Jeremy Lin as a shared cultural moment in the US and China, a sports highlight (several, so far), and a chess piece in the world of diplomacy? Shout out to Robert Wright at The Atlantic for that latter connection:
In any event, having heard a few interviews with Lin, my guess is that he’ll handle delicate questions gracefully, and that he won’t let international celebrity distract him from his on-court mission. And that’s all that’s really necessary; it’s not like he has to become a roving ambassador of good will in order to play a constructive role in international relations.
Of course, this whole conjecture about Lin’s diplomatic value presupposes that he’s the real deal–that he’ll be star for some time to come. My own guess (not that you asked) after watching last night’s game is that he will indeed hang on to star status so long as he gets better at hanging on to the ball in heavy traffic. So I’m cautiously optimistic that Jeremy Lin could wind up, so to speak, doing God’s work.
For what its worth, the hype has met reality thus far–which is what makes this such an interesting subject for speculation.