Back in 2012 Chinese basketball fans succumbed to a bout of “Linsanity” (see WiC139). The reason was Jeremy Lin, the Chinese-American basketballer of Taiwanese heritage, who soared to superstar status after leading the New York Knicks to seven straight wins as point guard.
In retrospect the season would prove the high-point of Lin’s career and he has been without a team since leaving the Toronto Raptors earlier this year.
However, the Beijing Youth Daily now reports that the free agent may be about to end his playing days in China. The newspaper reckons Lin has been offered $3 million a year to join the Beijing Shougang Ducks. Lin has not confirmed the news but told media last week “I’ve always known my journey in some ways would end in China.”
Lin wouldn’t be the first former Knicks player to don a Ducks vest. Stephon Marbury played for the team between 2011 and 2017, winning two CBA titles.
In further sports news, China’s national football team made history this week when it called up its first player of non-Chinese heritage. Brazilian-born Elkeson – a star forward with top Chinese Super League club Guangzhou Evergrande – has been selected for the squad to play in the World Cup qualifier against the Maldives. Elkeson has been resident in China for five years making him eligible under FIFA rules to play for the national side. The move to select him looks to have been pushed by China’s coach, Marcello Lippi, a former manager of Guangzhou Evergrande.