NBA player adamant his legacy be 'that I lived for God'


Anyone who lived through “Linsanity,” whether in person or just by watching from afar, will never forget about it.

Over an 11-game stretch in February 2012, an unknown Knicks point guard named Jeremy Lin took the NBA by storm in one of the most unlikely Cinderella stories of our time.

During that stretch, the Asian-American basketball vagabond shocked the league, averaging more than 27 points per game.

But it was more than the numbers — it was the way he did it that made him a household name.

Six years later, Lin is pushing 30 years old and coming off a season in which he played one game for the Brooklyn Nets before rupturing his patella tendon, leaving his future in doubt.

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As he rehabs from this serious injury, Lin sat down with David Meltzer on “The Playbook” podcast to reflect on his impact on basketball and, more importantly, society.

“My legacy with the world would be, I would want them to know that I lived for God, I was faithful in my life,” said Lin, who is outspoken about his Christian faith.

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“I wasn’t perfect, but I always did my best and I tried to fix and right my wrongs and just do things the right way.”

He told Metzler he’s leaning heavily on his faith since his knee injury.

“There is a lot of delving into God’s promises that there is a perfect plan, that I need to just continue to be faithful and worry about what I can control … I do feel like I’m in God’s favor,” he said.

“My older brother said it best, he said, ‘When I look at your story there’s God’s fingerprints all over it,'” Lin added.

Lin’s faith is obvious, as is his perspective on this wild ride, one which has taken him from undrafted rookie out of Harvard to international phenom with career earnings of more than $40 million and 2.6 million followers on Twitter.

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Asked what has kept him going, Lin said, “A lot of it really is just faith in God’s divine plan. I’ll remember when I made it to the NBA … I remember I actually, physically wrote down a list one day and I was like, ‘If any of these one things didn’t happen, I wouldn’t be here today.’

“It was a long list of maybe about 13 to 15 things, and I made sure that everything on that list was out of my control … so that’s the first thing I need to do is not take credit for a lot of outside things.”

Even as his celebrity has at times overshadowed his ability, Lin is focused on making a difference.

“There’s many things that I’m able to do,” he said. “We talk a lot about how to make it right, what vision, what brand, what path we want to take, and it’s been enlightening … we spent a lot of it thinking about China and how we can help.”

Jeremy Lin has not, and likely never will, make an NBA All-Star team, but he’ll always have a place in league history for “Linsanity” and his contributions off the floor.

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Mike is an 11-time Michigan Emmy Award winner who has spent nearly 30 years working in sports media.
Mike has spent nearly 30 years in all aspects of sports media, including on-air, 10 at ESPN and another 10 at Fox Sports Detroit. He now works as a TV agent, and lives with his family in West Bloomfield, MI.
Sudbury, Massachusetts
11-time Michigan Emmy winner
Emerson College
Books Written
The Longest Year: One Family's Journey Of Life, Death, And Love/If These Walls Could Talk: Detroit Tigers/If These Walls Could Talk: Detroit Lions
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