While your season has ended prematurely, I cannot begin to express how much you mean to so many people and the tremendous impact you have had on the game of basketball in just a few short weeks of national fame.
I want to not only wish you a speedy recovery from knee surgery, but also thank you for bringing true excitement back into NBA basketball. As a long time New York Knick fan, I also want to thank you for personally rejuvenating a team that has struggled to find an identity since the Ewing/Starks/Oakley/Mason years.
It may sound odd that a basketball player would be considered one of the most influential people in the world, but you have definitely been the Asian community’s most valuable player this year. As one of the few Asian-Americans constantly in the mainstream pop culture, your story has started an important discussion on race. For example, I know that no Asian will never be called a “chink” in the news again. And the overwhelming response to the incident from the Asian-American community? That was unprecedented. Perhaps Jay Kang said it best: “Linsanity, and everything ugly that inevitably came with it, has given us cause to clear our throats and expunge what can sometimes feel like a lifetime of silence and compromise”.
Certainly, you have quickly become the face of the Asian-American community and honestly, we could not be prouder to have you- I know the Christian community feels the same way. But, know that your appeal goes well beyond just ethnic or religious lines. As Erin Ninh explains, the most radical thing about your story is that Americans (not just Asian-Americans) are collectively recognizing themselves in your face and body.
Thank you for inspiring millions to never give up and continue to dream big. May you have a speedy recovery so that you may continue to change the world. Or at least, my world.