Asian basketball players have to fight stereotypes throughout their basketball careers. ” People who don’t think stereotypes exist are crazy. If Lin’s white, he’s either a good shooter or heady. If he’s Asian, he’s good at math. We’re not taking him,” said Rex Walters.
The percent of Asian players in the National Basketball Association (NBA) is only one percent. However, who have been the 4 best Asian NBA players?
4. Rex Walters
Rex Walters admittedly does not look Asian. But, his mother is Japanese and he is proud to be a Japanese-American. He is known for leading the Kansas Jayhawks to the Final Four in 1993. Walters also played in the NBA for seven years.
Walters was a great shooter that could stretch the floor with his range. Walters was the top three pointer shooter on the New Jersey Nets in the 1994-95 NBA season and on the Philadelphia 76ers in the 1996-97 season. However, he could never truly find a NBA home so he was a NBA journeyman.
3. Yi Jianlian
There were high expectations for Yi Jianlian before he began his NBA career. Time Magazine in 2003 was calling him the next Yao Ming.
Jianlian has a rare combination of height at 7 feet tall and athleticism. He loves to dunk on people and he has a good mid range game.
Yi Jianlian’s top ten dunks
However, injuries have hindered Jianlian’s career. For instance, he was averaging 12.0 points per game (PPG) and 7.2 rebounds per game (RPG) for the Nets in the 2009-10 season. But, Jianlian had several injuries that season which included a sprained right MCL and sprained left ankle so he missed 30 games.
Jianlian is only 25 years old. He was signed by the Dallas Mavericks on January 6, 2012.
2. Jeremy Lin
Jeremy Lin is America’s favorite underdog not named Tim Tebow. He went from being a benchwarmer to becoming one of the most popular players in the NBA. In addition, Lin was put on the cover of Time Magazine after starting only five games.
Linsanity has slowed down after the New York Knicks 6-game losing streak. Yet, he is just getting started. Lin is only 23 years old and he has not reached his full potential. He is the real deal and he will not be a flash in the pan. Despite the Knicks’ current problems, Lin will become an elite NBA point guard.
Speaking of Lin, did you watch him against the Pacers on St. Patrick’s Day? Watch the highlights! Lincredible!
1. Yao Ming
Yao Ming understands pressure. He was representing over 1.3 billion people in China during his NBA career. He did not disappoint his fans. Ming proved that his critics were wrong and he showed that Chinese men can become elite NBA players.
Ming sadly had to retire after eight NBA seasons due to injuries. He would have become the best center of his generation. Likewise, he was very agile for his height. Ming could score with either hand around the basket. He also was good at rebounding and blocking shots.