NBA

Jeremy Lin Makes a Solid NBA Return (Sort of) on the Anniversary of the Day He Lit up Kobe Bryant at the Peak of ‘Linsanity’

For the first time since winning a championship with the Toronto Raptors back in the summer of 2019, Jeremy Lin was back on an NBA floor on Wednesday. Well, he was sort of back on an NBA floor anyway as he made his NBA G League debut with the Santa Cruz Warriors, who are obviously the affiliate of the Golden State Warriors.

Lin, who played his college ball at Harvard and rose to stardom with a crazy 13-game stretch for the New York Knicks in 2012 that was awesomely dubbed “Linsanity,” played the 2019-2020 season in China and almost returned to the CBA this season.

However, as he wants to get back to the NBA, he chose to take a big pay cut and recently signed a G League contract with the Warriors as he felt that was his best opportunity to make that happen.

Jeremy Lin made his debut for the Santa Cruz Warriors on Wednesday (well, his re-debut anyway as he played for the team years ago), which just happens to be the anniversary of the most memorable game of the “Linsanity” run, and looked pretty solid.

Jeremy Lin scored 18 points in his re-debut with the Santa Cruz Warriors

The NBA G League season got underway on Wednesday in the same Orlando bubble the regular NBA used to finish up the 2019-2020 season and Jeremy Lin and the Santa Cruz Warriors kicked off their campaign against the league’s newest team, the G League Ignite, who are based in Walnut Creek, California, and are coached by three-time NBA champion Brian Shaw.

Lin, who was playing in his first G League game in close to a decade, played just under 31 minutes and scored 18 points, shooting 4-for-9 from the floor, 2-for-4 from the 3-point line, and a perfect 4-for-4 from the foul line. He also added five assists, three rebounds, and three steals, and committed just one turnover. But it wasn’t quite enough as the Warriors fell to the Ignite, 109-104. 37-year-old Jarrett Jack, who himself is looking for one final NBA run, made nine of 10 shots and led the Ignite with 23 points.

Wednesday marks the nine-year anniversary of Jeremy Lin’s 38-point outburst against Kobe Bryant and the Lakers at the height of ‘Linsanity’

Jeremy Lin certainly couldn’t have picked a better day to make his semi-return to the NBA as Wednesday marked the nine-year anniversary of the greatest game of his career.

On February 10, 2012, Lin and the Knicks matched up with Kobe Bryant and the LA Lakers at Madison Square Garden, a game aired by ESPN that gave a lot of people their first true look at the then-23-year-old.

Kobe didn’t shoot the ball particularly well for LA, making just 11 of 29 shots, but still scored 34 of the Lakers’ 85 points on that Friday night. As for Jeremy Lin, he had the game of his life, shooting 13-for-23 from the floor, 2-for-4 from beyond the arc, and 10-for-13 from the foul line for a career-high 38 points to lead the Knicks to a 92-85 win, giving New York their fourth straight victory.

It’s the game people think of most when they think of “Linsanity” and it was truly a special night for Lin himself.

He has 14 more games to prove he belongs back in the NBA

Jeremy Lin
Jeremy Lin | Fred Lee/Getty Images

RELATED: Jeremy Lin Lost His Hearing Following the Final Game of His First Season in China

As the NBA G League season is only going to be 15 games long this year, Jeremy Lin doesn’t have a lot of time to prove he belongs back on an NBA roster.

But he’s already off to a solid start and, if nothing else, he’ll at least get the chance to play on TV again as every single Santa Cruz Warriors game in the bubble will air on either ESPN2, ESPN+, or NBA TV.

NBA G League stats and schedule courtesy of the league’s official website; NBA stats courtesy of Pro Basketball Reference