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International Flavor Helping Boost NBA

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MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Jeremy Lin and Ricky Rubio aren’t just responsible for reviving their dormant franchises. They also are giving the NBA two fresh young faces to market internationally.

As the first American-born player of Chinese or Taiwanese descent, Lin is re-opening doors in Asia that were feared to be closing in the wake of Yao Ming’s retirement. He’s led the New York Knicks to five straight victories and has become an instant fan favorite at Madison Square Garden.

Rubio is the Spanish sensation who has fans in Barcelona watching his fancy passes on Internet feeds in the wee hours of the morning. His infectious play has made him an instant rock star in the Twin Cities and has the Timberwolves gunning for the playoffs for the first time since 2004.

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