New Taipei Kings have basketball royalty on the roster for the upcoming EASL and P. LEAGUE+ seasons, after former NBA star Jeremy Lin announced he will join the team.
Lin will join his brother Joseph, who performed admirably with the Kings last season, averaging 13 points, 5 assists and 3.6 rebounds in 46 games.
“This is a dream come true,” Jeremy posted on his Instagram on September 14. “A dream [Joseph] and I have dreamt about our whole lives. To be able to share the court together as teammates. Thank you to the Kings for believing in me.”
From NBA to Asia
Jeremy Lin made a name for himself with the New York Knicks back in 2012. After nearly getting cut by the team, with injuries mounting at the Knicks, Lin found his way to the starting lineup and helped tip off a seven-game winning streak. In the 25 games Lin started for the Knicks, the then-23-year-old averaged 18.2 points and 7.7 assists per game.
The performance led to the cultural phenomenon “Linsanity” and Lin would find himself featured on the covers of Sports Illustrated and Time Magazine. By the end of the year, he was named to the Time 100 as one of the most influential people in the world.
Stints followed at the Houston Rockets, Los Angeles Lakers, Charlotte Hornets, Brooklyn Nets and Toronto Raptors, including an NBA championship win at the latter. Lin took his talents to the Chinese Basketball Association (CBA) in 2020, suiting up for the Beijing Ducks and Guangzhou Loong Lions until December 2022.
Finding “meaningful basketball”
Lin set his sights on Chinese Taipei and signed with the Kaohsiung 17LIVE Steelers in February.
The 35-year-old guard was spectacular in his debut season in the P. LEAGUE+, averaging 26.9 points, 8.9 assists and 8.5 rebounds in 19 games last season. He also won P. LEAGUE+ Player of the Month for three consecutive months from March to May, while taking home nine P. LEAGUE+ Player of the Week awards.
In April, Lin recorded a 50-point triple-double against the Kings.
When the Steelers signed Jeremy in February, the team had just two wins in 19 games, and were languishing at the bottom of the league. With Lin onboard, the team went 14-5 in the games he played, narrowly missing the playoffs.
In a farewell message to Steelers fans, he said, “To [Steelers], thank you for giving me some of my best times and memories as a basketball player. I will forever cherish the short, but amazing, time we had together. I hope that through last season, I’ve impacted you all as you have impacted me. There will forever be love for the Steelers in my heart.”
Asian hoops fans will be looking forward catching the Lin brothers in action in the EASL 2023-24 Season. Placed in Group B, the New Taipei Kings will be up against 2023 KBL runners-up Seoul SK Knights, 2023 B.LEAGUE champions Ryukyu Golden Kings, and 2023 PBA Governors’ Cup semifinalists Meralco Bolts.
Jeremy’s move to the New Taipei Kings tipped off a flurry of social media activity. Here are some of the highlights.