Seven years after “Linsanity” took over the N.B.A., and months after he turned the primary Asian-American participant to win a championship ring, Jeremy Lin has signed with the Beijing Shougang Ducks of the Chinese Basketball Association, the group introduced on Tuesday.
There was a cold N.B.A. free company marketplace for Lin, 31, who cut up final yr between the Atlanta Hawks and Toronto Raptors. He performed solely 27 minutes for the Raptors within the playoffs, together with only one mop-up minute within the finals.
But to his legions of followers, he at all times meant greater than his on-court numbers. He is one of the few gamers of Asian-American descent to make it to the N.B.A., and the primary to turn into a world phenomenon, in 2012, when he went on a shocking run for the New York Knicks. Once ignored by scouts, he has earned greater than $65 million in his profession.
“To challenge stereotypes, make history, rep Asians at the N.B.A. level and pave the path as others have done for me has been an absolute privilege,” he stated on Instagram.
Signing with the Chinese league doesn’t essentially finish his N.B.A. profession. The C.B.A. season ends in March, permitting him time to signal a late-season contract with an N.B.A. group in want of a veteran.
But it’s a transparent indication that N.B.A. groups had little curiosity in a 31-year-old guard who has regularly seen his position lowered since accidents sapped him of his once-electric athleticism. After the Hawks waived him, at his request, in February, he performed 18.eight minutes per sport for the Raptors, averaging 7 factors and a pair of.2 assists. Playing behind Kyle Lowry and Fred VanVleet, he was faraway from the playoff rotation.
In current months, he made clear he didn’t need to hand over on the N.B.A.
“In English there’s a saying and it says once you hit rock bottom, the only way is up,” he said during a speech in Taiwan in July. “But rock bottom just seems to keep getting more and more rock bottom for me. So, free agency has been tough. Because I feel like in some ways the N.B.A.’s kind of given up on me.”
It’s not the first time N.B.A. teams decided he couldn’t play. Daryl Morey, the general manager of the Houston Rockets, said that he and others mistakenly saw the Harvard graduate as unathletic when they decided not to draft him, despite objective data that indicated otherwise.
“I can’t think of any reason for it other than he was Asian,”Michael Lewis quoted Morey as saying in his book “The Undoing Project.”
Lin got spare backup minutes for the Golden State Warriors in 2010-2011, but his Linsanity run for the New York Knicks in 2012 lifted him from obscure bench player to genuine international star. He signed a four-year, $28.8 million contract with the Rockets the next summer, and he has also played for the Los Angeles Lakers, the Charlotte Hornets and the Brooklyn Nets.
Lin, who grew up in Palo Alto, Calif., and whose parents immigrated from Taipei, Taiwan, already enjoys celebrity status in China. He created a sports foundation that operates seven basketball programs in China, according to Radii, a China-focused website.
“I’ve always known that my journey in some ways would end in China, that I would come back here and take the experiences that I had growing up in America,” he told Radii. “The N.B.A. training and the concept of a student athlete, a lot of these different things that I’ve learned through my childhood and my NBA experiences — I want to be able to help as many kids as I can in China.”