If Jeremy Lin were raised in China . . . .

While American commentators, analysts, and fans have been debating the social impact of the rise of New York Knicks phenomenon Jeremy Lin, Time magazine posed a more interesting question:

Could China, an Olympic powerhouse and homeland of Yao Ming, produce such a  gifted, confident point guard?

Their answer: Most likely, no.

First, Lin did not demonstrate the talents he has shown in recent weeks, well, until recent weeks. Released from two teams already this year, Lin is short by Chinese state standards and likely would have resulted in recruits passing him by.

“Then there is the fact that Mr Lin’s parents probably never would have allowed him anywhere near the Chinese sport system in the first place,” notes the Economist.

But Lin did make it in the NBA, which has posed some sensitive issues for the Chinese government. Lin is an American who is proudly of Taiwanese descent, which already has caused some problems.

China Central Television (CCTV), the national television station, even omitted an image of the Taiwanese national flag from a rebroadcast of one of Lin’s games last week.

And there is the matter of his overt Christianity.

“If by chance Mr Lin were to have gained entry into the sport system, he would not have emerged a Christian, at least not openly so. China has tens of millions of Christians, and officially tolerates Christianity; but the Communist Party bars religion from its membership and institutions, and religion has no place in its sport model,” reports The Economist.


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