Jeremy Lin Shines in G-League, Adds Pressure on Warriors to Sign Him

Jeremy Lin, now with the Warriors' G-League team

Getty Jeremy Lin, now with the Warriors' G-League team

In all, Jeremy Lin played 29 games, all as a rookie back in 2010-11, for the Golden State Warriors. Yet the Palo Alto native still feels like a Warrior at heart, even though he averaged just 2.6 points for the team and achieved far greater stardom in New York and Houston than he ever did in the Bay Area.

Lin is 32 now, coming off a successful stint in the Chinese Basketball League and eager to get back on an NBA floor. With that in mind, he signed on with the Santa Cruz Warriors of the G-League, and watching his performance so far, the obvious reaction has to be: Can’t he help Golden State immediately?

Lin has played four games in the G-League “bubble,” and while he has had some inconsistency (seven points, 3-for-10 shooting in his second games), he has, at times, been brilliant. He was most notably brilliant in Sunday night’s game against the Westchester Knicks, in which he scored 29 points on 9-for-12 shooting, with nine assists.

“I love it,” coach Steve Kerr said earlier this season. “Jeremy obviously being from the area has a great love for the Bay Area and vice-versa. I just like that he still wants to play basketball. It’s hard to retire, and it’s hard to not have a place to play. You get older, and you’re forced to come to this crossroads where you have to make a decision with your life.”

Jeremy Lin Could Help With Warriors’ Depth Issue

The Warriors are hurting in the frontcourt because of injuries, but the truth is, this team needs depth all around. Lin has not played in the NBA since 2019, but he was a star in China last year, where he averaged 22.3 points, 5.6 assists and 5.7 rebounds. For a Warriors team that is relying on journeyman combo guard Brad Wanamaker to give significant minutes as a reserve point guard, Lin makes some sense.

Kerr, for one, said he appreciated Lin’s dedication to the game. More than that, though, it appears that Lin could immediately help the Warriors’ shortchanged bench.

“I love that Jeremy is going to play and obviously we’ll keep an eye on him since he will be part of our Santa Cruz team. Hopefully, for Jeremy, he’s still got something left in the tank and he has more time left on his career.”

Jeremy Lin Endured Difficult 2020 Season

Lin spoke to ESPN earlier this season, addressing his return to the U.S. as a G-League player. He has played for eight teams over the course of his career—Golden State, New York, Houston, Brooklyn, Charlotte, Atlanta, the Lakers and Toronto—but a return to the Warriors seems a natural fit. That was among the reasons he wanted to play for Santa Cruz.

As Lin said:

I think with Covid and everything that happened in 2020, at this point in time it’s like nothing can be taken for granted. Just to be able to get on the court and play is refreshing. I’m just grateful and for me one of my biggest goals is to come here and soak everything in and enjoy it.

And this is my 11th year playing professionally basketball but it almost feels like my rookie year in terms of, I don’t know, there’s something different after Covid about now every time you step on the floor. So I just want to soak everything in and embrace it as much as I can. And if I don’t do that, I don’t think it would be a successful G League bubble, regardless of the play and the performance, the results, if I can’t enjoy the present then I’m missing out on a huge opportunity.

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