Dear Jeremy Lin,
Today I was invited to cover the Houston Rockets vs. Golden State Warriors game on behalf of TaiwaneseAmerican.org. We were given press privileges, but at first, I was reluctant to go because we usually don’t cover sports events… but it was you, Jeremy! And as you know, our website features celebrities of interest in the Taiwanese American community, and our fans are always interested in your story. This was my first time attending a live basketball game, admittedly, and I was clearly a newbie. Yet, I knew I just had to be there to give this sports reporting gig a try.
And so, here is my attempt at recounting the events of the evening and sharing with all of your fans out there some clips of what goes on behind the scenes. Needless to say, it was an awesome experience for me, so I hope all of your fans enjoy this “minute-by-minute” instant replay.
6:00pm – OMG I’m Here!
Upon arriving at Oracle Arena, I entered through the VIP and press entrance with Ho Chie Tsai, the founder of TaiwaneseAmerican.org. After we checked in and were greeted by the Warriors’ PR representative in the underground tunnels, we were given our all-access media passes. Fortunately, we arrived just in time to catch the end of your warm-up shoot-around. What an exciting and unexpected opportunity to see you before the actual game!
6:12pm – So Close Yet So Far
I shuffled around the court sidelines trying to get a crisp photo of you, but there were just too many other photographers blocking my view. And the photos I did get of you were all blurry — boy, you move quickly and jump fast.
Note to self: Next time, bring something more professional than a small point-and-shoot camera.
But there you were, in the flesh, so close yet so far. Did you see me waving at you?
6:18pm – The NBA… What?
Our PR contact prompted us to start heading over to the media room where David Stern would be giving a press conference. We walked through the stadium entrance to a world typically hidden from the general public, but then I realized that I had no idea who we were going to see. Thankfully, Ho Chie whispered to me that Stern was the commissioner of the entire NBA. (Now, that’s a big deal.) I obviously didn’t know anything about basketball or the league, other than your jersey number, team name, and game schedule. I was clearly out of place among so many ardent sports enthusiasts, but I felt inclined to learn about everything, given this amazing opportunity to do so.
6:27pm – Where Our People At?
Since we walked into the pressroom a few minutes late, it was already extremely crowded. Describing this event as intimidating is an understatement. The first thing I noticed as I stepped into the room full of sports reporters was the relative lack of Asian representation, and I wondered, WHERE MY PEOPLE AT? I suddenly became hyperaware of my minority status on multiple levels: short Asian American female with a lack of sports knowledge. And I wondered what on Earth was I doing here?
6:35pm – What is Going On…
As the reporters questioned David Stern, I heard the words “Sacramento. Seattle. Warriors. Money. Offers…” They were clearly important topics, if only I knew what was going on. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw Ho Chie taking notes and nodding away, clearly much more informed than I was.
6:42pm – Har-Lin Globetrotters
I’m still lost, Jeremy… Why isn’t anyone talking about you or the NBA Global Games? I’m excited that one of these preseason games will be held at Taipei, Taiwan (Houston Rockets vs. Indiana Pacers) on October 13, 2013! At least I knew that piece of information. Maybe I’ll fly back to Taiwan to see you play!
I’ll leave it to the sports reporters to explain the topics of the press conference.
6:50pm – A Walk to Remember
After the press conference concluded (phew!), we stood in the hallway chatting with some of our independent media friends. Suddenly, I caught a glimpse of red, Houston Rocket red, and I immediately looked up. James Harden had just walked by me… And then you walked by. I think my heart stopped for a second… or maybe five. Awestruck, I kept my eyes on you while trying to reach for my camera, but (again) you were too fast! By the time I got out my camera, you and Harden had already turned the corner and were off to meet up with the rest of your teammates.
7:05pm – Getting Used to the Media Lifestyle
After all the press opportunities, Ho Chie and I wandered around the stadium, trying to figure out an angle in which to report the event for TaiwaneseAmerican.org. We grabbed some hot dogs, sodas, nachos and cheese, and went to seek some more photo ops before heading to our seats.
7:30pm – Let the Game Begin!
Since this was a home game for the Warriors and I was situated in the midst of hardcore Bay Area fans, it was daunting for me to be one of the few Rockets’ cheerleaders throughout the game.
Although everyone around me booed and hissed when you or your teammates were scoring, I continued to root for you. (I could’ve sworn someone tried to throw popcorn at me.) Did you hear my lone voice cheering for you up in the stands?
10:12pm – Houston Rockets Win 94 to 88!
What a great game! A close one, indeed. But, the night was not over for us yet. Together with the other media folks, we worked our way back through the underground maze of tunnels to attend the post-game interview with your Rockets coach, Kevin McHale.
Afterwards, Kevin McHale went back inside the Rockets’ locker room. I was pleasantly surprised that we were allowed to follow him in. We had been informed that we would be hearing from you, but I didn’t expect it to be inside the locker room!
10:39pm – I’m Linvisible!
As one of the only two female members of the media present, I found this experience to be fascinating and oddly interesting. Never before have I actually been in a men’s locker room, and yet, here I was… And there you were with a few of your teammates (Omer Asik, James Andersen, James Harden, Patrick Beverley), munching on food and constantly being approached by our fellow reporters for interviews and sound bites.
The fan girl in me wanted to emerge, but I reminded myself that I was there as a (amateur) reporter to capture the interviews. Thus, I suppressed the urge to approach you and rave about how awesome I think you are. (But instead, I conspicuously wore my Linsanity bracelet hoping that you would see it.) Did you see tiny me behind the bigger cameramen?
After the allotted time was up for your interview, you were hastily ushered out of the locker room and on to your next meet-and-greet. All of my hopes of catching a brief hello or introduction were dashed because you were once again on the move. Everyone wants some time with a celebrity!
11:00pm – The Final Buzzer Sounds
And with that, the night came to an end. My food craving for hot dogs was fulfilled, my dreams of seeing you in person came true, and the Rockets victory was secured. What more could I have asked? (Actually, a picture with you would have been amazing.)
11:30pm – Confessions of a New-found Basketball Fan
Although I went to the Rockets vs. Warriors game as an utter and complete basketball amateur, I realized one thing. I never would have started becoming a basketball fan, nor would I have gained access to the world of the NBA if it weren’t for you. You are my hero in the way you inspire people to persevere, despite being the underdog and all too often overlooked. I truly admire your humility and modesty, even as you continue to achieve amazing things.
From another Lin-er, a fellow Taiwanese American, and an admiring fan,
11:55pm – Write a Letter to Jeremy Lin
Dear Jeremy Lin…