Jeremy Lin on NBA Comeback: 'I Believe It's Going to Happen ... I Know I Belong'

Jenna CiccotelliAnalyst IIMarch 16, 2021

Former Toronto Raptors' Jeremy Lin, currently a free agent, speaks to young Taiwanese players during a basketball clinic in Taipei, Taiwan, Saturday, July 27, 2019. Lin is in Taiwan to attend a charity event and basketball clinics for young athletes. (AP Photo/Chiang Ying-ying)
Chiang Ying-ying/Associated Press

Jeremy Lin is remaining steadfast in his pursuit of a return to the NBA.

"I've done what I needed to do," he told the New York Times' Marc Stein. "I took on the challenge. I went to the G League when some people thought it was crazy for me to go. I think it's just a matter of time, and I believe it's going to happen. We'll see. I know I belong." 

The 32-year-old, who rocked the NBA in a 2011-12 season that spread "Linsanity" through the league, came back to the United States from the Chinese Basketball Association for the 2020-21 campaign in an effort to return to the Association. 

He just finished up the G League season, averaging 19.8 points per game on 50.5 percent shooting through six games for the Santa Cruz Warriors, with his on-court appearances hindered by a back injury, per Stein. Now, Lin awaits his fate, having become a free agent upon the conclusion of the G League season. 

He explained his decision to head to the G League to Stein, noting that teams wanted to see him play "in an NBA system" before making a decision to sign him. 

"I know I'm an NBA player," he said. "I know I'm a better shooter. I know I'm a better defender. I know I'm more well-rounded as a basketball player. I know these things, but I just needed a chance to show it." 

Lin split time between two teams in his last NBA season, making 51 appearances for the Atlanta Hawks before joining the Toronto Raptors for 23 games in their 2018-19 championship season. He then departed for China, and while he said he "had so much fan support," he wanted to return stateside again. 

With the Beijing Ducks, he posted 22.3 points, 5.7 rebounds, 5.6 assists and 1.8 steals in 39 appearances.

"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 in January. "I want to be able to make a difference. I want to bring glory to God through basketball."