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Toronto Raptors’ Serge Ibaka Surprises Jeremy Lin With Stinky Tofu, Durian

Bring on the stank. 

Toronto Raptors power forward Serge Ibaka invited teammate Jeremy Lin on his cooking show “How Hungry Are You?” and surprised him with a classic Taiwanese delicacy ― stinky tofu.

As we Asians know, the dish isn’t for the faint of heart, but once you get past the, uh, pungent aroma, the food is pretty fire. Both Ibaka and Lin crush it, as you can see at around the 13:05 point of the video. 

When Ibaka reveals what he’s cooked up, Lin looks uncomfortable, but the pair actually appear to really enjoy the dish. The surprises don’t stop there, however. Ibaka also brings out a giant durian for dessert ― a fruit so funky it’s banned on public transit in Singapore.

The two don’t really have the same positive reaction to the durian as they did the tofu. But hey, it’s an acquired taste. 

As entertaining as it is to watch two of the Raptors’ most hyped-up players chow down on the strong-smelling cuisine, they also get into some deep topics. 

Ibaka got Lin to open up about being the rare Asian American player in the NBA. Lin explained to his teammate that he actually takes a lot of pride in his heritage ― something that he wasn’t quite comfortable with early on. 

“When I’m off the court, when I’m on the court, I really try to represent Asian Americans well,” he said. “When I was younger, I really struggled with it because everyone just wanted to talk about me being Asian and they didn’t really want to talk about my basketball.” 

During Linsanity, he explained, the media focused on his identity rather than his skill, which discouraged him from speaking out as much about his heritage. 

“Now, as I’ve gotten older, I just really appreciate it and I hope to see more Asians and more Asian Americans in the NBA.” 

Ibaka, who’s Congolese, said he understood where Lin was coming from. When he first started out, there was an emphasis on his identity as an African player. 

“They would say these African players ― they can’t play high-level or the NBA.” 

Now with fellow Congolese athletes Bismack Biyombo and Emmanuel Mudiay in the league, Ibaka says he feels “so proud.”  

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