- Jeremy Lin told Insider that he feels race played a role in his exit from the NBA.
- Lin did not sign as a free agent in 2019 and has since played in China and the Ji League but has yet to get an NBA contract.
- As an Asian American in sports, Lane said, people were quicker to suspect him and dismiss him.
Jeremy Lin’s NBA career ended so abruptly that he can’t help but wonder about the reasons behind it.
Lane last played during the 2018-19 season with the Toronto Raptors. After the Atlanta Hawks ceded him mid-season, Lane was picked up by the Raptors. He struggled on the field and was off duty for most of the Raptors playoff tour, which ended with a championship over the Golden State Warriors.
Lane became a free agent in the off-season and did not sign. During an event in Taiwan that summer, Lin said in tears that he felt the NBA had moved away from him.
Four years later, Lynn still isn’t comfortable with how things are going, saying he believes race “has a role to play” in not being in the NBA.
“I had this 12-game run where I didn’t play well, and that was the case,” Lynn told Insider. “So you have to think to me, after playing for nine years in the league, I was expecting, ‘Okay, I have a reputation, people know what I can do. But I was really surprised at how fast people were, ‘OK, he did.'”
Lin, a Taiwanese-American, said he was “begging” teams for unsecured training contracts, but he couldn’t secure them.
Lin played in China in 2019-20, but returned to the United States to play for the Santa Cruz Warriors, Warriors’ G League team. There, Lynn’s play popped up but did not result in an NBA contract.
“I went to G league and was a top 10 player in everything – [No. 1] In shooting efficiency, the top 10 players score and assist, and that’s still not enough,” Lin said.
In nine games in the G League, Lin averaged 19.8 points on 50.5% shots, 42.6% from three, to go with 3.2 rebounds and 6.4 assists per game. And he ranked seventh among the guards in scoring and sixth in the percentage of field goals among the guards who made more than 100 attempts.
“When I add it all up, I’d say race has a role to play in that,” Lynn told Insider. “I just don’t know how big it is. But, you know, my hunch is that race definitely has a role to play.”
Lin, 34, spoke to Insider while promoting the HBO short “38 at the Garden” documentary “Linsanity” in 2012.
The film devotes significant time to the Asian American experience, including Lynn’s treatment of the sports world.
“It’s this overwhelming feeling of constant suspicion on the outside,” Lynn 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 that as someone whose turn it doesn’t look like, people are always slower to believe them, and then quick to suspect or dismiss you,” Lynn said.
“Growing up, it was always like, when I got on the field – if I could get on the field – it was like, I had to make a name for myself right away to get that respect or to be able to stay on the field. And so there was always this. “I’m going to go to the throttle at 100%.” And that’s how I had to play, and that’s how I had to live my life.”
In “38 at the Garden,” Lynn says the New York Knicks assistant coach made a questionable comment about why Lynn was out of the team 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 as if you were in a video game. “
“I’m like, What even mean this?“
Lin was even exposed to racism at the height of his Linsanity career. After losing for the first time as the Knicks’ starting point guard, ESPN published a headline that read “Hole in the Shield” with Lynn’s photo. The title writer was fired, although he later apologized and said he had no intention of committing racial manipulation.
Lin recently signed with the Guangzhou Loong Lions of the Chinese Basketball Association for the 2022-23 season. It is his second year in a row that he has played in China.