(From OregonLive.com) Lin was preceded by five players including Wataru “Wat” Misaka who played 1947-48 in the Basketball Association of America
Houston Rockets guard Jeremy Lin sometimes is mistakenly called “the first Asian-American player in the NBA.”
Adidas did so in a news release issued Monday about Lin’s joining the Germany-based brand for a sneaker contract, leaving Nike. The mistake was repeated on this blog.
But five other Asian Americans in professional basketball in the U.S preceded Lin:
- Wataru “Wat” Misaka, who is Japanese-American, played for the New York Knicks in the Basketball Association of America in the 1947-48 season. The league merged with the NBA after the 1948-49 season.
- Raymond Towsend, who is Filipino-American, played for the Golden State Warriors and Indiana Pacers, from 1978 to 1982.
- Corey Gaines, who is African-American and whose mother is of Japanese descent, played for the then-New Jersey Nets, Philadelphia 76ers, Denver Nuggets and New York Knicks, from 1988 to 1994.
- Rex Walters, who is Japanese-American, played for the then-New Jersey Nets, Philadelphia 76ers and Miami Heat, from 1993 to 2000.
- Robert Swift, who is American and whose father is half Okinawan, played for the Seattle Supersonics and Oklahoma City Thunder, from 2004 to 2009.
— Allan Brettman