The decision will bring one of China’s most popular players to the country’s own league.
Lin will join the team fresh off winning an NBA title with the Toronto Raptors. Lin rode the bench for most of the season due to nagging injuries but did secure some playoff time late in the year.
Lin rose to fame in the 2012 season, prompting the “Linsanity” movement. But he became a free agent this summer and failed to find a team.
In fact, Lin told the media at large that he felt the NBA had moved on from him, denying him an opportunity to compete a high level again.
“Free agency has been tough, because I feel like in some ways the NBA has kind of given up on me,” Lin said, according to Business Insider.
“In English, there’s a saying, and it says, ‘Once you’ve hit rock bottom, the only way is up,’” Lin said. “But rock bottom just seems to keep getting more and more rock bottom for me.”
But Lin will now head to China for a shot at redemption — something that BYU legend Jimmer Fredette is all-too-familiar with. After many failed attempts in the NBA, Fredette moved on to the Shanghai Sharks in the Chinese Basketball Association, where he became an unlikely star.
Lin always knew he’d end up back in China, and he’s looking forward to the opportunity.
“I’ve always known that my journey in some ways would end in China,” he told the South China Morning Post, adding that he knew he “would come back here and take the experiences that I had growing up in America.”
And Lin said he’s not done helping raise up others.
“The NBA training and the concept of a student athlete, a lot of these different things that I’ve learned through my childhood and my NBA experiences — I want to be able to help as many kids as I can in China,” he said.