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And the NBA star Jeremy Lin has made a huge splash among US basketball fans, but he also looks to be developing a major Chinese following. Like Yao Ming before him, Lin could make basketball even more popular in China.
Lin was much talked about as a college basketball player at Harvard, but national fame has come more recently; with his breaking of a points record in his first three games as a pro NBA player. Lin's most recent, 38-point game was high enough to best Kobe Bryant's record high of 34 in his third pro game.
An official NBA post on China's Sina Weibo microblogging service over the weekend described Lin's achievements, and quickly became one of the popular site's most forwarded and commented postings.
Replies to the NBA posting, and other microblogging about Lin, have since lit up the Chinese blogosphere, with responses running across the emotional gamut.
Comments from Chinese netizens included that Lin's impressive record "counts as winning glory for ethnic Chinese", that he is "yet another legendary American Dream", and others simply described their enthusiasm for him as "Linsanity". The trend is continuing, with some of today's comments including that "Lin is breaking a lot of longstanding stereotypes and catching the spotlight in the US", and that "he will not just be a passing craze".
Lin, who has his own Sina Weibo account, has now also broken over half a million followers on the service.