Jeremy Lin, the first Asian-American to win an NBA title, is moving to the Beijing Shougang Ducks, the team announced Tuesday, bringing one of China’s favourite basketball players to its domestic league.
Lin was part of the Toronto Raptors team that won the championship last season, but he was often benched during the playoffs as he struggled with his form.
The man behind the ‘Linsanity’ hysteria of 2012 became an unrestricted free agent this summer, and struggled to find a new team in the NBA.
The Ducks, long one of the strongest teams in the China Basketball Association league, swooped in to sign him, and announced it on their official Weibo social media account.
“Jeremy joining the Beijing Ducks men’s basketball shows his confidence in us and is an honour, we sincerely welcome him,” said Ducks club chairman Qin Xiaowen.
Lin’s path since his rise to fame in 2012 has been a troubled one, switching between several NBA teams.
He broke down in tears during an emotional appearance in Taiwan last month when he described feeling abandoned by the NBA.
“Every year it gets harder,” Lin said at the time.
“In English there’s a saying, 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.”
Lin has also struggled with injuries and inconsistency since he led the New York Knicks to a seven-game win streak in 2012 to level their record at 15-15.
That season elevated his stardom far beyond the United States to China, where basketball has a huge following.