Analysis | Should Jeremy Lin play basketball in Taiwan?

Basketball star Jeremy Lin returns to Taiwan for a press conference in 2019. (NOWnews)

TAIPEI (The China Post) — The question of an eventual transfer to Taiwan remains after Jeremy Lin’s (林書豪) recent interview with mainland Chinese media. 

Lin said he would take a break before deciding whether he would like to continue his contract with the Beijing Ducks of the Chinese Basketball Association (CBA, 中國男子籃球職業聯賽) or field offers from other teams, but Taiwan media buzz has already started.

Lin’s CBA season was cut short in the semi-finals when the Beijing Ducks lost to the Guangdong Southern Tigers by a match score of 1-2 in the best of three series. 

Lin said that he told his agent to not discuss the prospects of his free agency so that he could focus his full attention on the CBA championship.

But after his loss, he now faces the tough choice of whether he renews his contract, switches teams within the CBA, or moves to another league. 

Obviously, Lin’s goal should be to find a chance to return to the National Basketball Association (NBA) in the United States (U.S.) as it is the most elite league in the world.

However, as of late, no NBA team has expressed interest in bringing him back to the league. 

Lin’s lip is bleeding. (Courtesy of Jeremy Lin/Weibo)

If no NBA team approaches him, he can either choose to stay with the Beijing Ducks, move to another team in the CBA or move to another league.

One of the more unrealistic scenarios, but one that Taiwanese fans hope for, is that he will move to join a Taiwanese professional basketball team. 

In this case, the most appealing option would be the Taipei Fubon Braves.

This would give Lin a chance to be reunited with his younger brother named Joseph Lin, who has since become a star on the team. 

When the ABL was suspended in March due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Braves were seeded number five out of 10 teams.

Jeremy Lin would not only be able to help the Braves climb the standing but would also be challenged in doing so. 

Jeremy Lin (Courtesy of Jeremy Lin/Weibo)

This move would also not be surprising for the Braves and other Taiwanese teams as other former NBA players have joined Taiwanese basketball teams before.

Players such as O.J. Mayo, a former NBA All-Rookie First Team, joined the Braves in 2019. However, Mayo left a year later to the CBA where his salary would be higher.

This exact motive for Mayo is one of the reasons why the chance of Jeremy Lin coming to Taiwan is so low.

Not only is the salary much lower in Taiwanese basketball teams, but his career potential would also go down significantly.

Normally, the top players from Taiwan join the CBA and try their best to stay there for a higher salary. Jeremy Lin, one of the stars of the Beijing Ducks in the past season, would be reversing this trend by moving to Taiwan. 

Lin has also not shown any signs of wanting to return to Taiwan.

Although he recently complained about the CBA’s rules and expressed his displeasure with the CBA’s players’ style of “playing basketball while also hitting others,” he has not stated explicitly that he plans to leave the league.

As a result, it is still improbable that he would sacrifice his pay and his career to play in Taiwanese basketball.