Point guard Jeremy Lin became an international sensation starting at point guard for the New York Knicks last season. Although Lin is now a member of the Houston Rockets, he may find himself wearing another team’s jersey by mid-season.
With the huge Asian population in Houston and the fact that the NBA has historically opened up All-Star voting to Asian countries like China, Lin could find himself starting at point guard for the Western Conference All-Star team.
During the height of the Yao Ming era, Yao made the All-Star team virtually every year, even being voted in during a season when he was injured. China has three times the population of the United States and the Chinese showed their love and support for Ming by making him the highest vote-getter every season he was on the All-Star ballot.
Lin didn’t play enough games to make it on the ballot last year, but if he can stay healthy this season he could be looking at not only his first All-Star selection but he could end up starting over the likes of Steve Nash, Russell Westbrook, Chris Paul and Tony Parker.
Regardless of whether those guys have better numbers or seasons leading up to the All-Star game, if Lin plays well enough to get his name on the ballot he could be voted in as starter.
Not saying this will definitely happen but after watching the excitement he generated during his time in New York, it’s highly likely this will be the case. At one point last season, Lin had a cult following that rivaled NFL quarterback Tim Tebow who was playing for the Denver Broncos at the time.
Despite Lin’s popularity, it’s doubtful that Lin will have the kind of impact or production that Yao had during his healthy seasons in Houston. Lin may replace him as a regular starter on the West’s All-Star team though.
Roosevelt Hall is an NFL Blogger for The Sport Mentalist and an NBA Blogger for The Sport Mentalist 2. He is also a Sports Reporter for Pro Sports Lives. He can be contacted at email@example.com and be sure to follow him on Twitter @sportmentalist.