Taipei, Aug. 5 (CNA) Basketball sensation Jeremy Lin said Sunday in Taipei that he does not see himself as having to take the place of former Rockets star Yao Ming.
Asked during a press conference whether Yao is a pressure or motivation for him, Lin said he has always looked up to the 31-year-old Chinese ex-player.
However, the 23-year-old point guard said he doesn't see himself as having to "fill his shoes or anything like that."
"My goal is very simple, and that's just to get as close as I can to reaching my personal potential," said Lin.
When asked what he thinks of being described as the Chinese player's successor, Lin said "what I have done is nothing compared to what Yao has done."
"What he did through his career helped me a lot, and so what I want to do is help other people as well, help younger kids, and inspire other people to play basketball," said Lin.
The first American NBA player of Taiwanese descent was also asked how he perceives the debate surrounding his heritage.
In response, he noted that his great grandparents and grandparents were born and raised in China, his parents are from Taiwan and he was born and raised in the United States.
"So there's a lot of history behind who I am as a person," he said.
It is Lin's first visit to Taiwan since his meteoric rise from obscurity with the New York Knicks earlier this year and his recent signing of a three-year, US$25 million contract to play for the Houston Rockets.
After his short visit to Taiwan, Lin will fly to China for a basketball camp as part of his Asian tour. He will return to Taiwan in late August to host a similar camp for a group of 120 young players Aug. 27-30.
He will also attend another sponsor's event Sept. 1 and an evangelical gathering hosted by a local television station Sept. 2.
(By Christie Chen)