TAIPEI (Taiwan News) -- During a sermon given by NBA champion Jeremy Lin (林書豪) on Sunday (July 28), the Taiwanese-American basketball star revealed that he is going though dark times in free agency and feels that the NBA has "given up on me."
As part of his tour of Taiwan, Lin gave a sermon at a church in New Taipei City's Xindian District on Sunday in which he broke down in tears several times as he shared his struggles trying to survive in the NBA following a devastating knee injury in 2017. Despite his being on the championship-winning Toronto Raptors this year, Lin now finds himself in dire straits in free agency and struggled mightily to find a silver lining for congregation members in attendance.
Lin started out by saying that he had waited eight years since Linsanity to have an opportunity to play for a championship-level team. He said he knew this could be his only shot since the average NBA career only lasts five years.
Unfortunately, in the 12 to 15 games in which he had a chance to earn an important role on the team after being picked up by the Raptors, Lin suffered what he described as one of the worst shooting stretches in his career. He said that he missed 17 three-pointers in a row.
When the playoffs came around, Lin's minutes dropped dramatically. Yet, Lin tried to console himself with the fact that the team had won a championship, and said, "I thought to myself, you know it's OK. I'll take this hit and I'll get back up."
He said he got his first year in after his injury and felt like the next year would be different. However, when free agency came around, "This was the last straw that broke the camel's back."
Lin then started to tear up, and the audience applauded and tried to cheer him on. Lin then joked that he had already prepared some Kleenex.
After a long pause to cry, Lin said that "life is hard." He said he always wanted to do things the right way.
Lin opened up about his sense of hitting rock bottom and the feeling that the NBA has abandoned him:
"I've given more of myself to God every single year. And every year it gets harder. And in English, there is a saying that once you hit rock bottom, the only way is up. But rock bottom seems to be getting more and more rock bottom for me. So free agency has been tough. Because I feel like in some ways the NBA has kinda given up on me. And I always knew that if I gave anybody a reason to doubt, they would."
He said that after the season, he had to get ready for the Asia trip. Yet he dreaded the trip this time around because he knew for six weeks he would have to "put on a smile."
He lamented that he would have to talk about a championship that "I don't feel like I really earned." He dreaded talking about a future that "I don't know if I want to have."
Lin admitted that it all was "embarrassing and tough." He said that he always wanted to come back to Taiwan as "an image of triumph of God working miracles through me."
Exasperated, he said that he felt like every year he gets on the same stage to "talk about suffering." He described his entry into the NBA as a "young, brash kid who could take on the world."
Shockingly, he then said, "Nowadays, I spend more time thinking about quitting." He then said, "I always tell myself if I have a son, I don't want him to make the NBA."
He revealed the ugly side of the NBA by saying that never entering the league would mean "You don't have to deal with fame. You don't have to deal with living your life and having all your failures on display to the whole world."
However, he recognized that many go through much greater hardships and experience hopelessness. He said he does not dare to dream any longer, because "If I dream about it, God definitely won't give it to me."
He then tried to focus on the positive by giving three positive points, including "don't give up," "don't give in," and "don't lose hope." He said that he shared his failures to show others how to follow those three key points.
Full 56-minute sermon given by Lin on Good TV:
Excerpt from Lin's sermon being shared on social media:
“Free agency has been tough because I feel like, in some ways, the NBA has given up on me.”— SLAM (@SLAMonline) July 28, 2019
We’re rooting for you, J Lin (: NBA Reddit) pic.twitter.com/pqdJpA3TMp