Jeremy Lin says he believes his race played a part in his falling out of the NBA

jeremy lin says he believes his race played a part in his falling out of the nba

Jeremy Lin says he believes his race played a part in his falling out of the NBA

  • Jeremy Lin told Insider that he feels race played a part in his falling out of the NBA.
  • Lin went unsigned as a free agent in 2019 and has since played in China and the G League but hasn’t gotten an NBA contract.

Jeremy Lin’s NBA career ended so abruptly that he can’t help but question the reasons behind it.

Lin last played during the 2018-19 season with the Toronto Raptors. After being waived by the Atlanta Hawks midseason, Lin was picked up by the Raptors. He struggled on the court and was out of the rotation for much of the Raptors’ playoff run, which ended with a championship over the Golden State Warriors.

Lin became a free agent that off-season and went unsigned. During an event in Taiwan that summer, Lin tearfully said it felt like the NBA had moved on from him.

Four years later, Lin is still uncomfortable with how things played out, saying he believes race “has a role to play” in no longer being in the NBA.

“I had this 12-game stretch, where I didn’t play that well, and that was it,” Lin told Insider. “So you gotta think for me, after playing nine years in the league, I would expect like, okay, I have a reputation, people know what I can do. But I was pretty surprised at just how fast people were like, ‘Okay, he’s done.'”

Lin, who is Taiwanese-American, said he was “begging” teams for non-guaranteed, training camp contracts but couldn’t secure one.

jeremy lin says he believes his race played a part in his falling out of the nba

Lin played in China in 2019-20, but returned to the US to play for the Santa Cruz Warriors, the Warriors’ G League team. There, Lin’s play stood out but still didn’t result in an NBA contract.

“I went to the G league and was top-10 in everything — [No. 1] in shooting efficiency, top-10 is scoring and assists, and that still wasn’t enough,” Lin said.

In nine games in the G League, Lin averaged 19.8 points on 50.5% shooting, 42.6% from three, to go with 3.2 rebounds and 6.4 assists per game. He ranked seventh among guards in scoring and sixth in field goal percentage among guards who took over 100 attempts.

“When I add all of that up, I would say race has a role to play in that,” Lin told Insider. “I just don’t know how big. But, you know, my gut is that race definitely has a role to play.”

Lin, now 34, spoke to Insider while promoting “38 at the Garden,” the HBO documentary short about “Linsanity” in 2012.

The film devotes significant time to the Asian-American experience, including Lin’s treatment in the sports world.

“It’s this constant overwhelming sense of doubt from the outside,” Lin says in the documentary.

Speaking to Insider, Lin said he always felt he had to prove himself more quickly than his peers.

“I’ve always said as somebody who doesn’t look the part, people are always slower to believe and then quicker to doubt or count you out,” Lin said.

“Growing up, it was always like, when I got on the court — if I could even get on the court — it was like, I would have to make a name for myself right away to get that respect or to be able to stay on the court. And so there was always this … ‘I’m going 100% full throttle.’ And that’s just how I had to play, and that’s how I’ve had to live my life.”

jeremy lin says he believes his race played a part in his falling out of the nba

In “38 at the Garden,” Lin says a New York Knicks assistant coach made a questionable comment about why Lin was out of the team’s rotation in 2012.

“He was like, ‘Hey, Jeremy, can I talk to you? Do you know why you never play? Because you play basketball like a Japanese cartoon character. You play like you’re in a video game.’

“I’m like, What does that even mean?”

Lin was even subjected to racism at the height of his Linsanity run. After losing for the first time as the Knicks starting point guard, ESPN ran a headline that read “A chink in the armor” with a photo of Lin. The writer of the headline was fired, though he later apologized and said he didn’t intend to make a racist pun.

Lin recently signed with the Guangzhou Loong Lions of the Chinese Basketball Association for the 2022-23 season. It’s his second-straight year playing in China.

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