Veteran guard Jeremy Lin published an Instagram post on Tuesday evening expressing disappointment that he was unable to earn a call-up to the NBA following a successful stint in the G League earlier this season.
Lin, who last played in the NBA in 2019 with the Raptors, decided to play in the G League rather than spending another year in China, since he believed the NBAGL represented his best shot at getting back to the NBA — especially given the restrictions on international travel and scouting in place during the coronavirus pandemic.
The 32-year-old averaged 19.8 PPG on .505/.426/.879 shooting in nine G League contests for the Santa Cruz Warriors. While his age worked against him, it’s worth noting Lin was the only player among the NBAGL’s top 14 scorers who didn’t spend any time with an NBA team during the 2020/21 season. Twelve of those players finished the season on an NBA roster, while one (Henry Ellenson) received a 10-day deal in March.
“For months, I saw others get contracts, chances, opportunities,” Lin wrote on Instagram. “I told myself I just need ONE ten-day contract, one chance to get back on the floor and I would blow it out the water. After all that’s how my entire career started – off one chance to prove myself. For reasons I’ll never fully know, that chance never materialized. But I proved I’m better than ever and an NBA player.”
Although Lin’s post isn’t a retirement announcement, it reads as something of a farewell to the NBA, as Kurt Helin of NBC Sports observes. Lin referred to having taken a year to “chase a dream” and called May 16 the “final deadline” for an NBA call-up. He also addressed the next generation of Asian-American NBA hopefuls, telling them, “You guys got next.”
Those comments don’t mean Lin is giving up on the NBA in future seasons. However, they suggest that when he resumes his career, he may be more inclined to consider other options, including possibly a return to China, where he could play a starring role.
“I didn’t get it done, but I have no regrets,” Lin wrote. “I gave my ALL and hold my head high. As for what’s next, I trust what God has in store for me.”