Tianjin on a Sunday night must feel like a far cry from the NBA Finals in Toronto, but this was what Jeremy Lin signed up for when he made the switch to the CBA this summer — and in his debut game for Beijing Shougang he at least got more than a minute on the court.
Lin scored 25 points in his 35 minutes of play as he helped guide Shougang (also known as the Ducks) to a 103-81 win over Tianjin Pioneers in the first round of the new Chinese Basketball Association season. His points tally was the highest of any player in the game, while he also made 9 assists and 6 rebounds.
The game was tight until the third quarter, when Shougang pulled away from the hosts. Beijing go again on Wednesday when Lin will likely make his home debut against Shandong.
“I’ve Always Known My Journey Would End in China”: Jeremy Lin’s Off-Season Grind Benefits Chinese Youth
Lin was reportedly offered 3 million USD to join Beijing, a move he confirmed after failing to pick up meaningful offers from the NBA. Beijing Shougang won three CBA titles in four years between 2012 and 2015, but last season failed to make the competition’s semi-finals after finishing fifth in the overall standings.
As Lin told RADII in an exclusive interview before his move as announced, he feels a strong affinity with the country and there has even been talk of him taking on Chinese citizenship. At the same time, he seems keen to use a stint in the CBA as a springboard back to the NBA. That may seem a difficult goal to achieve, but a few more dominating performances like that against Tianjin and perhaps it’ll start to seem a little more likely.
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