Kenyon Martin is doing his best to set the record straight about his “feud” with Brooklyn Nets guard Jeremy Lin.
Speaking to Rohan Nadkarni of Sports Illustrated on Friday, the ex-All-Star attempted to clarify his recent remarks bashing Lin for wearing dreadlocks.
“This was never meant to be racial,” said Martin. “It was thought of as what would’ve been done in our locker room. It would’ve been jokes. We would’ve been making jokes. It’s far from racist. I guess saying “Wanting to be black” made it racial. But I despise people that look down because of race.
“It was meant to be a ‘Ha Ha Ha’ moment,” the retired big man continued. “If you watch, I was laughing in the statements. It got taken too far. I wanted to clear the air. I don’t know Jeremy. He’s had a few crazy hairstyles before and I had the same thought process: ‘WTF.’ But I wasn’t trying to be racist.”
Earlier this week, Martin commented on “that bullsh*t on [Lin’s] head” and pointed to the supposed irony of having dreadlocks with an Asian last name. Though Lin himself posted a classy response on Instagram, the public reaction to Martin’s remarks was overwhelmingly negative and even resulted in him receiving a hex from a rap deity. Best to just take the L and move on, K-Mart.
Jeremy Lin is taking the high road in response to former NBA big man Kenyon Martin’s negative comments about his new hairstyle.
In case you missed it, Lin is now sporting dreadlocks and recently wrote a piece for The Player’s Tribune discussing it. In the piece, the Brooklyn Nets guard touches on themes such as self-expression and cultural appropriation.
— Jeremy Lin (@JLin7) October 3, 2017
Nevertheless, Lin’s new look did not go over well with Martin, who is a former Net. Here’s what Martin said, per Anthony Puccio of SB Nation:
This is what Kenyon Martin said about Jeremy Lin: pic.twitter.com/GB6THhIcjM
— Anthony Puccio (@APOOCH) October 5, 2017
Soon afterwards, Lin posted a classy response to Martin on Instagram:
Lin's response: pic.twitter.com/Pwon82Bjzx
— Anthony Puccio (@APOOCH) October 5, 2017
Puccio also notes that the claim about Martin having Chinese tattoos is true:
Oh and by the way… Kenyon Martin has tattoos of Chinese characters on his arm. pic.twitter.com/88lQ0SRo3S
— Anthony Puccio (@APOOCH) October 5, 2017
Lin is obviously highly attuned to issues of race and culture, so credit to him for turning something as seemingly trivial as a hairdo into an opportunity for a constructive sociocultural dialogue.
The Brooklyn Nets were by far the worst team in the NBA last season, but that doesn’t phase guard Jeremy Lin at all.
In an Instagram Live video over the weekend, Lin responded to a question about how well he thinks the Nets will do next season by declaring, “We’re making the playoffs. I don’t care what anybody else says.”
— infinity88 (@linfinity88) July 16, 2017
It should be quite the uphill climb to say the least after the Nets finished a league-worst 20-62 in 2016-17. They only improved their roster marginally if anything this offseason by acquiring D’Angelo Russell from the Los Angeles Lakers but giving up leading scorer Brook Lopez to do so. They also landed the likes of Timofey Mozgov and DeMarre Carroll, but both fit the mold of salary dump fodder better than that of active contributor to winning basketball.
Then again, somewhere in the 35-win range might be enough to make the playoffs in the rancid Eastern Conference, and Lin, who often looked like the best player on the team when he was on the court last season, missed over half the year with injury. The Nets also have an underrated head coach in Kenny Atkinson, so if a few things break their way in 2017-18, the prediction of Lin, who has always been all-in on the team, might not be all that outlandish.
Video via SLAM Online
Jeremy Lin is one of the most prominent Asian American athletes in the country, but it’s probably no surprise to hear that he has dealt with racist insults from fans and opponents alike.
However, the Brooklyn Nets guard said that the worst of it came in college, not in the NBA.
“The worst was at Cornell when I was being called a c—k,” Lin said on the “Outside Shot with Randy Foye” podcast, via Ohm Youngmisuk of ESPN. “That’s when it happened. I don’t know … that game, I ended up playing terrible and getting a couple of charges and doing real out of character stuff. My teammate told my coaches [that] they were calling Jeremy a c—k the whole first half. I didn’t say anything because when that stuff happens, I kind of just, I go and bottle up where I go into turtle mode and don’t say anything and just internalize everything.”
Lin detailed other stories, such as when a Georgetown fan shouted Asian American stereotypes at him, and when he was heckled during a game at Yale over his eyes. He also relayed a story in which an unnamed Vermont coach used a derogatory term that the referees blatantly ignored.
“In Vermont, I remember because I had my hands up while the Vermont player was shooting free throws [that] their coach was like, ‘Hey ref! You can’t let that Oriental do that!'” Lin recalled. “I was like, what is going on here? I have been called a c—k by players in front of the refs, the refs heard it because they were yelling it [like,] ‘Yeah, get that out, c—k!’ And the ref heard it, looked at both of us and didn’t do anything.
“It’s crazy. My teammate started yelling at the ref, you just heard it, it was impossible for you not to hear that. How could you not do something? And the ref just pretended like nothing happened. That was when I was like, yo, this [kind of racism and prejudice] is a beast. So when I got to the NBA, I thought, this is going to be way worse. But it is way better. Everybody is way more under control.”
Lin said that he still hears occasional remarks in the NBA, but uses them as a motivator.
“To this day in the NBA, there are still some times where there are still some fans that will say smaller stuff and that is not a big deal,” Lin said. “But that motivates me in a different way.”
Lin’s remarks come at a time when discussion of racist abuse is at the forefront due to Adam Jones’s experience in Boston. It happens more than many of us would care to admit.
Even if Brooklyn Nets point guard Jeremy Lin can’t contribute on the court right now, he’s still making sure that the team feels his presence.
According to Scott Cacciola of the New York Times, Lin, who has been sidelined since November 2 with a strained hamstring, is keeping busy while injured by recording “a self-styled version of offensive-efficiency statistics” on the bench during games.
“Linology. It’s beautiful,” Nets head coach Kenny Atkinson said of the practice. “It’s his way of showing he cares. He asked me if he could do it, and I said, ‘Yeah, sure.’ And he just does it, and he hands it to me after every game, and then I hand it to – you know, I’m not exactly sure where it goes.”
The stats are probably none too pretty considering that the 4-11 Nets are currently tied for 21st in offensive efficiency and have the fourth-most turnovers in the league on a per-game basis (via ESPN). But nevertheless, it’s nice to see the 28-year-old Lin, who has been out well beyond his initial injury timetable, putting that Harvard education to good use.
The Jeremy Lin Show in Brooklyn will be forced to take a brief hiatus.
The Nets announced on Thursday that Lin has a strained left hamstring and will be re-evaluated after two weeks.
Jeremy Lin Medical Update: pic.twitter.com/dG4G6CDjcm
— Brooklyn Nets (@BrooklynNets) November 3, 2016
The 28-year-old Lin, who signed a three-year deal with Brooklyn over the offseason, was averaging 15.0 points, 3.8 rebounds, and 6.2 assists per game through the first five games of the season. Widely seen as the new face of the Nets franchise, he’ll now be out of the lineup for at least the next six games.
For a Nets team that’s currently sitting at 2-3 and is almost certain to be pretty lousy this season, the news likely means more touches in the post for veteran big man Brook Lopez as well as increased opportunity in the backcourt for the likes of Isaiah Whitehead and Sean Kilpatrick for the time being.
Image via Jeremy Lin on Instagram
Carmelo Anthony and Jeremy Lin have, by most accounts, always had a checkered relationship.
So when Anthony was asked about Lin and his new team, the Brooklyn Nets, he was rather hesitant to respond. Still, Anthony wished his former teammate luck, even if he sounded a bit surprised that it was Lin who the Nets are hitching their franchise to.
“He is the face of that franchise — believe it or not,” Anthony said Friday, via Al Iannazzone of Newsday. “He came up, they paid him and now the ball is in his hands. So now he’s one of the franchise players over there. What do you want me to say about that? I’m happy for him, excited for him to see how it’s going to work out, turn out over there.”
Anthony was also dismissive of reports that he was unwilling to share the spotlight with Lin back when Linsanity ruled, including comments by former coach Mike D’Antoni.
“That was five, six years ago, bro. I forgot about that,” Anthony said.
D’Antoni isn’t the only one associated with those Knicks teams who basically publicly accused Anthony of resenting Lin’s success. No wonder Carmelo hates when the topic comes up.