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It’s hard to believe that it’s been eight years since “Linsanity” swept the nation. For about two months in 2012, Jeremy Lin was one of the most popular NBA players on the planet as he improbably turned around a disastrous New York Knicks team and led them to the playoffs, although he was forced to miss the postseason due to injury.

While Lin was never able to duplicate his success in the Big Apple, he enjoyed a solid NBA career and made history last year by becoming the first Asian American to win an NBA championship. With no NBA offers on the table ahead of this season, Lin chose to take his talents to China, where he had a very good year with the Beijing Ducks.

However, Lin took a beating throughout the year and is now calling for changes after being hospitalized following the Ducks’ final game of the season this past weekend.

Jeremy Lin became a massive star in 2012 with ‘Linsanity’

Undrafted out of Harvard in 2010, Jeremy Lin signed a two-year deal with the Golden State Warriors but spent the majority of the 2010-2011 season in the D-League. He was waived ahead of the lockout-shortened 2011-2012 season but was picked up by the Houston Rockets. Lin played in just two preseason games for Houston before being released but was then signed by the Knicks as the third-string point guard.

The Knicks struggled early and often once the season got rolling and Lin wasn’t seeing much playing time and headed back to the D-League. Following a game for the Erie BayHawks in which he messed around and got a triple-double, he was recalled by New York and finally given the chance to play when the Knicks were being blown out by the rival Boston Celtics. One night later, “Linsanity” was born when Jeremy Lin scored 25 points, dished out seven assists, and grabbed five rebounds in 36 minutes in a victory over the Nets.

Things exploded from there. Jeremy Lin became a full-fledged star as he led the Knicks to seven straight wins, including a victory over Kobe Bryant and the LA Lakers in which Lin scored 38 points, a game that just happened to air on ESPN. Lin averaged 24.4 points and 9.1 assists in that seven-game stretch and became a worldwide phenomenon. The Knicks went on to make the playoffs but Lin was unable to participate as he went down with a knee injury.

He was the first Asian American to win an NBA title

Following the “Linsanity” run in New York, Jeremy Lin capitalized and signed a big-money deal with the Houston Rockets. He started all 82 games in his first year with Houston but was replaced in the starting lineup the following year by Patrick Beverley and, for the most part, came off the bench for the rest of his career.

After two years in Houston, Lin was traded to the Lakers and spent one year in LA before signing with Michael Jordan’s Charlotte Hornets. He then played two seasons with the Brooklyn Nets and then split the 2018-2019 season between the Atlanta Hawks and Toronto Raptors. Lin played 23 regular-season games for Toronto and then suited up for the postseason, although he didn’t see much playing time. But it was enough to earn him a ring as he became the first Asian American to win an NBA title.

Jeremy Lin was hospitalized following the final game of his first season in China and is begging for rule changes

Jeremy Lin
Jeremy Lin | VCG/VCG via Getty Images

Michael Jordan Almost Signed with the New York Knicks in 1996

With no NBA offers and feeling the league had given up on him, Jeremy Lin signed with the Beijing Ducks of the Chinese Basketball Association, the same team which revived Stephon Marbury’s career, and had a phenomenal season, averaging 22.3 points, 5.7 rebounds, and 5.6 assists. He scored a game-high 41 points in the All-Star Game, leading his South squad to a one-point victory, and helped the Ducks to a 32-14 record.

Lin’s first season in China just ended this past weekend when the Ducks were eliminated from the postseason by the top-seeded Guangdong Southern Tigers, who went 44-2 in the regular season. The Tigers edged out the Ducks, 88-85, this past Saturday in the final game of a three-game series as Lin, who scored 17 points in the loss, missed a three-pointer to tie at the buzzer. But the game wasn’t the only thing Jeremy Lin lost that night.

Following the game, Lin had to be hospitalized for an array of injuries. In addition to pain in his neck, knees, and ankles, he also lost his hearing for a short time. The CBA is a very physical league and Lin was one of the most fouled players throughout the season and it’s taken a toll on his body. Speaking with the Chinese media on Monday, Lin called for changes and said that he’d need a second hospital trip for his hearing (h/t Yahoo Sports).

“My condition isn’t very good because, as we all know, the competition is fierce for both teams. We basically play the game and hit people at the same time.

“I can understand if you hit and hurt your opponent by mistake, but (it is unacceptable) if you do it on purpose or the referee doesn’t protect the players. We want to be safe on the court, that’s all I can say. I’ll leave the rest for you guys to discuss.” 

Jeremy Lin

Beijing coach Xie Libin says that part of Lin’s injury issues are due to his age and the fact that he played in the NBA for so many years. But Jeremy Lin is still just 31 years old. Yes, injuries are going to happen in sports. That’s the nature of the business. But losing one’s hearing is an entirely different animal when shots to the head aren’t a normal part of basketball. It will be interesting to see if Jeremy Lin returns to the CBA next season if no changes are made.