The road back to the NBA first took Jeremy Lin to China where’s he’s made many promotional appearances and last season played for the Beijing Ducks.
Next week, it will take him to Orlando where he will play in a bubble for the Santa Cruz Warriors, the G League team of the Golden State Warriors.
In between, the San Francisco Chronicle reports it also took him to see a therapist.
“In China, I had so much fan support and so many amazing things going on,” said Lin. “To surrender all of that and to come here, honestly, some people think I’m crazy.”
Lin, in his mind, knows he still has the skills to play in the NBA despite languishing on the bench while playing for the Toronto Raptors and becoming the first Asian American player to win an NBA Championship.
He’s so convinced he’s giving up a 7-figure salary in Beijing to make tens of thousands to play in the G League. Throughout his career, Lin admits running away from the term Linsanity, the nickname coined during a few weeks of headline-making games he played for the New York Knicks.
He didn’t want his career defined by those games, thinking he had so much more to offer. So he spoke to therapist Mano Watsa openly about his career disappointments and not being able to provide an encore for Linsanity.
The way the NBA cast Lin aside should be a story Black players should be able to relate to, according to playwright and poet Charlotte Zobeir Ali. In a post in The Medium, she wrote the racism Lin encountered in the NBA from athletes and fans.
Boxing champ Floyd Mayweather accused Lin of taking attention from Black players. Guards at basketball arenas assumed he couldn’t possibly be a player and denied him access to the gym.
Today, Lin looks at Linsanity who pride knowing those few weeks elevated the identity and pride of many Asian Americans. He also knows there’s more basketball left in the tank.
He’s hopeful a good stint with the Santa Cruz Warriors will win him another look at the big show in the NBA.
Sometimes life is about more about making money. It’s about shedding the self doubt and giving it your all.
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