To this day, Lin remains about as grounded as any international sensation has ever been.
His story is well documented.
Lin's rise to fame began last year as a member of the New York Knicks. The team was struggling as the month of February came and it looked as though the Knicks were doomed with a losing record and two of its star players on the shelf for differing reasons.
But then came Linsanity.
Starting on Feb. 4, 2012, Lin went on a streak the likes of which the NBA had never seen. His points were coming in bunches and he looked to be off to the best start of any NBA career ever.
On top of that, Lin was doing this in New York and that instantly shot him to global stardom.
He has since moved on to Houston after the Knicks were unwilling to pay him what the Rockets were, but he remains an icon to many around the world nonetheless.
As a Knicks fan myself, I have nothing bad to say about Lin and I am forever thankful that he came along because without him and his improbable run, the Knicks wouldn't have made the playoffs last season.
Naturally, people believed that Lin was a shoe-in to be an All-Star this season despite his lackluster numbers because of his immense popularity around the world.
Everyone, that is, except for Lin.
According to Dave Zangaro of CSN Houston, Lin didn't feel he was deserving of the honor and was happy not to have been selected at all:
“I’m kind of thankful I didn’t get voted because when … I want to make sure I’m fully, fully deserving of it, when I play,” Lin said after the team’s evening practice on Monday. “And I didn’t feel like that was the case this year.”
And he is right.
Lin's numbers (12.6 points, 6.2 assists and 3.4 rebounds per game) are not exactly All-Star worthy—especially when comparing them to fellow teammate James Harden's numbers (26.1 points, 5.7 assists, 4.8 rebounds per game), whom he beat in voting by nearly 400,000 votes.
The amount of votes Lin received was based on popularity alone and nothing else. Not a soul on this planet can say that they voted for Lin based on performance when you see Harden sitting behind him.
It was great to see Lin's response and it further makes it easy to like the Rockets' point guard as a person.
It would have been easy for Lin to say he should be involved in the All-Star Game because of the global appeal he has and what that would obviously do to enhance viewership, but he simply didn't go that route with an army of people ready to support him.
Instead, Lin wants his first All-Star Game to be based on his performance on the court, not his popularity off of it.
Even when he was taking the world by storm last season, Lin never forgot to thank his coach and his teammates for the incredible success he was enjoying. That was the first sign that Lin was not someone who would be overtaken by ego while putting reality to the side.
People who don't like Lin really do not have a reason. He is a nice guy and has never really done anything to alienate himself. Detractors of the Harvard product are mostly unhappy with his incredible following, which is no fault of his own.
Lin can't control the media attention and unmatched fan support he's received over the past few years, so to dislike him as a result just doesn't make sense.
At the end of the day, Lin is one of the most grounded basketball players the NBA has, and that's even more true when taking his stardom into consideration.
After this most recent quote, if you don't like Lin for some reason, that is a problem all your own.
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