In Europe, the big football clubs sometimes buy reasonably skilled Oriental/Asian players for one reason: They sell a shit load of shirts in Asia. Whenever an Asian footballer does well in Europe, they go mad for it in their home countries. And I mean MAD. Millions of shirt sales and club memorabilia get sold off the back of it. Because of this, the clubs then publicise and play those players a little more then they would if it was based purely on skills alone. If an Asian player was to come along who was truly world class, ( as it seems Lin is ) he would be gold dust, and rightfully receive a LOT of publicity. Far more then any other world class players in his team. I don't really see a problem with it. When a particular race, who are rarely feature in top level sport, produce a star... it should be celebrated. It *is* a big deal. Ultimately, characters like Lin help to change attitudes.
Yes it's partly because he is Asian, no doubt about that, but to simply reduce it as such takes away credit.
Fact: (not really): 75% of players are black.
Fact: 90% of good players are black
Fact: There are no Asian-American players in the NBA besides Lin
Fact: NYC is the media capital of the world
Those are facts (kinda because I made up the %), so he has a point but I do not believe it's the only reason for his success. First of all the kid has talent, came out of no where, provided a spark that made everyone else on the Knicks team better, has been consistent for 2 weeks putting up numbers that are all star (20 ppg, 7-8 assists pg, 2 steals pg). He was undrafted and bounced from a few teams all unnoticed (or not given the chance possibly because he is Asian).
He has a great story, and brings excitement. If he was black would he get as much exposure? No, not because of racism but because there are already tons of talented black players (the majority). Whenever something out of the ordinary happens, people take notice. He also has a large Asian fan base.
A good example of something out of the ordinary is Nate Robinson. Nate is listed as 5'8 which is really short for NBA standards, yet is one of the most athletic guards out there. He is popular not because he is black, but popular because he can dunk on 7 footers with sass. He is noticed because he is out of the ordinary so people root for him. Same with Lin.
EDIT: Mayweather is a joke, and everything that comes out of his mouth is inflamatory. He is talented as a boxer without a doubt, but he should stick to his area of expertise. Sounds to me like he has a chip on his shoulders.
EDIT: Theauger is right on the money - I agree 100% rep.