Jeremy Lin on NBA Comeback Bid: 'I Truly Believe That I'm an NBA Player'

Blake SchusterContributor IJanuary 17, 2021

STR

Jeremy Lin defied the odds once to reach NBA stardom. At age 32, he believes he can do it again.

The guard reportedly turned down millions in China to attempt a comeback in North America that begins Tuesday with preparations for joining the G League's bubble in Florida. Playing for the Santa Cruz Warriors—the Golden State Warriors' affiliate—Lin will look to show the league he's still a force on the court.

"I truly believe that I'm an NBA player, but I'm not in it for the money, the clout, the fame or any of that," Lin told Connor Letourneau of the San Francisco Chronicle. "I want to be able to make a difference. I want to bring glory to God through basketball."

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Lin last played in the NBA with the Atlanta Hawks and Toronto Raptors in 2018-19, averaging 9.6 points, 3.1 assists and 2.4 rebounds in 19.4 minutes per game. 

The following year he played in the Chinese Basketball Association as a member of the Beijing Ducks. While his stardom in the United States may have declined, he was as popular as ever in Beijing.

"In China, I had so much fan support and so many amazing things going on," Lin said. "To surrender all of that and to come here, honestly, some people think I'm crazy."

Golden State tried to sign Lin ahead of the season with the intent to release him and assign him to Santa Cruz. That didn't happen because the Warriors failed to receive a letter of clearance from FIBA before the deadline. That led to a rule change by the NBA to allow veteran players easier access to the G League, giving Lin another opportunity to come back to the States.

Now the Harvard alum is back with the franchise that first gave him a chance to make it in professional basketball. Lin signed with Golden State as an undrafted free agent in 2010—only a year before "Linsanity" took over New York.

Back where he started, Lin is ready to rise again.