I’m very comfortable saying, “Oh, yeah, that was Linsanity.” That shows you where I’m at with it.
Originally, I was like, I’ll never do anything around Linsanity. I don’t want to do a documentary or any of that stuff, or go back in time.
But then, I was like, I have no problem with it. I would actually love to because it was a special moment and also because we need to be talking about it right now. Linsanity has become so much more important and valuable to me.
You just mentioned that we need to be talking about this. Why is that?
That was a moment that was so special for Asian Americans and minorities. It’s because there are so few of those moments. It’s because in general, society does not typically celebrate those type of moments. And because we don’t see that type of success from people who don’t look the part.
What is the biggest misconception about that period of your life?
The way that I left New York and the attacks on my character. I don’t mind getting criticism for my game. Or if I look a certain way. If I play a certain way or whatever. But when you talk about my character, that hits differently to me personally.
My recollection is that the vast, vast majority of fans were not upset with you for joining the Rockets. They were upset at the Knicks for not keeping you.
Yes and no. There was definitely a lot who were upset with me, but the narrative that came out was first that I went to the Rockets to ask for more money and that I was purposely putting New York in a tough position. That’s the narrative that was spun onto me and being called, like, you know, certain things or chasing the money.
The real story is, I actually went to my agent and told him, “Can we go back to the Rockets and ask for a less lucrative offer? Because I actually want to go back to New York, and I want to go back to New York badly. And I don’t want there to be a poison pill.” That’s the true story. But that’s not the story that was thrown out there.