Monday, July 14, 2014

LA Lakers: Most "Asianized" NBA team? (Then they'll get the biggest continent behind them)

I'm not talking about citizenship; both players are no doubt A-me-ri-cans with a capital A. But there's also no denying that the two new LA Lakers for this 2014 NBA season got A-si-an blood running through their veins. (The Double J's, as far as their first names are concerned.)

Now let me just avoid the blank-dash-American categorization. Still, allow me to reiterate that, yes, veteran Jeremy Lin has Taiwanese immigrants for parents. And, yes, rookie Jordan Clarkson's mom was raised and born in the Philippines.

Finally, the social fact is Chinese basketball fans from Taiwan and Mainland China identify with and are proud of Lin. Likewise, most Filipino hoops fans feel the same for Clarkson as their representative in the NBA.

While the chances of the Lakers improving their performance this coming season remain debatable, there is no question that the team's popularity and market -- along with the whole league itself -- in Asia have started to grow. Considering that China, Taiwan and the Philippines have a staggering total population of almost 1.5 billion people, then the Buss siblings along with Commissioner Adam Silver must be very happy with their prospects in the continent -- which is the biggest in the world, "incidentally."

Lin and Clarkson may not be Asian homegrown talents, but the combined impact on Asia of the soon-to-be alternating point guards may yet rise to Yao Mingesque proportions.

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