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Lin pondering possible career relaunch with Ducks

China Daily | Updated: 2019-08-20 08:58
Jeremy Lin shares a light moment with fans during a commercial activity in Beijing on Sunday. Lin is reportedly set to sign a contract with the CBA's Beijing Ducks. Photo provided to China Daily

Feeling abandoned by the NBA, free agent Chinese-American guard Jeremy Lin is reportedly pursuing a contract with the Beijing Ducks to play in the Chinese Basketball Association.

With no interest shown from NBA teams since becoming a free agent, Lin, a member of last season's Toronto Raptors championship squad, is reportedly close to signing a contract with the three-time CBA champion Ducks.

The Ducks have made substantial progress in negotiations with Lin's representatives, but the two sides are not yet ready to finalize a deal, according to a Sunday report in Beijing Youth Daily.

In response to speculation on online streaming platform China Sports zhibo.tv, the agency representing Lin said he hasn't agreed to terms with any team.

Though he was born in the US, Lin has family ties to China and is very popular with Chinese fans. During a visit to Shanghai last month he said that playing in the CBA would rate second only to a return to the NBA in terms of career fulfillment.

The man who inspired the 'Linsanity' craze in 2012 for his breakout performances off the bench with the New York Knicks, played for eight teams in nine years after entering the NBA undrafted in 2010.

During a recent speech in front of fans in Chinese Taipei, Lin wept openly, unwilling to accept that a return to the NBA is unlikely.

"In English, there's a saying: 'Once you've hit rock bottom, the only way is up.' But rock bottom just seems to keep getting more and more rock bottom for me," he said.

"Free agency has been a little tough, because I feel like in some ways the NBA has kind of given up on me."

After recovering from a serious right knee injury prior to the 2017-18 season, Lin had just four starts in 74 appearances for Atlanta and Toronto in 2018-19, averaging 9.6 points, 3.1 assists and 2.4 rebounds in 19.4 minutes per game while shooting 44 percent from the field and 29.4 percent from 3-point territory.

He played in only one game, for all of 51 seconds, during the Raptors' six-game Finals victory over the Golden State Warriors.

Prior to fielding offers from the CBA, Lin's representatives turned down interest from CSKA Moscow to play in Europe.

The Harvard graduate, who speaks fluent Mandarin, is currently on a month-long tour of China that has seen him host junior clinics, play a charity game and sign an endorsement deal with Fujian-based sneaker brand Xtep.

An aggressive playmaker, Lin is considered a perfect fit for any CBA squad, and his large fanbase in the country would benefit both his team and himself in terms of ticket sales and marketing.

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