OK ... this post is not really about being a black Man in Poland except I am seeing some things clearly about the U.S. Being here (as I have written before) allows me to see the politics and media of the U.S. in a very different light.
At issue in this writing is the blatant "hype" of the NBA and the current "flavor of the month", Jeremy Lin.
Let me say up front that the guy is a decent player. One does not get to the NBA without some very good basketball skills. But the transparency of the PR machine in the NBA is too much to stomach. Clearly, they needed a boost in their ratings and marketing and who can better do this than Jeremy Lin? The NBA needed a larger fan base ... the amazing skills of the present NBA wasn't enough. Like him or not, Lebron James is an amazing athlete ... one of many in the NBA. I could go into the inherent racism in this professional sport, but that is an entry (or book) for another time. Even with all of the talent, America and other countries that follow the NBA cannot deal with the confidence and "swagger" of these young, gifted and wealthy Black men. This image causes much fear in certain people.
The NBA's ratings and followers were shrinking and they found the answer to this through an Asian- American. China has a lot of people. I am not sure how many are now watching the NBA, but even if it is 5%, this translates to millions of people. This translates to millions of dollars. Let's not forget, the NBA (like all professional sports) is a business first.
Nothing against Mr. Lin .... but would there be the same hype if he was Croatian? Polish? I think not.