Jeremy Lin is asking for better protection in the Chinese Basketball Association after being in the hospital for a myriad of health issues following a semifinal loss while playing for the Bejing Ducks.
Lin’s first season in China ended with a 2-1 series loss to the Guangdong Southern Tigers, the defending champions, and lengthy health concerns.
Lin details hearing loss, hospital trips
Lin, the first Asian American to win an NBA title with the Toronto Raptors last year, was emotional following the defeat and said it was “heart-breaking.” On Chinese state television on Monday, the 31-year-old Lin detailed his health issues and the lack of protection in the league.
Lin said he will need another trip to the hospital for his hearing issues. He had problems with his ankles, knees, neck and ears, he said.
“My condition isn't very good because, as we all know, the competition is fierce for both teams,” he said.
“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.”
Lin is one of the most fouled players in the CBA over the past few years, per league statistics cited by Chinese media and used by AFP. His coach, Xie Libin, told Chinese media:
“He went down so many times in each game," Xie told the state-run Beijing Youth Daily. “But you must appreciate that he is in his 30s and played in the NBA for many years.
“He has injuries, his nose, eyes and even his ears — he couldn't hear anything after the game.”
Physical season in China for Lin
Lin made his debut in November and suffered injuries in his first week of games.
His knees were bleeding through his white leg tights after the first game, the South China Morning Post reported. In his first home game, he left with blood covering his forearm “caused by the attentions of the Shandong defense,” the South China Morning Post reported.
Media reported: @JLin7 had a knee bleeding and bruised eyes during debut game. At the half time, a commentator joked: On seeing Jeremy, the opponent's players were all excited, highly active to defend. For some players, if they can block Jeremy, they may brag for a few days. pic.twitter.com/oeFEmqs6dQ— Popo Chung (@PopoChung7) November 4, 2019
Through three games he hit the floor 25 times, per the Post, and experienced double- and triple-teams. Yannis Christopoulos, then the Bejing coach, told reporters it was a “good thing.”
“This just proves how strong he is,” he said, via the South China Morning Post. “He can withstand such defensive intensity. If everyone in the league can do this, it is a good thing for the development of Chinese basketball in the future.”
Solid first CBA season for Lin
Lin was looking to go back-to-back with an NBA title and a CBA title. He would have been the first to accomplish that feat.
He led the team in scoring at 22.3 points per game in the regular season, and averaged 5.7 rebounds, 5.6 assists and 1.8 steals. His nine-season NBA averages: 11.6 points, 2.8 rebounds, 4.3 assists and 1.1 steals.
The Tigers are defending champions and held a 30-game win streak heading into the semifinal series. Lin’s Ducks won, 90-86, in the second game on Saturday to snap that streak. The Tigers won the other two games by a combined five points, including a 111-109 overtime win in Game 1. They’ll face the Liaoning Flying Leopards in the finals that start Tuesday.
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