After one season in the Chinese Basketball Association (CBA), Jeremy Lin is seeking a return to the NBA.
In an emotional video on Tuesday, Lin announced his decision to leave the Beijing Ducks, which managed to reach the semi-finals but lost to the Guangdong Southern Tigers.
The 32-year-old guard previously complained about the rough-house treatment he receives in the CBA.
However, he revealed in the video that he simply still has NBA dreams.
“Every morning I would wake up at 4:00 am or 5:00 am, thinking, thinking and thinking all the time. In the end, although Shougang (the Ducks) has treated me incredibly well… giving me everything I wanted, in the end, I feel that I still have NBA dreams. I still have time to play (there) and I have to chase this.”
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Lin, as part of the Toronto Raptors, became the first Asian American player to win an NBA championship in 2019.
But when no team decided to sign him last summer, Lin felt that the league had “given up” on him, prompting his decision to take a chance in China and sign a contract with the Beijing Ducks.
“In English, there is a saying that says, ‘Once you hit rock bottom, the only way is up.’ But rock bottom seems to keep getting more and more rock bottom for me. So free agency has been tough. Because I feel like in some ways, the NBA has kind of given up on me. And I always knew that if I gave anybody a reason to doubt, they would,” Lin told a church congregation in New Taipei City.
In his CBA debut last October, Lin scored 40 points for the Ducks, proving that he still belongs in the NBA, according to CBS Sports. He averaged 22.3 points, 5.7 rebounds and 5.6 assists per game in the regular season.
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First CBA game, first real game in front of Chinese fans, first win!! Tbh dealt with some pregame anxiety that I hadnt 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. My hearts truly full right now. S/o all the Beijing fans who made our away game feel like a home game. And i just had to post the last photo of the cutest kid who got my game worn @xtepofficial kicks! Cant wait to gift more out after every game #Godspath #lovemyfans #ignoremybloodyknee
Lin also announced his decision to leave the CBA in a new Instagram post. He explained how fear got the best of him and how his faith helped him find a new direction.
“I signed in the CBA, it took a whole season, but God really came through for me. He taught me how to play to win again vs playing to not lose,” Lin wrote. “To know the shots going in vs hoping its going in. To dream big again vs. thinking everything’s a setup for disappointment. To be a killer on the court with the talent He gave me 100% for His glory.”
The basketball star shared that he had agonized for weeks over the decision. He also confessed to being in tears as he opened up about his struggle with his family.
“This isn’t about chasing the shadow of Linsanity. Or proving anyone right or wrong. Or about money, fame, reputation or power. It’s about God’s glory and kingdom. It’s about goin’ right at all my past traumas and fears, instead of being forever crippled by them. It’s ultimately about when I see God face-to-face that I could say through HIS strength, I lived with big big faith,” he added.
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This is gonna be my realest caption ever lol We love to tell kids to dream big but we don’t often talk about the fears they might face. Truth is, fear is a BEAST. It snuck up on me. Through all my career failures, setbacks and injuries. Through the pain of being traded, cut and having no offers. Through the depths of global embarassment, unmet expectations and crushed dreams. Through it all, I found myself a year ago battered – carrying so much emotional baggage. I signed in the CBA, it took a whole season, but God really came through for me. He taught me how to play to win again vs playing to not lose. To know the shots going in vs hoping its going in. To dream big again vs thinking everythings a setup for disappointment. To be a killer on the court with the talent He gave me 100% for His glory. This isn’t about chasing the shadow of Linsanity. Or proving anyone right or wrong. Or about money, fame, reputation or power. It’s about God’s glory and kingdom. It’s about goin right at all my past traumas and fears, instead of being forever crippled by them. It’s ultimately about when I see God face-to-face that I could say through HIS strength, I lived with big big faith. I couldn’t sleep right for 3 weeks with this decision weighing over me. I was brought to tears trying to verbalize the struggle to my family. I analyzed facts, but the reality is that faith ultimately comes down to taking a step towards what you can’t see yet. Despite being beyond grateful with sooo much that the CBA, China, and all my Asia fans gave me this past season, today I decided to not return to the Beijing Ducks next season. Instead I will be waiting for free agency and preparing myself for the NBA — and continuing my greatest dream. And maybe the result is a footnote, and this decision today was the true test. New chapter, new mindset, new me. Work smarter, aim higher, reach further. And smile along the way! 2 Timothy 1:7 #FaithOverFear
Fans commented under Lin’s announcement:
“So happy for you Jeremy! Keep chasing your dreams and know you’re being supported and prayed over by so many.”
“All decisions you made turned out to be the best. No matter where you are, you fans will always be with you! Congrats on the release and final decision. Hopefully we can see you soon on the NBA court!”
“This is amazing! Thanks for pouring out your heart, showing God’s power, following His will and choosing faith over comfort! No matter the league, we’re with you 100% and praying for the ways He’ll use you for His glory!”
Feature Image Screenshots via Jeremy Lin / Weibo