Spoelstra: Celebrate Lin for his play

TIM REYNOLDS AP Sports Writer Published:

MIAMI (AP) -- Heat coach Erik Spoelstra says there's a reason why New York Knicks guard Jeremy Lin should be celebrated.

His numbers.

Not his heritage.

Spoelstra is the NBA's first Asian-American coach, and Lin is the first Asian-American player to make this kind of splash in the league. They'll be on opposite ends of the court in Miami on Thursday night when the Heat play host to the Knicks.

Lin went into New York's game Wednesday against Atlanta averaging 24.6 points and 9.2 assists in a 10-game stretch since joining the Knicks' rotation. Spoelstra says he thinks it's "a great rags-to-riches story" and that he's hoping Lin is recognized more for that than because of where his parents are from.

Lin's parents were born in Taiwan. Spoelstra's mother is from the Philippines.