Wednesday, February 15, 2012

AotD: Jeremy Lin's Grandmother, Taiwan Tunes in for #Linsanity

Words by The New York Times' Kieth Bradsher:

TAIPEI, Taiwan — Long before Jeremy Lin began winning games in spectacular style for the Knicks, his Taiwanese grandmother, Lin Chu A Muen, came to the United States to look after him as a young child while his parents worked. She diapered and fed him and, as he grew up, cooked big batches of fried rice with dried turnips and egg, a Taiwanese favorite.

On Wednesday night, Lin Chu, now 85, went to a sports restaurant to watch a delayed broadcast of her grandson’s latest heroics, a last-second shot against the Toronto Raptors that propelled the Knicks to their sixth straight victory since he emerged out of nowhere and took charge of the team.

Lin Chu’s face lighted up every time her grandson came on the screen. But each time he fell or was knocked down or elbowed by the Raptors, who played a pugnacious, battering defense against him, her face froze.

“I don’t know too much about basketball, but this is not how it should be done — why do they do it?” she said with dismay. “I know nothing about basketball. I only know when Jeremy puts the ball in the basket he has done a good thing.”

Much of Taiwan has been watching Lin’s extraordinary performance over the last week and a half with almost as much emotion as Lin Chu and perhaps with more knowledge of the sport. Newspapers and magazines have almost monotonously similar front pages with photographs of Lin. Offices go quiet each morning when Lin plays in night games on the other side of the world, as workers try to follow the court action without being heard by their colleagues.

Lin Chi Chung, Jeremy Lin’s 63-year-old uncle, said he kept working at his job as a warehouse manager Wednesday morning as the Knicks-Raptors game was being played, knowing he would watch it that night. But almost none of the other 60 people at the warehouse showed the same discipline.

“All the senior managers at my office and all the sales managers immediately updated me — they all had iPads they were watching,” he said.

Politicians are also paying attention. Taiwan’s democracy is famously fractious, not just between the ruling Nationalist Party and the opposition Democratic Progressive Party, but among factions within each group. But on Lin, they are united. And Taiwan’s president, Ma Ying-jeou, caused some amusement this week by wishing that his cabinet showed the same team spirit as Lin did...

Jeremy Lin's surprising star turn with the Knicks has created legions of
 basketball fans in Taiwan, including his grandmother Lin Chu A Muen. 
(Justin Guariglia/Redux, for The New York Times)

Full story from The New York Times' Kieth Bradsher:

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