Sports

Jeremy Lin reaches ‘final deadline’ with NBA dream appearing dead

Jeremy Lin’s NBA dream appears be over.

The 32-year-old hinted at retirement in an emotional post on Instagram on Tuesday, venting his frustrations over not getting an NBA shot this season despite an impressive G League season.

“For months, I saw others get contracts, chances, opportunities. I told myself I just need ONE ten-day contract, one chance to get back on the floor and I would blow it out the water,” Lin wrote alongside a photo that showed him dressed in his Santa Cruz Warriors G-League uniform.

“After all that’s how my entire career started – off one chance to prove myself. For reasons I’ll never fully know, that chance never materialized. But I proved Im better than ever and an NBA player. And like I’ve said before…dream big dreams, risk big heartache.”

While Lin didn’t outright say he is retiring from basketball, it does appear that he is at least giving up on the NBA.

Jermy Lin playing for the Santa Cruz Warriors on March 6, 2021
Jermy Lin playing for the Santa Cruz Warriors on March 6, 2021
NBAE via Getty Images

“May 16th. In my mind was an imaginary circle around this date for an NBA callup,” Lin wrote. “The final deadline. After a year in the CBA where I overcame mental barriers from my past, I KNEW I was still an NBA player. Teams all asked if I still had the hunger, health and skill to hang in the NBA. They wanted to see me hoop in-person.”

Lin spent 2020 playing in China and after a successful season, he opted for one more run at the NBA and signed with the Warriors to play for their G League team. He averaged 19.8 points and 6.4 assists in nine games for the Santa Cruz Warriors in the 2020-21 season.

“So I gave up a season overseas to go down to the G League – a move few vets dare make. Ive always known I need to jump through extra hoops to prove I belong so this was par for the course,” Lin wrote. “Im really proud of what I accomplished – I killed it in the G League and objectively showed it being a league leader in all categories a PG should and shooting career-highs across the board.”  

Lin referenced the underdog nature of his career, which started when former Mavericks general manager Donnie Nelson invited him to play with their NBA Summer League team after he went undrafted in 2010.

Throughout his career, Lin had stints with the Warriors, Rockets, Lakers, Hornets, Nets, Hawks and Raptors. He was part of the 2019 Raptors team that won the franchise’s first championship. 

The highlight of Lin’s career, though, came in 2012, when the Knicks called him up to the league. Over the inspiring 12-game Linsanity stretch, he averaged over 22 points and nine assists.

“Im blessed and had an NBA career beyond my wildest dreams… I didn’t get it done, but I have no regrets,” Lin admitted. “I gave my ALL and hold my head high. As for whats next, I trust what God has in store for me… Thanks to everyone who’s rolled w me on this journey. I love my squaddd.”

Lin, the first American of Chinese or Taiwanese descent to play in the NBA, included a strong message to the next generation of Asian-American basketball players:

Jeremy Lin on Feb. 15, 2021
Jeremy Lin on Feb. 15, 2021
NBAE via Getty Images

“To the next generation of Asian American ballers – man, I so wish I could have done more on the NBA court to break more barriers – esp now – but you guys got next. When you get your shot, do NOT hesitate,” Lin wrote. “Don’t worry whether anyone else thinks you belong. The world never will. If theres any chance to doubt, they will. But when you get your foot in the door, KICK THAT DOOR DOWN

“And then bring others up with you.”

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