Seven years after “Linsanity” took over the N.B.A., and months after he became the first Asian-American player to win a championship ring, Jeremy Lin has signed with the Beijing Shougang Ducks of the Chinese Basketball Association, the team announced on Tuesday.
There was a chilly N.B.A. free agency market for Lin, 31, who split last season between the Atlanta Hawks and Toronto Raptors. He played only 27 minutes for the Raptors in the playoffs, including just one mop-up minute in the finals.
But to his legions of fans, he always meant more than his on-court numbers. He is one of the few players of Asian-American descent to make it to the N.B.A., and the first to become an international phenomenon, in 2012, when he went on a stunning run for the New York Knicks. Once overlooked by scouts, he has earned more than $65 million in his career.JLin has always been about more than just basketball. Years from now, I'm sure we'll hear even more about the difficulties he faced in being one of the first Asian-Americans in the modern era to play in the NBA.
In the meantime, we'll continue to follow his career in China. And, who knows, there may be another opportunity in the NBA before he hangs up his shoes and calls it a career.