Jeremy Lin
Brooklyn Nets guard Jeremy Lin received harsh criticism over his dreadlock hairstyle from former Nets player Kenyon Martin. He is pictured on Oct. 28, 2016 in New York City. Getty Images

Brooklyn Nets point guard Jeremy Lin, famous for his different hairstyles on the basketball court, was slammed for his dreadlocks by outspoken NBA veteran Kenyon Martin.

Martin, who is African-American, argued that Lin, who is Asian-American, was appropriating black culture by sporting the hairstyle. Martin’s comments came after Lin penned an essay released by the Players Tribune Tuesday, in which he addressed thoughts regarding his hair and other personal topics.

"Do I need to remind this damn boy his last name is Lin?" Martin, the 15-year NBA veteran, wrote in an Instagram post Wednesday. "Like, come on man. Let's stop it with these people. There is no way possible that he would have made it on one of our teams with that bulls--- on his head. Come on man, somebody need to tell him, like, 'Alright bro, we get it. You wanna be black.' Like, we get it. But your last name is Lin."

Lin, who wore a "faux-hawk" and braided his hair in the past, said he changed his hairstyles quite often during his career to leave his "comfort zone," and was initially hesitant to start the dreadlock process.

The 29-year-old California native responded to Martin’s Instagram post and pointed out that Martin has Chinese tattoos.

"Hey man, it's all good. You definitely don't have to like my hair and (are) definitely entitled to your opinion," Lin wrote. "Actually I (am) legit grateful (for) you sharin it (to be honest). At the end of the day, I appreciate that I have dreads and you have Chinese tattoos (because) I think its a sign of respect.

"And I think as minorities, the more that we appreciate each other's cultures, the more we influence mainstream society. Thanks for everything you did for the Nets and hoops, had your poster up on my wall growing up."

Martin, who started his career with the then-New Jersey Nets and had a stint on the New York Knicks, replied to Lin’s rebuttal in a second Instagram post, saying that his original comments were in jest and not about race.

"That man grown," Martain said. "That man can rock whatever hairstyle he want to rock. That don’t mean I have to agree with it. Second of all, I’m grown. I can say whatever I want to say about whatever I want to say it about. It ain’t about race, it ain’t about none of that. Grow up people; it was a joke. But I don’t like it, I don’t agree with it."



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In his essay, Lin explained that Nets staffer Savannah Hart, who is African-American, and teammate DeMarre Carroll, encouraged him to start his dreadlocks.

"When I first signed in Brooklyn, I remember talking to Rondae (Hollis-Jefferson) about hair. He told me he would grow his hair out with me — and that he’d get dreads with me," Lin said. "One time, Caris (LeVert) chose my braid design when I wasn’t sure what to get. Before this season, D-Lo, (Carroll) and I discussed what the process of getting dreads is like — how painful the beginning process is, whether you could still rock a hat, how to maintain them, things like that.

"She (Hart) said that if it wasn’t my intention to be dismissive of another culture, then maybe it could be an opportunity to learn about that culture."