林書豪的故事,不僅僅只關乎NBA冠軍

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    https://cn.nytimes.com/culture/20190626/jeremy-lin-toronto-raptors/zh-hant/

    ALEX WONG
    2019年6月26日

    多倫多猛龍隊後衛林書豪慶祝球隊擊敗金州勇士隊,奪得NBA總冠軍。 KYLE TERADA/USA TODAY SPORTS, VIA REUTERS

    多倫多——我兩個侄子今年分別是四歲和七歲,他們經常在家裡的後院練習跳投,並十分留心地觀看NBA比賽,知道多倫多暴龍隊(Toronto Raptors)最好的球員科懷·倫納德(Kawhi Leonard)穿2號球衣。今年秋天,大侄子將加入這裡的華裔加拿大青年體育協會,去打籃球。有那麼一天,他倆將對2018-19賽季的暴龍隊有更多的瞭解,他們將發現林書豪的故事,他們將問我有關他的問題。
    我期待著那一天的到來。
    是的,林書豪在整個季後賽只上場了27分鐘。是的,這其中他在總決賽裡只打了一分鐘。但6月13日,林書豪和隊友們在甲骨文體育館(Oracle Arena)的客隊更衣室裡高興地蹦跳、用香檳酒把隊友們澆個透兒的幾小時後,他在Instagram上發了一張與父母和弟弟的合影。
    拉里·奧布萊恩獎盃也在照片上。
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    「第一個成為NBA冠軍的亞裔美國人!!保證我永遠不會停止用我所有的一切來代表亞洲人!」林書豪寫道。這是一個重要的時刻,但因為林書豪上場的時間很少,很多人沒有注意到這個時刻的重要性。他們不明白這件事的要害。
    林書豪的故事一直都不只是關於他上場的時間,以及他在場上的表現。他的故事是關於亞洲的代表性和可見度,在有組織的籃球運動中,尤其是在NBA的水平上,亞裔很少被看重或被看見。
    捧著拉里·奧布萊恩獎盃、沉浸在它所代表的認可之光下拍照很重要。每個冠軍球隊都有替補隊員,雖然他們是球隊的一部分,但並不對場上產生影響。不過,並不是每個替補都肩負著作為世界上最傑出的亞裔美國籃球運動員的責任和重擔。如果林書豪的故事僅僅是關於籃球的話,它早就結束了。
    「我過去總是躲避這個,因為那是所有人都用在我身上的標籤,」祖籍台灣的林書豪今年2月以暴龍隊員身份亮相後對記者說。「就像是,『哦,他是亞洲人,他是亞洲人,他是亞洲人。』」
    儘管林書豪是世界上最優秀的籃球運動員之一,但他一直也沒能避免其他亞裔美國人在日常生活中所面對的那些刻板印象,比如應付種族污辱,以及需要證明自己是這個社會的一員。林書豪說過,經常有NBA賽場的保安認不出他來。
    他們不會在今年5月錯認他。
    他參加暴龍隊季後賽的每場比賽時,都穿著慶祝亞太裔傳統月(Asian Pacific American Heritage Month)的服裝來到賽場。他穿的衣服包括亞裔美國設計師林能平(Phillip Lim)的設計。有一天,他穿了一件黑色長袖T恤,上面只印著兩個英文單詞:Phenomenally Asian(非凡的亞洲人)。另一次穿的衣服包括一件T恤衫,上面寫著:It’s an Honor Just to Be Asian(身為亞洲人本身就是一種榮幸),這句話是從女演員吳珊卓(Sandra Oh)那裡紅起來的。
    看到林書豪穿著那件特別的襯衫,對我來說有特殊的意義。看到他把自豪感表現在全國舞台上,讓我(和許多其他人)知道,可以把自己視為與他人是平等的,可以為自己的身份感到驕傲。當你是一名少數族裔成員時,不總是那麼容易獲得這種感覺。你經常會覺得,玻璃天花板是存在的,不管那是他人為我們設置的,還是由於我們被當作與其他人不同的人來對待的經歷導致我們為自己設置的。
    在我的整個職業生涯中,我一直覺得,當我取得與同齡人或同行同樣的成就時,我只得到了一半的讚揚和認可,部分原因是我的身份。林書豪剛到多倫多時,我收到了來自電台主持人和作家同行的大量採訪請求。談論林書豪的職業生涯對我來說是一種榮譽,但後來,我開始對這些出版物和廣播節目感到失望,它們認為我只是在涉及這個對它們來說不熟悉的話題時才對它們有價值,而事實上,我參加一個以籃球為唯一話題的對話能力富富有餘。
    這種感覺與林書豪描述過的經歷很相似,想和他談話的人只關心他的亞裔血統。隨著現年30歲的林書豪對自己的巨大影響力和責任感越來越自信,我們看到他對種族偏見公開發聲,並點了在2016年奧斯卡頒獎典禮上拿亞洲人開玩笑的喜劇演員克里斯·洛克(Chris Rock)的名。
    儘管他的「林來瘋」時代可能已經一去不復返,但因為林書豪的緣故,世界上有不少亞洲人在他的感召下開始追求自己的籃球事業,開始打籃球聯賽。林書豪不僅僅是關於籃球的。
    暴龍隊在加利福尼亞州奧克蘭的NBA總決賽第六場比賽中獲勝,贏得了該球隊的首個總冠軍稱號後,隊員們飛往拉斯維加斯繼續慶祝。就在隊友們狂歡到凌晨的時候,林書豪來到他的朋友萊恩·比嘉(Ryan Higa)的播客節目,回顧了自己本賽季的歷程。

    林書豪對球場的影響也許沒那麼大,但他的重要性超出了籃球。

    STACY BENGS/ASSOCIATED PRESS

    「有很多時候其實我覺得,我不得不告訴自己,我配得上拿個冠軍,」林書豪對比嘉說。「作為一個打球的運動員、打了一輩子球的人,我不喜歡不打球,所以我會想,『這真讓人難受。我真的配得上這個冠軍嗎?’」
    林書豪說,他之所以能夠釋懷這些情緒,是因為他知道,不管他上場多少分鐘,他都是球隊日常進程的一部分,這支球隊是一起奮鬥才贏得冠軍的,比聯賽中其他29支球隊持續的時間都長。

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    慶祝活動在週一上午轉移到了多倫多,隨著雙層露天巴士載著球員、教練、家人從暴龍隊的訓練場地出發,總冠軍大遊行開始了。林書豪與家人和親朋好友坐在一起,穿著一件復古設計的暴龍隊隊服,上面用漢字寫著球隊的名字。

    在遊行途中,他看到一位身穿林書豪球衣的粉絲。在大巴上,林書豪讓球迷把球衣和一隻記號筆扔過來。他立即在球衣上籤了名,然後用一個完美的傳球把球衣投還給了這位球迷,現在那人擁有了屬於他自己的總冠軍紀念品。
    這些畫面也將永遠流傳下去:在2010年選秀中落選的一名亞裔美國球員,2012年在全球引起轟動,2019年成為NBA總冠軍。獎盃上永遠不會記錄他上場了多少分鐘。有朝一日,另一位亞裔美國球員會再次登上這個舞台。那將是因為在林書豪的幫助下鋪平了道路。

     

    本文最初發表於2019年6月18日。

    Alex Wong是一名多倫多的自由撰稿人。

    翻譯:Cindy Hao

    點擊查看本文英文版。

     

    English Version 

    Jeremy Lin, ‘Reppin’ Asians With Everything I Have,’ Is Bigger Than an N.B.A. Title

    The Toronto Raptors guard became the first Asian-American to win an N.B.A. championship, but the moment meant more than the sport or its trophy. Lin always has.

    Toronto Raptors guard Jeremy Lin celebrating after his team beat the Golden State Warriors last week for the N.B.A. title.CreditCreditKyle Terada/USA Today Sports, via Reuters

    By Alex Wong
    June 18, 2019
    Want more basketball in your inbox? Sign up for Marc Stein’s weekly N.B.A. newsletter here.

    TORONTO — My 4-year-old and 7-year-old nephews regularly practice jump shots in their backyard, and they watch the N.B.A. attentively enough to know that the Toronto Raptors’ best player, Kawhi Leonard, wears the No. 2. In the fall, the older nephew will join the Chinese Canadian Youth Athletic Association here to play basketball. One day both will learn more about the 2018-19 Raptors championship team, and they will find out about Jeremy Lin, and they will ask me questions about him.

    I look forward to that day.

    Yes, Lin played just 27 minutes in the playoffs. Yes, only one of those minutes was in the finals. But hours after he and his teammates had finished dancing and drenching Oracle Arena’s visitors’ locker room with Champagne last Thursday, Lin posted a photo on Instagram that showed him posing with his parents and his brother.

    The Larry O’Brien trophy was there, too.

    “First Asian-American ever to be an NBA champ!! Promise Ill never stop reppin Asians with everything I have!” Lin wrote. It was a momentous occasion, but many people don’t see the importance of it, given how little Lin played. They’re missing the point.

    Lin’s story has always been about more than his playing time or his performance on the court. It has been about Asian representation and visibility, rarely recognized or seen in organized basketball, especially at the N.B.A. level.
    Posing with the Larry O’Brien trophy, and the glow of validation it signified, mattered. Every championship team has reserve players who are part of the group but don’t make an impact on the court. But not every reserve player carries with him the responsibility and burden of being the most prominent Asian-American basketball player in the world. If Lin’s story were only about basketball, it would have been over long ago.

    “I used to run from it, because that’s all anybody ever wanted to label me,” Lin, who is of Taiwanese descent, told reporters after his Raptors debut in February. “It was like, ‘Oh, he’s Asian, he’s Asian, he’s Asian.’”

    Even though Lin is one of the best basketball players in the world, he has not been shielded from the stereotypes that other Asian-Americans face in everyday life, like dealing with racial slurs and being forced to prove that they belong. Lin has said he often is not recognized by security guards at N.B.A. arenas.

    They couldn’t miss him in May.

    He arrived at the arena for every Raptors playoff game in apparel that celebrated Asian Pacific American Heritage Month. He wore clothes from Asian-American designers like Phillip Lim. One day, he put on a black T-shirt that said simply, “Phenomenally Asian.” Another outfit featured a T-shirt with the phrase “It’s an Honor Just to Be Asian,” which was popularized by the actress Sandra Oh.
    Editors’ Picks

    Seeing Lin in that particular shirt meant something to me. To see him show pride in who he is on a national stage helps me (and many others) know that it’s O.K. to think of yourself as equal. To be proud of who you are. That feeling doesn’t always come easily when you’re part of a minority group. You often have a sense that glass ceilings exist, whether those created by others or the ones we set for ourselves because of our experiences of being treated differently from others.

    Throughout my career, I’ve always felt that accomplishing the same things as my peers resulted in my getting only half the credit and recognition, partially because of who I am. When Lin arrived in Toronto, I was flooded with interview requests from radio hosts and fellow writers. It was an honor to speak about Lin’s career path, but later I became disappointed that those same publications and radio shows saw me only as someone who could bring value when it came to discussing this topic that was unfamiliar to them, when in fact I am more than capable of having a conversation solely about basketball.

    It felt a lot like experiences Lin has described, of people wanting to talk to him only about being of Asian descent. As Lin, 30, has grown comfortable with his outsize influence and responsibility, we have watched him speak out about racial stereotypes and call out the comedian Chris Rock for making Asian jokes as the host of the Oscars in 2016.

    There are Asians around the world who have been moved to pursue their own basketball careers, and to start basketball leagues, because of Lin, even with his Linsanity days likely forever behind him. Lin is more than basketball.

    Lin’s impact on the court has been minimal in Toronto (a 7.0 point average in 23 regular-season games after a trade from Atlanta), but his importance has always been bigger than basketball.CreditStacy Bengs/Associated Press

     

    After the Raptors won Game 6 of the N.B.A. finals in Oakland, Calif., for the franchise’s first championship, the team flew to Las Vegas to keep the celebration going. As his teammates partied into the wee hours, Lin joined his friend Ryan Higa on a podcast and reflected on his journey this season.

    “There were times in all honesty where I felt I had to tell myself I deserve a championship,” Lin told Higa. “As a competitor who plays and has played my whole life, I’m not used to not playing, so I was like: ‘This is tough. Do I really deserve it?’”

    Lin said he was able to reconcile those feelings because he knew that no matter how many minutes he played, he was part of the day-to-day process of a team that came together and won a title, outlasting all 29 other teams in the league.

    The celebration shifted to Toronto on Monday morning, as double-decker, open-air buses filled with players, coaches and family members, then departed the Raptors’ practice facility to start the championship parade. Seated with his family and close friends, Lin wore a throwback Raptors jersey that spelled the team’s name in Chinese characters.

    On the parade route, he spotted a fan with a Jeremy Lin jersey. From high up on the bus, Lin asked the fan to toss the jersey and a marker. Lin promptly signed the jersey and threw a perfect pass back to the fan, now the owner of his own championship memorabilia.

    These images, too, will live forever, of an Asian-American who went undrafted in 2010, turned into a worldwide sensation in 2012 and became an N.B.A. champion in 2019. The trophy will never note how many minutes he played. One day, another Asian-American player will be on this stage again. And it will be because Lin helped pave the way.

     

    Alex Wong is a freelance journalist based in Toronto.

    A version of this article appears in print on June 19, 2019, on Page B8 of the New York edition with the headline: Better Than Linsanity. Order Reprints | Today’s Paper | Subscribe

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