Houston Rockets center Yao Ming is having his annual Charity basketball game in Taipei on Wednesday. All-World center Dwight Howard is playing. So is rookie point guard sensation Brandon Jennings. And NBA’s Most Improved Player Aaron Brooks.
But with a lineup like that already set, Yao Ming felt the need to pick up the phone and call Lin personally to invite him to play. Lin accepted and is leaving tonight. Not bad for a guy who would be doing well to get 10 minutes a game as a rookie.
His parents are both Taiwanese, so it’s no huge surprise Lin would get the invite. The big question is will China embrace him as much as Taiwan will? People might think it’s a given, but there are some bigger geopolitical issues at work here. This’ll be the first step of introducing Lin to Asia, and you figure it’s the first of many.