Jeremy, meet Jeremy.
His first reaction was to touch it. When Jeremy Lin’s wax figure was unveiled today at Madame Tussaud’s on Fishmerman’s Wharf, the new LA Lakers point guard reached out and took his own hand. Well, sort of.
With 16 of his family members gathered around him, Lin saw for the first time the newest addition to the museum’s collection, which he first posed for last summer. “It definitely looks like me,” he said quietly after taking several moments to marvel at the life-like rendition of his six foot three inch body. The Palo Alto native was recently traded to the Lakers after playing for two seasons with the Houston Rockets. Before that he was known for getting traded around frequently, spending a year each with the New York Knicks and the Golden State Warriors. “I’m not sure how the Lakers jersey will go [over] in the Bay Area,” he said today.
One of only a handful of figures in the museum to not be positioned in a standing pose, Lin’s figure hangs by one arm from a basketball hoop suspended to the wall. Adorned in a Laker’s uniform, the wax Lin stares up to the rim in what could either be described as relief or anticipation. “Action-poses,” if you will, seem to be a newer feature as the museum expands its collection; the second-newest figure (after Lin) is of 18-year-old Olympian Gabby Douglas, who is molded mid-backbend on a balance beam, legs split in two in the air. The two athletes share part of the museum with Tiger Woods, Joe Montana, and Muhammad Ali.
Real-life Lin said that in order to make wax Lin he had to stand on a spinning wheel for almost an hour, allowing detailed photos to be taken. His teeth were molded, and over 200 special measurements were taken. When asked what he thought of the finished product he joked, “This is a little too real.”
Today’s unveiling coincided with a Lin family gathering for multiple birthdays this week. Lin himself will turn 26 on Saturday, while his niece celebrated her birthday earlier this week. Because today happened to be Jeremy’s mother Shirley’s birthday, museum staff held a small party in the back, complete with a “Happy Birthday” banner and cake. “We wanted to make sure that even though this is a big event for Jeremy, we did something for her,” said Julia Piland, who helped with the celebration. Keeping in line with his notorious close-knit family values, Lin’s attention quickly turned from the figure to his family, and seemed to stay there the rest of the morning. For a basketball player so known for his faith that his wax figure wears a bracelet reading, “In Jesus’ name I play,” celebrity is an afterthought. Shrieks of “Uncle Jeremy” were heard today amongst the clicks of cameras.
This October Madame Tussaud’s will become the permanent home for wax figures of The Beatles, who currently reside in Sydney, Australia. They will round the museum’s collection up to 65 figures, though a spokesperson says they are taking public opinion on who San Francisco would like to see next.
Kaepernick or Curry? Brown or Beane? The choice is yours, people.