Jeremy Lin’s injury is likely to derail his NBA dream

Peninsula Premier Admin

Santa Cruz Warriors guard Jeremy Lin was inactive for Saturday’s G-League game against the Salt Lake City Stars with a back injury, marking the second time this week where the veteran guard did not play.

Lin’s play in the NBA G-League bubble had been strong enough to warrant looks from NBA teams, but his back injury — labeled by the team as “tightness” after he missed Wednesday’s game — is likely to derail his goal of returning to the world’s top league.

Lin hasn’t played in the NBA since winning a title with the Toronto Raptors as a bench player in 2019. He played last season in China.

He wanted to return to the NBA this year, but found himself unable to land even a training camp invite this preseason. So Lin, 32, signed with the Golden State Warriors’ G-League affiliate, which is playing its season in a bubble in Orlando.

“The G League bubble was the next step, the next chance to be able to show people [I’m healthy],” said Lin before the start of the SeaDubs’ season.

An undrafted free agent from Palo Alto, who found fame for the New York Knicks in 2012, Lin has a long history of injuries but claimed in that preseason press conference that he has been healthy for the last two years.

When has been on the floor for Santa Cruz, Lin has looked worthy of NBA consideration, averaging 19.6 points and 7.2 assists in 31 minutes per game.

But if the No. 1 goal was, indeed, to prove that he is healthy enough to play in the NBA, missing two of seven SeaDubs games will be difficult, if not impossible, for NBA decision-makers to overlook.

Lin’s first missed game came Wednesday against the Canton Charge. That contest was the first of a back-to-back for Santa Cruz, and Lin was stellar in the second end, scoring 27 points.

But with the SeaDubs’ next game being Monday, “load management” doesn’t seem to be the cause of Lin’s absence Saturday.

Lin is on a one-year deal with Santa Cruz, but he is free to sign with an NBA team at any time. The G-League regular season ends the first weekend of March. Santa Cruz has eight games remaining after Saturday’s contest with the Stars.

Contributed by local news sources

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