By now, Jeremy Lin should have known better, but for just a moment, in the most ordinary, everyday sort of way, he had forgotten that his life had changed forever.
Reminders were fast and unrelenting. Lin calls celebrity "a blessing" and does not complain about its demands. It does, however, still amaze him, as if it is a tall tale told about someone else, and not a part of his life in which in the span of a week he had gone from relatively few knowing his name to having it part of an avalanche of puns splashed across magazine covers and television screens around the world.
"I was just talking to my roommate (Josh Fan) yesterday about that," he said on Sunday, a day after he had spent the day with a series of ''60 Minutes'' interviews and less than a week after the GQ issue had arrived with Lin's fashion photo spread on the cover and inside. "We went grocery shopping. It took a while to get out because everyone wanted pictures.
"I told him on the way out, 'Dude, I still forget to wear a hat or wear glasses.' To me, I'm like, it's grocery shopping. To everyone else, it's something different. Even so many months removed, I'm still getting used to the fact I can't just go wherever I want, whenever I want."
As Lin begins the next phase of a career unlike any other, Rockets players and staff around him have seen what his life has become, with scrutiny in some ways similar to what they experienced with Yao Ming and celebrity that reaches beyond basketball.
Yet, they cannot help but look past all that to see something else. From the time Lin left Houston, cut for the second time in a month, to the day he returned with a controversial new three-year, $25 million contract, everything had changed – except him.
"Every time I'm with him, something presents itself, a fan comes up, or '60 Minutes' is here or GQ comes out, something new every day and he never reacts differently," teammate and friend Chandler Parsons said. "He's always the same. He's the same kid he was when he was the fourth-string point guard 10 months ago. He's so humble. People love him.
"If he came in here arrogant and cocky and thought he was better than everyone else, I think we'd view him differently. The way he carries himself and how humble he is it makes people not care about how much attention he gets. We're happy for him."
From NBA hopeful to sudden superstar, Rockets' Lin remains unchanged
Houston Chronicle | Oct 28