With Jeremy Lin lighting up the city of New York and emerging as a sudden sensation, who would have thought the epitome of Lin-sanity would be playing anywhere else?

Lin the first Chinese-American to play in the NBA.

Well, had Lin not been claimed by the New York Knicks on Dec. 26 after being waived by the Houston Rockets, there was a chance he could have wound up with recently retired Rockets center Yao Ming playing for Yao's Shanghai Sharks, according to the New York Post.

Yao, who retired in July because of chronic foot injuries, owns the Sharks, a team for whom he once played. The Post reports he attempted to sign the point guard sensation to play for the Sharks during the NBA lockout, but was unsuccessful.

Lin, who helped the Knicks beat the Minnesota Timberwolves on Saturday, 100-98, told the Post following his historic 38-point outburst against the Los Angeles Lakers on Friday night that he has had a close relationship with the 7-foot-6 Chinese basketball legend since playing in his charity basketball games in Taiwan and Beijing in August 2010.

Lin said he communicates often with Yao, who lives in Shanghai, mostly via text message. 

I actually talk to Yao after every game, he said. He's taken me out to eat when I've seen him. He's obviously a role model, big brother and mentor to me. We keep in touch all the time.'' 

Lin's mother, Shirley, was raised in Taiwan, and Yao invited Lin's family to his charity event soon after Lin graduated from Harvard and before his rookie season with the Golden State Warriors. 

Yao, 31, and Lin, 23, would see also each other socially whenever Golden State played Houston. Earlier this week, Lin also said that although he considered playing basketball in China in December, the Chinese Basketball Association is now in the playoffs. As a result, he would have also had to consider playing in Europe before his contract would be guaranteed. 

I wasn't considering that just yet, Lin said, but I figure if I get waived before the [Feb. 10] deadline and there's nothing left, you know, maybe I do need to go overseas, but God works in mysterious and miraculous ways.