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June 24, 2017

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Lin says he still carries weight of racism

NEW YORK -- Jeremy Lin, the NBA playmaker of Taiwan and Chinese heritage whose rise last season sparked "Linsanity" worldwide, told GQ Magazine in a cover story that he still feels the sting of racist attitudes.

"I'm going to have to play well for a longer period of time for certain people to believe it because I'm Asian. And that's just the reality of it," Lin told GQ in a story from the November issue posted on the magazine website.

Lin is featured on the cover wearing a suit and basketball shoes and holding a basketball in his left hand with a headline: "Jeremy Lin will not be denied."

Lin, a 24-year-old Harvard graduate, was pulled off the bench for the New York Knicks last season when the club had two starters felled by injury. He shocked everyone with a star turn that sparked a win streak and "Linsanity."

The starters returned and so did reality but the Knicks reached the playoffs and Lin was expected to play a role for New York in the upcoming season.

But when the Houston Rockets made an offer of US$25 million for three years and the Knicks refused to match it, Lin departed for the Texas club where retired Chinese star center Yao Ming played his entire NBA career.

"Right now we're really sort of figuring out who those foundational players will be but if you had to ask me who's most likely to be that guy, I think Jeremy Lin's number one."

Lin, however, says he still feels a sense of bigotry toward him, that people see his skills as more limited because of his unique status as the NBA's first Asian-American player.

"If I can be honest, yes. It's not even close to the only reason, but it was definitely part of the reason," Lin said.

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