Lebron James, Dwyan Wade, Jeremy Lin, Carmelo Anthony, you would probably say Jeremy Lin!? But the name does belong. Everybody I named is a standout in the NBA, but Jeremy Lin is a standout for a different reason, because he is the only NBA player right now that also holds a Harvard degree. He is the first Harvard grad to play in the league in almost sixty years, also the first Asian-American in about sixty years. You are seeing him right there because last week he just picked up his diploma. Today he's sitting here with me in studio.
Lebron James、Dwyan Wade、林書豪、Carmelo Anthony，你也許會說林書豪!？但是這名字的確屬於其中之一。我提到的每個人在NBA都是個佼佼者，但是林書豪，因為不同的原因而成為一位佼佼者，因為他是唯一現今擁有哈佛學歷的NBA球員。他是聯盟中近六十年來的第一位哈佛畢業生，也是大約六十年來第一位亞裔美國人。你在那邊看到他是因為上星期他剛拿到他的畢業證書。今天他跟我一起坐在攝影棚裡。
Jeremy, good to have you here man. What was that moment like? You finally got to go back and pick up that diploma. How big of a deal? Was it more, a little more emotional than you thought it might be?
Yeah, absolutely! Just to be able to see it, four years of hard work in class, and just be able to have my diploma, I mean, not a lot of people can say that they graduate from Harvard. So for me it's...I'm the first in my family, so it was a big deal for me.
Okay, now, you have the degree in Economics, is that right? Yeah.
Okay, now, the NBA is known notoriously for the trash talking that takes place. Now, throughout this season, maybe even some of the guys you're playing against, even some of your teammates, what kind of things do they say about you and say it to you, knowing you are a Harvard grad?
Well, I just had to make sure I get everything right, and if I don't, I hear about it. So everyone makes fun of me about going there.
Now, how is the season going for you so far? Again, you're not a breakout star necessarily, just yet. You're just getting going. But I guess. What do you anticipate down the road? Can you be a guy who has a long-term career in the NBA?
Yeah, you know, it's just right now being patient, working hard and just going with the flow, just being a rookie is pretty tough, and not always getting to play as much as you want. But I just think staying with it and working hard would be alright.
How tough was it at Harvard? I mean, it's known for being the, I mean, the premier academic institution in this country. The course work is not easy. How did you do that? How did you balance that with basketball and school?
Well, you know...
Well, what was that about? What?
Just trying to stay focus, time management, and... Sound like it was tough though.
It was tough. It was definitely tough. My first two years I struggled a lot. I was just trying to find out, you know, how much time I have for everything. And on the road trips, you know, taking four days off from school, that was pretty tough too.
Now, what did your parents emphasize with you when you're growing up? I assume certainly you got into Harvard. They certainly emphasize education. But at one point, did they allow you to focus on that basketball a little more, or did they discourage you from that basketball a little bit?
No, they encourage me to do it and I appreciate that a lot. But in my house, it was always school first. Take care of your school work, finish your homework, and you play as much basketball as you want. So that's kind of the philosophy they tried to adopt in college as well.
Now, there are some numbers out that say fewer than, the Sports Illustrated put this out, twenty percent, I think the Players' Union put this out, twenty percent hold their college degree in the NBA, and sixty percent are actually broke by the time they leave the NBA. Now, I'm not sure if you are familiar with those numbers, but what does that say to you about the kind of example you can set not just for young people, but also maybe for some of your fellow NBA players about what they should be aspiring to?
Well, you know, I just try to be whom my parents raised me to be. And me being a Christian, I just try to work hard in everything I do, and school work is definitely one of those situations. So I just try to be an inspiration to everybody.
Now, and you mentioned you are very religious. Right.
So, okay, let me get this right. You're a Harvard grad, playing in the NBA; You're very religious as well; You're the only Asian-American in the past sixty years. Do you ever feel like, quite frankly, you don't fit in your environment? You kind of stand out. Those things aren't so anonymous with the NBA, frankly.
Yeah, I mean, I definitely stand out for sure. I know my story is very unique, but that's something that I embrace and enjoy. And, just this whole journey has been a blessing from god. So for me to be here, I'm just taking it one day at a time and really enjoying it.
Why not more Asian-Americans in the NBA?
I'm not sure. I think there's multiple reasons for that. But I think there's gonna be a lot more coming up in the next few years. And I just think basketball is growing within the Asian-American community for sure.
Ten years from now, last thing to you, ten years from now, what's gonna look better on your resume, former NBA player, Harvard degree in Economics?
I think the NBA player.
Really? Come on, you get a Harvard degree. Nobody has a Harvard degree. Well, some do, but still... You're more proud of the NBA part on the resume you think than the Harvard degree in Economics?
That's tough to say. That's putting me in a tough spot. I think I'm pretty proud of both.
Well, really, congratulations. I've been wanting to speak to you for a long time. It's a heck of an accomplishment, and you can show this to, really, young people out there: You can have an Ivy League education. You can make it to the NBA. So a great example you are setting. Thanks so much and good luck to you for rest of the season. Alright.
Alright. Take care.