As far as firsts go, the big one Thursday was the Toronto Raptors’ first NBA championship. A ridiculous Game 7 buzzer-beater against the Philadelphia 76ers, a four-game surge to top the Milwaukee Bucks, a shocking upset to take down the Golden State Warriors; this is a first that Raptors fans will remember for the rest of their lives.
Dive into the Raptors’ roster, and you’ll find more firsts. For starters, it’s the first NBA championship for the majority of the team’s players. Look into one specific player though, and you’ll find some very quiet NBA history being made.
Jeremy Lin is an NBA champion
Jeremy Lin might have posted only 27 minutes and nine points during the Raptors’ entire postseason run, but the backup guard is still an NBA champion. Linsanity has its ring.
With the Raptors’ win, Lin is now the first Asian-American player to win an NBA championship in league history, as if he wasn’t meaningful enough to Asian basketball fans already.
Lin is also the first former Harvard player to win a ring, which ... cool, another good thing for Harvard. The Crimson alumni really needed that one to feel pride in their alma mater.
And, of course, the 30-year-old Lin is the first player to become a global sensation in one of the world’s largest media markets, upstage Carmelo Anthony, spend years as a journeyman and finally latch onto an NBA championship-winning team. It’s hard to see a career like that ever hitting the NBA again and a ring, even as a deep bench player, makes the journey all the more special.
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