Just this week, Miami Heat guard Dwyane Wade said on "The Late Show" with David Letterman that Jeremy Lin rode "the biggest jump to celebrity" he had ever seen. Any guess as to what awaited the Taiwanese-American guard when he took "Linsanity" on a world tour to Taiwan last week? A media frenzy and hundreds of screaming fans, of course.
Lin, who signed with the Houston Rockets this summer after rocketing to global stardom as a member of the New York Knicks last season, was the subject of a mini-movie documenting an impromptu game of pick-up hoops in Taipei, Taiwan.
In the video, directed by CBS Video's Peter Radovich, Lin, his brother, his trainer and Golden State Warriors forward David Lee poke fun at the media attention Lin generates. The four concoct a plan to avoid a press conference by dressing up Lin in a giant Hello Kitty mascot head so they can sneak him out of their hotel.
Once free from the clueless reporters and cameramen, Lin and Lee decide to visit the Xinsheng courts, a local pick-up basketball hot spot. Lin, who played four years at Harvard, tells Lee that he hasn't played outdoor pick-up ball since his high school days in California. The years away from the blacktop doesn't stop the pair from drawing a large crowd of fans as soon as they step out of a dark vehicle and on to the court.
Fans angle to take pictures and video with their cell phones as Lin and Lee hop into a game. Lee's dunks excite the fans but Lin, as you would expect, is the favorite. The crowd steadily grows thoughout the game and word gets out to local media members, who take their place on the sideline. After the game, the fans stormed the court and started screaming as Lin gave out sneakers and gear.
"I just wanted to thank everybody for letting us come play with you guys," Lin said into a megaphone before departing. "We really enjoyed it and hopefully basketball continues to grow in Taiwan. We love it here. See you guys soon."
"That is basketball," an impressed Lin tells Lee as the two drive back to the hotel. "You know what I mean? That's pure basketball."
"That was fun," Lee adds. "I'm glad we did that."
Lin, 24, averaged 14.6 points, 6.2 assists, 3.1 rebounds and 1.6 steals in 26.9 minutes per game last season. He made 35 appearances before undergoing season-ending knee surgery.