Jeremy Lin KFC 3 on 3 commercial.
Wow~ he speaks Chinese all the way.
“Study is important, as well as the physical body.”
“Come with me!”
“KFC holds basketball 3 on 3 event annually.”
“Encourage young people taking exercise every day.”
“Develop it into your healthy habits.”
“I am KFC Basketball Ambassador.”
“Welcome to join us!”
As promised this is the Jeremy Lin interview with CCTV with English subtitles. A must watch!
Qs, most narrations and replies by Lin’s parents are translated. To me this is probably the most insightful interview done in Asia, as it’s really rare that Lin and his parent shared their feelings during tough times, the times before he was supposed to get cut.
Before this interview, I didn’t know that he used to hate practice. But he eventually realized the importance.
I also didn’t know that his mom prayed to have her son lose the breakout game. Maybe for a mother, it hurts more to see your son without an opportunity when you believe he absolutely deserves one.
Q: When is the first time you heard the word “Linsanity”?
Yao Ming: I didn’t expect that he could play so well.
Q: Which of the following makes you happier? Obama saying nice things about you or you being compared with Michael Jordan?
This February, reporters asked Kobe what he though about Jeremy Lin. …But just after one game, when reporters asked what advice he would give to Jeremy Lin…
Q: Some people say that you being Asian is why so many attentions are on you. If it’s a black guy who did the same thing, he probably wouldn’t get the same attention.
Q: And also, other people say that your success is because NBA needs a star to replace Yao Ming for their market in China…
Jeremy Lin took people, even his parents, by surprise. His parents never thought that their son could be a star in the NBA.
Q: Why do you like Michael Jordan so much?
Q (to Lin’s dad): Does Jeremy play basketball any different than his brothers?
Lin’s Dad: Very much different. The better his opponent was, the better he played. And he’s very competitive, he had to win the game. He’d be devastated if he lost.
Jeremy Lin had always been the only Asian in his team growing up.
Lin’s Mom: My friends used to laugh at me and say, “Do you really hope that he could play in the NBA? Spending so much time on this?” You know, in a mocking way.
Q: So they thought it’s never going to happen?
Lin’s Mom: No. And I would reply that almost every boy who plays basketball dreams about playing in the NBA. It’s their dream, so there’s no need to burst their bubble and say they’re never going to make it.
Q: But people might tell you that you’ll never become an NBA player, that’s not a place for Asians to be.
Q: You once said that you’re a stubborn guy, right?
Indeed, Jeremy was a stubborn kid. When he’s about one year old and hasn’t even started talking, he’d keep pointing at something he wanted, or even try to take it on his own. If he failed to get what he wanted, he’d keep banging his head on the wall and knocking himself down. No one knew where he learned that.
Q: but banging your head on the wall did hurt.
Jeremy was very devoted to things he loved, yet he got very frustrated. One of the most important factors of being a basketball player is height. But as a teenager, Jeremy was thin and short. Both his parents are only 1.68m tall.
Q: You’re only 1.6m tall when you’re in high school. A lot of girls were taller than you. Did that bother you?
Q: But don’t you think it’s a little unfair to blame your dad for being too short?
Jeremy’s Dad knew very well that this was his teenage son over-reacting to frustration. His way of helping was to make steak for his son every day, and to be sure he drank a lot of milk. Through 4 years in high school, Jeremy grew by 8mm per year; by the time he graduated, he became 1.9m tall. He led his team to California State Championship and was the state’s player of the year. But his mom was somehow worried about his personality, saying that he’s too proud, too competitive and even a little bossy.
Lin’s Mom: You know, losing games would kill competitive kids. When Jeremy lost a game, he would get very angry… sometimes he’d yell at his teammates, thinking they weren’t doing their job right. He’d even be kicking the bench.
Jeremy said that back then, all he wanted was to win the game, and be noticed by everyone. This attitude made his high school coach kick him out the team.
Q: So what happened?
Jeremy’s tired of boring practice. He loved to see himself in other’s eyes. People around him would admit that he’s gifted, and stroke a great balance between basketball and academics. He got into Harvard with excellent high school grades, this boy has almost never failed anything. But his pride was shattered after playing in Harvard. He only weighed 75kg, which was too small for a basketball player; he couldn’t be as athletic as other black players. This point guard who used to score so easily in high school found himself frequently turning the ball over in tournaments, and as an Asian player, people at the game would yell “get back to China” at him, some players even called him “chink”, which is a word of insult in English.
Q: People used to yell at you and even throw things at you?
Q: I remember your Harvard coach saying that you were not strong enough and were easily affected by how people think of you?
After a year in Harvard, Jeremy went back to his high school coach who kicked him out of the team and asked his coach to train him—something that used to bore him so much.
Q: Did your coach say something like, “Hey we met everyday back then and you never came to me until now?”
Jeremy and his coach designed a strict training program together. 2 hours of physical training in the morning and in the afternoon, it’s techniques training for 3 hours. Jeremy was also on strict diet control. After graduating college, Jeremy didn’t go for a job, because he felt like an animal kept in the zoo while practicing in financial companies. But his dream was to play in the NBA.
Q(to Lin’s parents): But you know, if a kid graduates from a good college here, he’s very not likely to play professional basketball because that’s not a promising job to his parents.
Lin’s Mom: So I said two years (laughs). I set a time limit for two years and told him that would be it.
In Harvard’s history there were 8 presidents of the United States, but only 2 NBA players. The first one appeared fifty years ago.
Q: Have your friends told you that you got a bigger chance to be the president than an NBA player?
Q: So, you have to win no matter what?
However, this kid with such a high self esteem hit the biggest slump at the start of his career.
On June 24, 2010, Jeremy was undrafted.
That day, Jeremy’s family bought 150 buffalo wings and he ate more than 40.
Q: Why the buffalo wings?
Q: Did you feel better after eating so many?
Jeremy Lin signed a contract with the Golden State Warriors on July 21, 2010. It’s also his favorite team growing up. Him being Asian and a Harvard graduate got him media exposure, along with support of local fans. But in fact, throughout his time as a Warrior he could hardly get a chance to play. He was even put to D-league for 3 times. He got waived on December 9, 2011 and was immediately signed by Houston Rockets, but Rockets also waived him one month later. He was just reduced to tears at that time.
Q: Would you feel it’s hard to breathe?
Q: So you’re trying to make everyone happy.
Lin’s Mom: He loved playing basketball so much, but he would say, “I feel like I have to force myself to practice.” But he also knew that there’s no other way to improve.
Q: You used to say in your diary that you wished the whole thing never happened. Did you really not want to play basketball anymore?
Jeremy Lin signed with New York Knicks on December 27, 2011, but his contract was not guaranteed. He only played 55 minutes in 23 games. The Knicks planned to give him up on February 10, the day his contract expired. Due to injuries of starters, the head coach decided to give Jeremy a shot. It was supposed to be his last game in the NBA. His heart-broken mother prayed to have her son lose the game and leave NBA.
Lin’s Mom: February 2nd and 3rd would be the toughest times for us. The newspapers and your friends kept telling you that he’s not NBA material, he’s only signed to develop Asian market…hearing things like that made me indignant and somewhat humiliated.
Q: What did you say to yourself before going out there that night?
Q: You looked like you’re going to a war.
Lin’s Mom: I went nuts. (laughs) Yeah I went nuts…his brother was jumping up and down like crazy…
Lin’s Dad: White people, black people, Asians, everyone was up rooting for him.
Q: How long is the couch?
Q: At the Lakers game you high-fived with Kobe, but he didn’t lay eyes on you and you didn’t lay eyes on him either. Why?
Q: Were you afraid of him?
Q: What did you feel when hearing the “MVP” chants?
Q: Were you feeling a lot of pressure in the last seconds of the Toronto game?
Q: You’re dribbling the ball very slowly. Did you feel that you could control the ball?
Q: I noticed that you would keep nodding to yourself after making one shot. Why?
Q: And I also noticed that when you’re running on the court, you”re also grinning. Why is that?
Q: Are you happy on the court now?
Q: But you know, you win some games and you lose some. Would you still be the one who gets happy for a win and not talking to anyone after losing?
Q: I remember you saying you really, really, really hate to lose.
Jeremy Lin became a sensation. But in the videos he shoot with his friends, he still looks like a dorky boy next door. Friends said that he’s actually hilarious and even naughty at times, but publicly, he would only do very few interviews, and every time he would mention his teammates.
He would pick up trash on the plane, carry things and hold the door for senior teammates. He hates to play in a team that only cares about numbers, because that contradicts the spirit of basketball. A basketball game is nothing like an one man show.
He said in an interview, “I try to compete with pride every single day.”
His status went downhill a bit after the seven winning streak. …An ESPN editor put the title “Chink in the Armor” on one article, which arouse anger and got him fired. But unlike the Jeremy Lin in college, he invited the editor to lunch.
Q: It seemed that you’re not as offended as before.
Q: Do you still need to remind yourself to find joy in your suffering?
Q: Some people say that Linsanity happened just because you got lucky.
Q: Would you worry that the luck might run out someday?
Q: You’re only 24 and your story already had an amazing opening chapter. How will your story go?
Same time last year, Jeremy went to China once and played in a basketball friendly at Dongguan. He played well, but his team lost after he went back to the bench. He was awarded an MVP after the game, but he felt bad because the trophy should belong to the winning team. Feeling upset, he threw the trophy into the trash can. But later he felt he over-reacted, so he picked it back up and left it to a friend. “I don’t think I deserve this.” He said.
In the past year, this young man learned perseverance, went through despair and found his way back to happiness. He also won what he’s worth. In his early twenties he still has a long way to go. His mom said she wouldn’t worry if her son is going to be successful, but whether her son could deal with pride. Pride ignites one’s potential but could also mislead him. Her word of advice to her son is: wisdom.
This is definitely a must watch interview! It was carried out in such a heartwarming and motivated way. You’ll be able to experience his joy, frustration and motivation. I, myself, was close to tears and was laughing. I know half of it is in Chinese, but I’ll try to find one with English subtitles, as soon as possible! Enjoy!
TRANSLATION OF THE INTERVIEW CAN BE FOUND HERE.