Jeremy Lin leaves Beijing Ducks, seeks return to NBA

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Jeremy Lin wants to return to the NBA next season, and he is coming back to the United States to make that happen.

Lin has left the Beijing Ducks — he helped reach the semifinals of the Chinese Basketball Association — to pursue his NBA dreams again, he told fans on Weibo, the Chinese version of Twitter. Via Channel News Asia (CNA):

“This decision has really been the hardest in my life,” Lin, who has complained about the rough-house treatment he received in the CBA, told his seven million followers…

“Every morning I would wake up at 4am or 5am, thinking, thinking and thinking all the time. In the end, although Shougang (the Ducks) has treated me incredibly well … giving me everything I wanted, in the end, I feel that I still have NBA dreams.

“I still have time to play (there) and I have to chase this.”

Lin averaged 22.3 points and 5.6 assists per game in the CBA.

During the 2-18-19 NBA season, Lin was a solid rotation player for Atlanta coming off the bench and averaging 10.7 points per game, shooting 34.7 percent from three. It had been a bit of a bounce-back season for him after injuries had slowed him the previous two seasons.

However, Lin was waived by the Hawks just after the trade deadline. He was picked up for the rest of the season by Toronto, but by the playoffs he had fallen out of the rotation, playing 27 total minutes in the postseason for the eventual champs. Lin became the first Asian-American player to win an NBA title, but he was frustrated because he was a non-factor.

Then in the off-season the cold, hard business of the NBA hit him: Lin had the skills of a backup point guard in the league, a rotation player, but the NBA is deep with solid point guards and teams elected to use that spot on a younger player they could develop and hold on to longer. Lin, now 32, couldn’t land a contract, so he opted to play the season in China (which, like the NBA, had a season disrupted by the coronavirus, but he returned there to finish the season).

Now, he returns to the NBA to give it another shot.

Lin has an inspiring story, having played at Harvard, going undrafted, becoming a Summer League sensation, which got his foot in the door in the NBA with the Warriors. He eventually signed as a reserve guard for the Knicks under Mike D’Antoni, and that’s when Linsanity hit — for a few weeks Lin was a sensation, leading the Knicks in an exciting style of play and becoming an icon as an Asian icon in the sports world. The fans he gained in that run still follow him passionately.

Whether he can land another NBA spot at age 32 remains to be seen, but he is giving it a shot.