Former NBA player Jeremy Lin made his Kaohsiung 17Live Steelers debut with an outstanding performance that helped his new team break its four-game losing streak.
Lin, 34, debuted in Taiwanese men’s professional basketball league P. League+ at the Fengshan Stadium in Kaohsiung, Taiwan, to a sold-out crowd on Sunday.
The Taiwanese American athlete played with his new team against the Formosa Taishin Dreamers and won 95-80. Lin scored 21 points and also made a league record-tying 13 assists in 41 minutes.
During the last minute of the fourth quarter of the Sunday game, many of the 5,000 spectators reportedly chanted “MVP.”
Recalling the memorable moment, Lin told Focus Taiwan, “I’ve never heard such an MVP chant before, not particularly in the NBA. I’m really moved to see you make this game so high and so fun, so I’m really very emotional.”
About 110,000 fans
also flocked online to watch Lin’s debut, breaking the league’s online record of 63,000 viewers.
Since joining the Steelers, Lin has helped to change his team’s rhythm, according to their coach Cheng Chih-lung.
“His presence on the court improves the ball movement as well as player movement,” Cheng said of Lin. “The team’s rhythm has completely changed, which opened everyone’s eyes.”
During the Sunday game, Lin was seen explaining specific tactics to his teammates in English.
Following the recent match, Lin shared that he and the Steelers will continue to improve their teamwork on the court.
“This is just our first game, so I would say it’s [the teamwork] probably four or five out of 10, but that is already great for any first game,” he said. “We would keep in contact, keep watching the videos, and keep going as hard as we can to represent Kaohsiung.”
The Steelers are expected to play against the Dreamers again on Saturday, followed by the Hsinchu JKO Lioneers on Feb. 25. On Feb. 28, Lin will play against the New Taipei Kings, a P. League+ team that includes Lin’s younger brother, Joseph.