Free agent point guard Jeremy Lin tearfully told a Christian television audience in Taiwan that he believes the ‘NBA has given up’ on him following his ninth season in the league.
After winning an NBA title with the Toronto Raptors in June, the 30-year-old Harvard alum has remained unsigned this summer as the league’s 30 teams have doled out over $1 billion on other players.
‘Every year it gets harder,’ Lin told GOOD TV as he struggled to hold back tears. ‘In English there’s a saying and it says once you hit rock bottom, the only way is up. 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 NBA’s kind of given up on me.’
The first American NBA player of Chinese or Taiwanese descent, Lin played only one minute of the Raptors’ recent NBA Finals victory over the Golden State Warriors, who actually signed him as an undrafted rookie in 2010. He was later cut, picked up by the Houston Rockets, and waived again before landing in New York, where he became an international sensation for the Knicks in 2012.
Lin earned the nickname ‘Linsanity’ in early February of that year while leading the injury-ravaged Knicks – losers of 11 of their previous 13 games – on a seven-game winning streak.
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Posted by GOOD TV 好消息電視台 on Saturday, 27 July 2019
A knee injury ultimately derailed Lin’s breakout season that March, and he has struggled to stay healthy over the last seven seasons. The most devastating setback was a non-contact injury in October of 2017, when Lin tore the patella tendon in his right knee.
At the time, Lin burst into tears on the court, prophetically telling teammates: ‘I’m done, I’m done.’
Although Lin is technically the first Asian-American player to win an NBA title, he told the crowd in Taiwan that he does not feel he earned his first ring.
‘After the season I had to get ready for this Asia trip and it was the last thing I wanted to do,’ Lin said. ‘Because I knew for six weeks I would have to just put on a smile. I would have to talk about a championship that I don’t feel like I really earned. I would have to talk about a [basketball] future I don’t know if I want to have. And honestly, it’s just embarrassing. It’s tough.’
Lin’s speech was motivational, aimed at teaching his audience to overcome adversity.
‘I’m here to just tell you don’t give up,’ Lin said. ‘For those of you who are working hard but you don’t see results – don’t give up.’
An 80 percent-free throw shooter for his career, Lin has averaged 11.6 points and 4.3 assists a game in nine NBA seasons with the Warriors, Rockets, Knicks, Hornets, Lakers, Nets, Hawks and Raptors. He earned over $65 million in salary over that
SOURCE: Daily Mail, Alex Raskin