as a Taiwanese-Canadian that plays basketball, i can tell you that i can relate to what Jeremy Lin has gone thru, but obviously to a lesser degree because the highest level i ever played at was high school ball. i i used to go to my local rec center and they play 5 on 5 full court. i would be the only asian there. people usually already have their teams together so i had to go around and ask if anyone needed an extra guy. everyone would say no and i could tell from the look on their face what they were thinking. in the end i gathered 5 guys without a team and call next. and we would win and only then would they see that i can play. so all the times after that i didn't need to find a team. people would come ask me. you can sit there and think that race has nothing to do with it, but unless you've gone thru it, you don't really understand.
its like jeremy playing aau ball when hes 12-13 and people telling him to play another sport. who's to say that if a DIV 1 school gave him a scholarship he wouldn't get drafted and his road to the nba totally different? once your in the NBA there's no complaints, thats ur opportunity right there and its up to you to make the most of it. but it was his road to the nba was tougher than most.
people like a good story, he could be white or black but if he had to overcome of sort of adversity and make it, the story would be just as big. being is new york helps, being asian also helps. but those aren't the biggest reasons