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Jeremy Lin on 60 Minutes: I Was Discriminated Against

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Jeremy Lin's path to the NBA wasn't an easy one. Far from it, in fact.

In an interview with CBS' 60 Minutes, Lin described the various forms of heckling he endured from the early stages of his basketball career.

When asked what opposing players would say, he made it clear nothing was off limits—not even in high school.

"Pretty much anything you could think of," Lin said. "From stereotypical Asian food, making fun of my complexion, my skin color or the way Asians look. Pretty much everything."

The discrimination didn't stop after high school, either. Despite being named as a finalist for Mr. Basketball State Player of the Year in 2006, Lin didn't receive any scholarships from Division I schools, so he moved across the country to attend Harvard.

Then, coming out of Harvard, Lin wasn't drafted into the NBA.

When pressed about why he didn't receive scholarships and why so many overlooked him, he attributed it to being Asian.

"I think the obvious thing, in my mind, is I was Asian-American," he explained. "I think that was a barrier."

It was a "barrier" that Lin inevitably broke through.

After being shunned by numerous NBA teams, Lin found an unlikely home with the New York Knicks. It was in the Big Apple that Linsanity was born.

Lin helped restore order to a reeling Knicks franchise, all the while making a name for himself and captivating the masses.

This past summer, Lin signed a three-year pact with the Houston Rockets. New York opted not to match the offer, but the significance of Lin finding a home, let alone as a starting point guard, wasn't lost on him.

It still isn't.

Now, as a vital component of a playoff-caliber faction, Lin is able to scoff at any racially laced castigation that comes his way.

"There are times when people say stuff and I just laugh," he said. "All I do is laugh and move on, just not say anything and just forget about it."

Would he change anything about his life, about his experiences?

I'm inclined to say no.

"It made me a stronger person," Lin said.

That he's equally as strong a basketball player is just a bonus.

 

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