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Jeremy Lin Wants to Play Basketball in Asia in Effort to Continue Making Impact

Jenna CiccotelliAnalyst IIIApril 21, 2021

FILE - In this March 28, 2019, file photo, Toronto Raptors' Jeremy Lin stands on the court during the second half of the team's NBA basketball game against the New York Knicks in New York. Golden State Warriors coach Steve Kerr will support G League guard Lin and is hopeful of an investigation into what discriminatory act caused Lin to speak out about racism facing Asian Americans. In a heartfelt social media post, Lin didn't go into specifics about what happened except to reference he had been called “coronavirus” on the court. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II, File)
Frank Franklin II/Associated Press

Jeremy Lin's quest to return to the NBA didn't go as planned, but the former star has a plan for his next steps.

Speaking to reporters on Wednesday, Lin said he wants to return to Asia rather than pursue a professional career in Europe.

"My impact in Asia is something that I feel like I need to continue to work towards," he said, per Diamond Leung of The Athletic. 

Lin played for the Santa Cruz Warriors in the G League, where he averaged 19.8 points per game through nine appearances, ranking seventh in the league in scoring. But the 32-year-old, who rose to NBA fame as a member of the New York Knicks in 2011-12, was the only player of the league's top 11 scorers to go unsigned. 

There's still time for the nine-year NBA veteran, who starred with the Beijing Ducks in the Chinese Basketball Association last year. His last NBA appearances came with the Toronto Raptors en route to a title in 2019. 

The free agent, a California native of Taiwanese descent, recently spoke out against a rise in racism and violence against Asian Americans.

"I want better for my elders who worked so hard and sacrificed so much to make a life for themselves here. I want better for my niece and nephew and future kids. I want better for the next generation of Asian American athletes than to have to work so hard to just be 'deceptively athletic,'" he wrote on Facebook

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The G League also launched an investigation after Lin said he was called "coronavirus" during a game this season. 

Stop AAPI Hate, a nonprofit that tracks and responds to hate, violence, bullying, discrimination and harassment against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in the United States, said in February that it had received 3,795 reports of anti-Asian hate incidents from people in all 50 states and the District of Columbia between March 19, 2020, and February 28, 2021.

Lin can still return to the NBA this year as long as he is signed by a team prior to the end of the regular season.