insanity may soon be coming to China full-time with Asian-American basketball star Jeremy Lin reportedly in talks with the Beijing Shougang Ducks of the Chinese Basketball Association.
The Ducks are offering to pay Lin $3 million a year and the two sides are in “advanced negotiations,” according to Chinese media reports
After winning a championship with the Toronto Raptors in June, it’s been a rough summer for Lin with the 30-year-old free agent unable to find a home in the NBA. At a speech in Taiwan last month, Lin laid his feelings bare:
“In English, there’s a saying and it says once you hit rock bottom, the only way is up,” he said. “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.”
After going undrafted out of Harvard, Lin slept on teammate couches and played in the D-league before finally getting his big chance in New York. Lin didn’t waste the opportunity, igniting a global craze known as “Linsanity” with his incredible play during a month-long stretch in February 2012.
Unfortunately, a knee injury cut Linsanity short and Lin was never again able to recapture that same magic. He has, however, remained a valuable journeyman point guard, playing on eight different teams in nine seasons. He was signed by the Raptors in February and many thought he would be a part of the team’s playoff rotation.
However, Toronto coach Nick Nurse instead decided to stick with backup guard Fred VanVleet and Lin became essentially a human victory cigar, only entering the game once the outcome was no longer in doubt. He ended up playing only 51.7 seconds in the finals.
Though he may not have impressed during his time in Toronto, Lin played pretty well earlier in the season with the Atlantic Hawks and is still onto the hope of getting another NBA contract. He has reportedly turned down offers from Europe, but has kept the door open to teams in Asia.
The Chinese Basketball Association is the most high-profile and well-paying league on the continent. While Lin may already be big in China, by signing with Beijing, he would likely eclipse the large shadow cast by former Ducks star Stephon Marbury.
Lin is currently on an Asia trip, visiting his mother’s ancestral home of Pinghu in Zhejiang province last week. “When I go there, I feel the most at home,” he told RADII.