Jeremy Lin sat down for an interview with 60 Minutes that will air tonight. Excerpts of that interview have been making their way around the Internet and while the former Harvard player talked about a variety of things, his race was a key topic. In the interview, the point guard told Charlie Rose that he believes that he wasn’t recruited by bigger colleges because of his race.
The player has become a bit of a phenom after getting a 10-day contract with the New York Knicks a few years ago. The undrafted free-agent attended Harvard University and the fact that he has been so good in the NBA has made people wonder why he only got offers to play college basketball from an Ivy League school.
Jeremy Lin wasn’t a highschool player who didn’t put up big numbers. He attended Palo Alto highschool and led his team to a 32-1 record and a California state title in 2005-2006. He averaged 15.1 points, 7.1 assists, 6.2 rebounds and 5.0 steals per game.
Despite being an all-state selection and the state’s division II player of the year, none of the big California colleges came calling. Lin that it was rather obvious that the problem was that he was Asian-American. “I mean … it’s a stereotype,” he said in the interview.
NBA commissioner David Stern was interviewed for the piece as well and he was asked whether he felt that race was an issue as to why he wasn’t drafted after he graduated from Harvard. Stern said that it was possible there was a sort of dimissive attitude towards the former Knick and now Houston Rocket.
Stern also joked that he didn’t know whether that attitude might have been more about Jeremy being Asian, or playing his college ball at an Ivy League school like Harvard.
Do you think colleges overlooked Jeremy Lin because he was Asian?