I just watched “38 at the Garden,” the Jeremy Lin documentary twice! It surprisingly had quite an impact on me. The documentary was entertaining and on point for many issues Asian Americans face. I reflected on how I felt during that Linsanity period 10 years ago, and now better understand why it was so meaningful. I played basketball in high school and college in a small town in Michigan, never seeing another face that looked like mine. Watching Jeremy Lin in 2012 was thrilling, not because he was shooting flawlessly, but because the confidence he had was inspiring. I didn’t realize, until seeing the documentary, that my obsession with Linsanity wasn’t for the same reasons as it was for others. They were watching a unicorn. They were seeing someone they have never heard of lighting up the court and giving some big name stars a run for their money. I was seeing someone who looked like me have a level of confidence that I could never imagine. I was seeing a supporting character take on the lead role. I was seeing an underestimated Chinese kid being celebrated across the world. My mother, who never watched or talked about sports, was not supportive of me playing basketball. During that time, my un-interested in sports, mother even talked about Jeremy Lin. She would talked proudly about the Taiwanese Harvard student who is very good at basketball and now famous.
Listening to the comedians talk about why it was important to have an Asian kid do so well at a sport where we were not supposed to excel, was so true and relatable. We as Asians are supposed to be invisible. And for a short time, that was just not the case. The interviews in the documentary validated my feelings of pride during that time. However, those proud feelings were there only because of the feelings associated with discrimination, insecurity, and biases before and after Linsanity. This short film was cathartic for me to reflect on the past, think about current prejudices, and the improvements our country has made since. We have come a long way.