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Former New York Knick and current Houston Rocket player Jeremy Lin has opened up the 2012-2013 NBA season in a vastly different direction than his coming-out party where he stunned fans in the Big Apple. After lighting it up for a few weeks last season, Lin isn’t exactly putting fear into his opponents in the Lone Star State. Critics have been ripping his struggling jumper and his $25 million contract to shreds and according to an interview with Yahoo! Sports, Lin happens to think his race is to blame.

“I was a little surprised, but I wasn’t shocked. I honestly feel it’s part of the underlying issue of race in American society, of being an Asian-American,” said Lin regarding critics of his rabid fan base and hefty contract. “I haven’t figured it out. I haven’t wrapped my head around it. But it’s something I’m thinking about.”

Lin was candid about the pressures of fame and the skepticism surrounding his game, continuing to use his Asian heritage as the invisible chip on his shoulder.

“I’ve always been a target,” said Lin. “Everyone looks me and says, ‘I’m not going to let that Asian kid embarrass me. I’m going to go at him.’ That’s how it’s been my whole life. This has been different, though. Now, I was on the scouting report. People started to pay attention to what I could and couldn’t do.”

Lin continued with, “But a target? I was used to that. I’m not saying I get everyone’s best shot, but I would say people don’t want to be embarrassed by me because of my skin color.”

At just 24 and still trying to get his legs under him after knee surgery earlier this year, Lin still has time to turn his game around. Remaining humble and far removed from the big fish bowl that is New York media, perhaps “Linsanity” will make a triumphant return on the Rockets home court.


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Photo: NBA