Jeremy Lin led the Beijing Ducks to a smooth victory over the Tianjin Pioneers (103-81) in his Chinese Basketball Association (CBA) debut on Sunday night.
The 31-year-old, who was also named the game’s MVP, scored the highest with 25 points, nine assists and six rebounds in his 35 minutes of play, which also earned him a bloody knee.
Tianjin set a 32-24 lead in the second quarter before “Linsanity” took over with 14 points in the third, helping to build a 78-64 lead before Beijing opened the fourth with a 12-2 run, Xinhua
Other notable Beijing players include Zhu Yanxi, who contributed 19 points, nine rebounds and two steals, as well as Fang Shuo, who netted 18 points, two rebounds, two steals, and three assists.
“First CBA game, first real game in front of Chinese fans, first win!” Lin wrote in an Instagram post. “TBH dealt with some pregame anxiety that I hadn’t felt in years, but just very grateful to God for meeting me where I was at, for my health to play the game and for the opportunity to live out my dream job as a hooper.”
Lin was reportedly offered $3 million
to join Beijing, which won three CBA titles between 2012 and 2015 but failed to make the semifinals last season after finishing fifth in the overall standings, according to RADII
In an interview
with the outlet, the Taiwanese American player expressed a strong affinity for his mother’s home city of Pinghu in Zhejiang province, saying “When I go there, I feel the most at home.”
Lin also said that he is “always thinking about” naturalizing to Chinese citizenship. However, it was noted that he did not sing the Chinese national anthem, “March of the Volunteers,” before the game on Sunday.
It’s unclear whether Lin plans to retire with the CBA or hopes to use it as a springboard back to the NBA. He told reporters, “I am really glad to have this opportunity to play in CBA, I am so satisfied right now.”
Lin returns to the home court on Wednesday as Beijing faces the Shandong Heroes at the Cadillac Arena.
Featured Images via Instagram / @jlin7