NBA free agent Jeremy Lin says ‘I always knew my journey would end in China’ as speculation over move grows
- NBA champion and former Toronto Raptors star wants to bring to China ‘the experiences I had in America in that immigrant life’
- ‘All anybody ever wanted to talk about was, ‘Oh, that’s a Chinese basketball player’ – I was never ‘an American basketball player’ growing up”
NBA free agent Jeremy Lin has indicated that he could be on his way to China as speculation over his future grows.
“I’ve always known that my journey in some ways would end in China,” the Toronto Raptors guard told website Radii on a recent visit to Shanghai. Lin said that he always knew he “would come back here and take the experiences that I had growing up in America”.
The NBA champion spoke at length about his desire to “help as many kids as I can in China” in the interview on the Shanghai leg of his annual Asia tour.
“The NBA training and the concept of a student athlete, a lot of these different things that I’ve learned through my childhood and my NBA experiences – I want to be able to help as many kids as I can in China.”
Lin also said that despite his focus on helping the next generation of athletes, he is far from done with his own career.
“I’m very, very motivated to continue to try to get better, and to continue to try to come back from my injuries, and to continue to show who I can be on the court,” he said.
The 30-year-old is yet to sign for a new NBA team during his latest period of free agency and has been linked with a move overseas. The latest reports have suggested that several teams in the Chinese Basketball Association have been in contact about him playing in China next.
“My grandparents are from here, and all my ancestors are from here, and I speak the language fluently. When I was growing up in the US playing basketball, all anybody ever wanted to talk about was, ‘Oh, that dude’s Chinese. That’s a Chinese basketball player’. It was never ‘a basketball player’ growing up. I was never ‘an American basketball player’.”
By the end of this summer’s Asia tour, Lin will have spent seven weeks on the road at basketball camps, interviews, and endorsement appearances as part of his growing charitable and commercial interests in China and Taiwan.
“So for me, I’ve always known that my journey in some ways would end in China, that I would come back here and take the experiences that I had growing up in America in that immigrant life that I was able to experience.
“And I would bring the things that I can – for example, the NBA training and the concept of a student athlete, a lot of these different things that I’ve learned through my childhood and my NBA experiences. I want to be able to help as many kids as I can in China.”
Lin also spoke of his feelings on returning for a third time to his family’s ancestral home in Pinghu, Zhejiang province, and how it is one of the few places he feels at home. Where he finds himself calling home next has been the source of much speculation with recent reports confirming he has been in talks with CBA teams.
“My thing has always been that I’m trying to be the player that I know I can be,” Lin said. “And I haven’t achieved that yet. And so, I understand that realistically the time is ticking, but I also believe God has a perfect plan and that things will happen in the right timing.
“So I’m just going to continue to work, continue to enjoy each day, and whatever challenge I have in front of me next, like for next season, that’s what I’m going to go all out for. I’m an all-in type of guy. And I’ve always had that same dream: I want to be that player that I know I can be.”