian who didn’t do something in the group project.

“You have the head coach, then the assistant coaches. Did they do anything? They weren’t talking in timeouts, weren’t calling the plays, arguing with the refs. But everyone has their role. There’s so many things that happen.

Higa also pointed out that even some Asian fans are mocking Lin on social media.

“Hopefully those same Asians making fun of me, five or 10 years down the road when I’m no longer playing, they can appreciate, ‘Oh, that’s the first Asian American to win an NBA championship,” Lin responded.

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