Jeremy Lin becomes first Taiwanese-American to win NBA championship

Jeremy Lin becomes first Asian-American to win NBA title as member of Toronto Raptors

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Jeremy Lin with NBA trophy. (Photo from Jeremy Lin Instagram)

Jeremy Lin with NBA trophy. (Photo from Jeremy Lin Instagram)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) -- With the victory of the Toronto Raptors over the Golden State Warriors on Thursday evening (June 13), Jeremy Lin has made history as being the first Taiwanese-American, as well as the first Asian-American, to be on an NBA championship-winning team.

On Thursday evening, during a ferociously fought Game 6 in Oakland, California, which saw many dramatic highs and lows, the underdog Toronto Raptors finally vanquished the vaunted Golden State Warriors to capture the NBA title, with a final score of 114 to 110. In the process, the Raptors made history by winning their first NBA title in their 26-year history, and team member Jeremy Lin became the first Taiwanese-American to wear an NBA Championship ring.

Although the thirty-year-old Lin, who was born in Torrance, California to Taiwanese parents, saw limited action in the finals, he made significant contributions to the team averaging 9.6 points, 2.4 rebounds, 3.1 assists, and 37.4 percent shooting per game during the regular season, while the team struggled with injuries. Ironically, Lin came full circle with his win as it took place in Oakland where his career began a decade ago with Stephan Curry and the Golden State Warriors.


Lin in Raptors uniform. (AP photo)

The win is a fitting crescendo to the journeyman player who has had his share of highs and lows. He was relegated to the bench at Golden State, but had a breakout season with the New York Knicks from 2011-2012 which was dubbed "Linsanity" for his string of improbable and dramatic victories as starting point guard.

Lin then saw action with the Houston Rockets, Los Angeles Lakers, Charlotte Hornets, Brooklyn Nets, and Atlanta Hawks, before being picked up by the Toronto Raptors in February of this year. The Atlanta Hawks waived Lin late in the season, but the Raptors picked him up as a backup for Kyle Lowry and Fred VanVleet.

Lin was plagued with a hamstring injury in the 2016-2017 season and missed the 2017-2018 season with a ruptured patella tendon. Lin has struggled to return to form since suffering those injuries, but has remained a fan favorite in many markets, of course including Taiwan, where he visits every summer to lead basketball training camps.


Lin in action. (Photo from Jeremy Lin Instagram page)

Despite Lin's nine-year career in the NBA and worldwide fame, he was bizarrely stopped by security from boarding the team bus in Milwaukee during the NBA's Eastern Conference Finals. Sadly, Lin says that this is not an uncommon occurrence for him and he lamented it "kind of sucks" to be the only Asian-American currently playing in the NBA, reported the South China Morning Post.

In response to Lin's win, Slam Magazine tweeted: "Jeremy Lin played in the NBA Finals and won. What a journey." CBS Sports tweeted: "Some said he'd never win a title. Some said he was washed up. But he kept grinding. He kept going. Now, Jeremy Lin is an NBA Champion."


Lin with former Golden State Warrior teammate Stephan Curry. (Associated Press photo)

On his Instagram page, Lin posted a photo of himself kicking back and holding the NBA's Larry O'Brien Championship Trophy and simply wrote: "CHAMPSSSSSSS!!!