Interesting comparison. Should have pointed out that Lin has partly been benefitted from Yao Ming’s publicity.
The most obvious is that Mr Lin is an American who is proudly of Taiwanese descent, which would seem to complicate China’s efforts to claim him.
But there are three other reasons Mr Lin’s stardom could fluster the authorities. First, he is very openly Christian, and the Communist Party is deeply wary of the deeply religious (notably on those within its own ranks). Second, he is not a big centre or forward, the varietals which are the chief mainland Chinese export to the NBA, including the Mavericks’ Mr Yi; and of course he came out of nowhere to become a star, having been educated at the most prestigious university in America, Harvard.