Chinese Connection: Jeremy Lin admits huge impact by giant Yao Ming in his NBA career

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Yao Ming (Photo courtesy: Keith Allison/Wikimedia Commons)

Jeremy Lin is set to join his sixth team in his NBA career starting the 2016-2017 season. In a recent interview, the Asian-American point guard admitted that Hall of Famer Yao Ming had a big impact on his NBA career and credited the former NBA player as the guy he looked up to when he was younger.

“I mean, there’s no person that has been impacted more than me. No other player, no other person, I would say, has been more impacted by what Yao has done than me because I was kind of the one that came right after him,” Lin said to ESPN when asked about Yao Ming’s impact to basketball and other Asian players in the league.

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Yao Ming, who played for the Houston Rockets from 2002 to 2011, was elected to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame last April 4, 2016. Yao made eight NBA All-Star team selections (2003 to 2009 and 2011) but his NBA career was cut short due to injuries.

Jeremy Lin admitted that he always followed Yao’s career in the NBA because of his Asian descent. Lin is a Taiwanese-American who was born in California, USA but has grandparents from China.

“It was an inspiration to see someone of Asian descent to be able to play on the NBA floor. So in high school and stuff, I would always tune into what is going on with him. And so you talk about paying respect to the people that came before you, just the stuff that he had to go through made it easier for me.”

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In 2016 free agency, Jeremy Lin signed with the Brooklyn Nets where he is expected to become the starting point guard next season. Lin is hoping he’ll continue to find success in the NBA like what Yao Ming had in his NBA career.

Photo courtesy: Keith Allison/Wikimedia Commons

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