The Toronto Raptors are killing it, reppin’ its city well and proper as they advance to Game 2 in the NBA Finals after defeating the Golden State Warriors Thursday night.
While it’s a proud and historic moment for all of us ― it’s the first time any Canadian team has made it this far ― it’s extra special for Jeremy Lin, the first Asian-American of Taiwanese descent to make it to the NBA Finals.
Lin, who is the son of Taiwanese parents, shared what the moment means to him in an Instagram post before Thursday’s game.
“APAHM (Asian Pacific American Heritage Month) is coming to an end soon! Been an HONOR reppin all the Asian Americans,” Lin wrote.
“Foreal I’m veryyy proud to be the first Asian American in the NBA Finals. We need everyone’s support for Game 1 tmrw!!”
A Harvard University graduate, Lin was originally drafted from the school by the Golden State Warriors in 2010. He then broke out for the Knicks in 2012 with a string of big games, prompting the term “Linsanity.”
The Raptors signed Lin in February, but he has only appeared in seven games for the Raptors this season due to injuries.
While Lin finds himself alone, as the only player of Asian descent in the NBA in 2019, he isn’t actually the first player of Asian descent to reach the finals. Chinese Inner Mongolian Mengke Bateer won the championship as a member of the San Antonio Spurs in 2003.
Sun Yue, another Chinese player won the finals playing for the Los Angeles Lakers in 2009.
And last year, Jordan Clarkson became the first American of Asian descent (Filipino American) to reach the Finals as a member of the Cleveland Cavaliers, which the Warriors defeated in four games.
Nonetheless, it’s a massive moment for Lin, who has always shouted out his heritage since making it into the league.
And he has used his fame to advocate for anti-bullying and anti-racism campaigns, with a soft-spot for giving back to youth.
As Asian Heritage Month comes to a close, it’s only fitting to honour Lin for making it this far in the season and for being someone who stands tall (literally) and proud of his ancestry.
The definition of Linsanity is doing it loud and proud!
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