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Chink In The Stands, An Asian American Fan’s Notes

February 27th, 2012 | 28 comments | Posted by Jen

I sat down to write about the fallout that’s ensued since ESPN editor Anthony Federico wrote that “Chink In The Armor” headline a little over a week ago, and I ended up with a bunch of stories about myself. In some ways though, I think these notes better articulate my frustration and anger over many of the conversations that have taken place about Jeremy Lin with regard to race than explicit words to that effect would have. Or maybe I just really like talking about myself.

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For most of my life, I’ve been a sports fan. I was born and raised in Texas, so it was mandatory. More to the point, I was born and raised Chinese American in Texas. I couldn’t look like my peers, I couldn’t be accepted as an equal by many of my peers, but I could root for the same teams as my peers. And somewhere deep down, I probably figured that if I could demonstrate the same devotion to the idols of my peers, they would eventually come around to the idea that I wasn’t all that different from them, and perhaps even accept me as one of their own.

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My father arrived in College Station, Texas from Taiwan in 1965 on a student visa. Continue reading Chink In The Stands, An Asian American Fan’s Notes

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#Linsanity, The Valentine’s (Or VaLintine’s) Day Edition: Who Should Be Jeremy Lin’s Basketball Wife?

February 14th, 2012 | 10 comments | Posted by Jen

So Linsanity took, what, all of a week to sweep the nation? Now what?

If Jeremy Lin keeps playing the way he’s been playing, he’s going to have to negotiate a much bigger contract when he becomes an unrestricted free agent at the end of the season. (Currently, he makes the league minimum.) But that’s for his sports agent to figure out.

And dude needs a place to live, since he’s currently–and adorably–crashing with his older brother Josh, who’s in dentistry school at NYU. But that’s for his real estate agent to figure out. Preferably after his sports agent figures out where Lin will be playing next year.

After all that, the next thing Lin ought to figure out is who his “And One” will be. Because nothing–apart from a lot of sparkly man-jewelry–says “I’ve arrived” in the NBA quite like a Basketball Wife, a boo to cheer you on when everyone else is, well, booing your sorry ass. And since it happens to be the holiday of bitterness, loneliness, cliched expressions of affection, flawed diamonds, deli flowers, teddy bears that give you allergies, cheap boxes of chocolates, and crying yourself to sleep, er, LOVE, I’ve taken it upon myself to be Jeremy’s matchmaker. (And, yes, my ten percent cut can totally come in the form of courtside seats.)

JAMIE CHUNG

Like it or not, at the moment, Jamie is arguably the most famous young Asian American Continue reading #Linsanity, The Valentine’s (Or VaLintine’s) Day Edition: Who Should Be Jeremy Lin’s Basketball Wife?

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If You Aren’t Going To Be An NBA Champ This Year, You May As Well Throw A Sweet Party

February 18th, 2011 | 3 comments | Posted by Diana

What are we all doin’ tomorrow night? A little birdie tells me that Kobe’s having a par-tay!

And it sure ain’t to celebrate his Lakers’ mortifying loss on Wednesday to the Cleveland Cavs.

Rather, tomorrow the 5-time NBA champ, 2-time NBA Finals MVP, Olympic Gold Medalist and DISGRASIAN Hall-of-Shamer will receive an honor that no other athlete has ever received: cement prints in front of Hollywood’s Grauman’s Chinese Theater.

And before you any of you start grossing me out by wondering aloud how big those hand and footprints are (seriously, BLEGH) please allow me to direct our attention back to the far more important headline: THERE’S GONNA BE A RAGER! You too can attend, if you have $350 to $4,000 to spend on an evening in sorta-proximity to basketball’s most talented douchetool.

According to TMZ, this over-the-top, “Asian-themed” bash is not one to miss.

The party is supposed to be INSANE — with organizers dropping roughly $50,000 to give Boulevard 3 nightclub an Asian-themed makeover in honor of Kobe enshrining his hands and feet at Grauman’s Chinese Theater earlier that day. … including a 15-foot custom made dragon.

A CUSTOM MADE DRAGON! Pish. If we had 50 Gs to spend on an “Asian theme,” you bet your ass we wouldn’t party without:

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DISGWITTER OF THE WEAK! The Yao Ming “Made In China” Meme

December 17th, 2010 | 6 comments | Posted by Jen

Yao Ming has suffered yet another foot injury that could sideline him for the rest of the season and has some people wondering if this doesn’t signal the end of his NBA career.

So what do you do when the career of one of the NBA’s good guys is in jeopardy?  Cue the Yao Ming-Made In China jokes!

Is this meme “racist or stereotypical”?  Good question, “Joey”!

And the answer is: No! It’s racist and stereotypical!  Stay classy, Tweeps.

[NY Times: Yao Ming's Fragile Feet Could End Career]

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SPORTS ILLUSTRASIAN: Viva Los Suns

May 7th, 2010 | 4 comments | Posted by Jen

You know there’s something seriously fucked going on in Arizona when people who dribble a ball for a living demonstrate a better understanding of the law there than the people who came up with the law in the first place.

Grant Hill *swoon*

As you may know, the Phoenix Suns wore their “Los Suns” jerseys Wednesday during Game 2 of their playoff series against the San Antonio Spurs–who also tried to wear “Los Spurs” jerseys but could not get them in time–to not only celebrate Cinco de Mayo, but to protest Arizona’s anti-immigration law SB 1070 and show solidarity for Latinos in their community. Before the game, Suns point guard Steve Nash, who is Canadian, spoke out against the law on ESPN’s Pardon the Interruption:

I’m against it. I think this is a bill that really damages our civil liberties, I think it opens up potential for racial profiling and racism. I think that it’s a bad precedent to set for young people. I think it represents our state poorly in the eyes of the nation and the world.

BANG. That’s like a classic late-in-the-game Steve Nash shot from behind the arc that Continue reading SPORTS ILLUSTRASIAN: Viva Los Suns

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BIRTHDAY CELEBRASIAN! Yao Ming

September 10th, 2009 | 0 comments | Posted by Jen


Happy birthday to Yao Ming, who turns 29 Saturday! Our birthday wish for the 7’6″ Rockets center is undoubtedly the same as his own–to heal that foot in a hurry so that he can return to the hardcourt sometime next season.

Because if we have to wait a whole other year to see one of the NBA’s true good guys play basketball again, it’s gonna make us cry like little girls (not to mention abandon the sport and all the primadouches playing it for something ludicrous like…hockey).


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SPORTS ILLUSTRASIAN: Sun Yue, Luckiest Mofo Evar

June 15th, 2009 | 0 comments | Posted by Jen

Congrats to the Lakers on winning their 15th championship Sunday night!!! Most especially to shooting guard Sun Yue, aka the Luckiest Mofo Evar, who’s the 5th Chinese baller to play in the NBA and only the 2nd Asian player to win a championship.

L.A. Lakers Kobe Bryant, Pau Gasol, and the Luckiest Mofo Evar

DUDE. You’re AWESOME. You sign with the Lakers in August, get mono, delay your start until December, play in only 10 games before getting sent down to the Developmental League (“D-League” for short, like “D-List” or “D-Student”), return to the Lakers just in time for the playoffs, where you play 0 games…and still manage to get a ring. DUDE. I mean, DUDE. That takes mad skillz!!! Your ability to never come off the bench makes you a prime candidate down the road for 6th Man of the Year (or Invisible Man, I’m not sure which). Your fist-bump stroke is absolutely gen-i-us. And the way you park it on the sidelines the way big men park it in the paint? Quite frankly, the stuff of legends.

Speaking of legends, Charles Barkley, Karl Malone, and Patrick Ewing all committed harakiri late Sunday night when they discovered that Sun Yue has a ring now and they still don’t, and that, no, this was not just some horribly cruel joke.

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SPORTS ILLUSTRASIAN: A Conversasian with My Hardass Asian Mama

May 7th, 2009 | 0 comments | Posted by Jen

Transcript of the phone conversation I had with my Hardass Asian Mama the other night:

H.A.M.: Jen, I need to talk to you about something important.

JEN: Uh, okay, but I kinda need to go…[internal monologue: Oh shit, what the fuck did I do now?]

H.A.M.: It’s about–

JEN: [The fact that I haven't made millions despite my Ivy League education that you paid for, and am therefore kind of a failure? Or that time I had sex in your house years ago and you overheard? *dies* Or the fact that I haven't yet given you a grandchild, which also means I'm kind of a failure?]

H.A.M.: It’s about that Lady in Purple.


JEN: Oooooh! Oh yeah! That lady! Our Jack Nicholson! Great! What about her? [Hallelujah! Praise Jesus! Painfully awkward conversation averted!]

H.A.M.: I don’t think she’s a lady. I mean, how do you know she’s a lady?

JEN: Uh, um, I don’t know. I just assumed she was. I think I’ve seen her wear earrings before.

H.A.M.: Huh.

JEN: I mean, I dunno, maybe she’s not a lady?

H.A.M.: You know, Chiang Kai-shek had a granddaughter or some relation who liked to dress like a man. Maybe she’s Chiang Kai-shek’s granddaughter.

JEN: Wow. Weird.

H.A.M.: Yeah, weird. So, about that time you had sex in my house…

Okay, so that last part is made-up, but in related news (not to sex in my parents’ house, but to the Maybe-Lady in Purple)…the Lakers evened up the series with the Rockets last night, 111-98. Boo.

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SPORTS ILLUSTRASIAN: Our Jack Nicholson

May 5th, 2009 | 0 comments | Posted by Jen

I don’t really watch basketball much anymore. The timing of its season is all wrong, sandwiched between football and baseball. Plus I think the refs have too much control over the game. But I’m making an exception for the Rockets-Lakers series (Rockets took Game 1 last night–Yaoooo!), because almost nothing would make me happier than seeing my childhood hometown team crush the team that happens, unfortunately, to play in my grown-up hometown. (I know that’s convoluted, but there’s no way you’re going to get me to say “my grown-up hometown team” about the Lakers; I side with the sad sack Clippers, anyway.)

Following this semifinal series also means I get to see plenty of one of my favorite L.A. characters, Our Jack Nicholson, aka the Asian Lady Superfan who always sits courtside at Laker games.

Jack Nicholson, Bruce Willis, and Our Jack Nicholson

Again, who the hell is this lady? No one seems to know, but several people on the interwebz seem convinced she’s in a triad, and it’s rumored that she gets chauffeured around town in a Maybach. I’m totally dying to see her closet, which I imagine is only filled with purple and gold-colored clothes. Does she ever wear, like, green, I wonder? What’s her beverage of choice at the Staples Center? Is she gay, straight, or unicorn?

The point is, Asian Lady Superfan, YOU FASCINATE ME. Hit me up on Twitter and let’s talk! Please, please, pretty please, I’m not ashamed to beg.

(Okay, I’m, like, really ashamed to beg a diehard Laker fan, but whatever, I can get over that, if you give us an exclusive and the Lakers go down in, say, 5.)

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Vujacic-A-Boom

April 28th, 2009 | 0 comments | Posted by Diana

Listen, I don’t want to knock Emily Ho, profiled this week by LA Weekly’s Jonathan Gold, whose meteoric rise from Lakers fan girlfriend to Sasha “The Machine” Vujacic enthusiast to webmaster of the Official Site of the shooting guard is nothing to sniff at.

There’s a part of me that wants to hate– the reallyreallybitchy part of me that first and foremost despises the fucking Lakers (Uh, no, I do not care how good they are). And carries a deep, personal aversion to Lakers fan girlfriends, like my college roommate (who knew dog piddle about hoops when I met her, but to impress her grad school beau, began sporting yellow-and-purple tanks, yelling at the TV for players on the wrong team, and doubting my knowledge of key player trades–something she had, in just one season, not yet witnessed).

This icky thing inside of me also starts snippy, snarling fights with ladies in pumps and half-tops that pretend to watch ball at sports bars without ever turning towards the screen. And it deeply protests the manufacture of team jerseys in pink for female fans, since they don’t contribute to a team’s color domination of a stadium–and overall are cheesy, embarrassing, and offensive. This aspect of me will try to remain silent on the topic of Emily Ho.


A nicer (albeit smaller) part of me celebrates Ho’s opportunity, as well as her commitment to a competitive sport. And thinks it’s just great that her Vujacic official site, which seems primarily trafficked by enthusiastic females (and is loved and supported by the player and his family), isn’t just a virtual beer garden loaded up with stats, action shots, and sports trivia. Instead it’s a fun, girly, window-into-the-celebrity-soul kinda space, featuring interviews with fans and sexy desktop designs; where the athlete Twitters and answers novice questions like, “What’s the best thing about being on the Lakers?” In a way, it lowers the bar of entry in terms of committed fandom of Mr. Vujacic, if not the team and the sport as well: Why focus on a player’s numbers when you might just like his headwear? Why can’t sports enthusiasm be emotional? Why can’t it be about attraction? Why can’t it be about swarthy skin and flowing hair?

Okay, I’ll say it: As if the bar wasn’t low enough.

But last night, as I watched the Lakers do a number on the Utah Jazz (save for that nail-biter of a 4th quarter) to advance in the playoffs, yet another (but still very grouchy) part of me rumbled a little. It must have been Vujacic in his stupid black headband, celebrating his big, dumb team’s victory in the series, or something. But I couldn’t help but think about how his official site would soon be buzzing with rabid girl fans hurriedly typing out their post-playoff-game burners: “Is there a locker room afterparty?” or “Does Gatorade in your clothes get sticky?” or “How often do you wash your hair?” By God, it made me crazy to think that his Twitter followers would soon be lauding him for how cute he looked at the line, instead of the intensity of his game.

And I just couldn’t hold it back anymore. So here I go:

I HATE SASHA VUJACIC’S OFFICIAL SITE. IT’S REALLY FUCKING LAME AND SHAMELESS, EVEN FOR A LAKER.

(Fine, I’m a player hater.)

[LA Weekly: LA People 2009: Vujachick — Sasha Watch Blogger Emily Ho]
[SashaVujacic18.com: The Official Web Site of "The Machine"]

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Thanks, Josh!

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SPORTS ILLUSTRASIAN: Ron Artest "Still Ghetto"

August 1st, 2008 | 0 comments | Posted by Jen


This week, a potential trade between the Houston Rockets and the Sac o’ Shit Kings was announced that would send Ron Artest to my hometown team. In reaction, Yao told the Houston Chronicle that he was optimistic but that he hoped “(Artest’s) not fighting anymore and going after a guy in the stands.” Artest then responded to Yao’s comments in the Sacramento Bee:

“I understand what Yao said, but I’m still ghetto,” Artest said. “That’s not going to change. I’m never going to change my culture. Yao has played with a lot of black players, but I don’t think he’s ever played with a black player that really represents his culture as much as I represent my culture. Once Yao Ming gets to know me, he’ll understand what I’m about.

If you go back to the brawl, that’s a culture issue right there. Somebody was disrespecting me, so he’s got to understand where I’m coming from. People that know me know that Ron Artest never changed.”

In this day and age of NBA players meticulously cultivating their image to appeal to advertisers and fans, I find Artest’s statement nothing short of incredible. Commissioner David Stern, who’s spearheaded efforts in the NBA to essentially de-ghettoize the league–whether it’s with a ludicrous dress code or wanting to impose gun restrictions on players–has got to be p-issed! And anything that pisses off Big Brother pants splooger David Stern is alright by me.

Except talking about yourself in the third person.

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Congratulasians to the Rookie of the Yi-r, er, Month

January 2nd, 2008 | 0 comments | Posted by Diana

Even though sometimes it seems that the Milwaukee Bucks, well, suck, we’re glad to see one positive thing emerge from their spotty record–Chinese expat Yi Jianlian’s 11 points-a-game average has grabbed him the NBA’s Rookie of the Month honor for December! Here’s hoping you get Rookie of the Year.

Congratulasians, homey! We’ve seen you dunk, and baby, you deserve this.

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Thanks, SlantEye!

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