TAIPEI (CNA) – Taiwanese-American guard Jeremy Lin said Wednesday after his debut game with the Toronto Raptors that it felt almost like cheating to join a team with more than 40 wins.
Lin, who was signed by the Raptors two-and-a-half hours before the opening tip, finished the game with eight points, five rebounds and five assists in a 129-120 win over the Washington Wizards on Wednesday.
“I almost feel like I’m cheating, jumping into a 40-something win team,” Lin said after the game at Toronto. “I’m almost like, ‘Man, I feel like I don’t deserve this’ or something. But I’m happy to be here, I’m happy to be part of the squad.”
The 30-year-old has never been on a team that has won a playoff series and has been injured twice during his teams’ post-season campaigns.
“I’m tired of watching,” said Lin, who received a standing ovation when he checked into the game with the Toronto Raptors.
“The fans always show up, no matter what team I played for,” he said. “But to come out here tonight, to get that type of reception, even though I was trying to be stoic and figure out what we were going to do on the defensive end, it was very heartwarming for sure.”
In the past week, the Raptors traded one of their backup point guards Delon Wright to Memphis, while the other, Fred VanVleet, will be out for at least five weeks with thumb injury.
In light of those circumstances, Raptors head coach Nick Nurse said, he wanted Lin as a backup point guard with the likelihood of taking over Wright’s role as a combo guard.
Lin was bought out and waived by the Atlanta Hawks on Monday and signed by the Raptors two days later, according to Sportsnet, a Canadian sports specialty service.
The Taiwanese-American star became a household name in 2012, when his incredible run with the New York Knicks sparked what became known as “Linsanity.” This season, he averaged 10.7 points, 3.5 assists and 2.3 rebounds for the Hawks.
The Raptors are Lin’s eighth NBA team, after stints with the Golden State Warriors, the New York Knicks, the Houston Rockets, the Los Angeles Lakers, the Charlotte Hornets, the Brooklyn Nets and the Atlanta Hawks.
By Huang Chiao-wen and Chung Yu-chen