BEIJING (AFP) – Former NBA star Jeremy Lin said on Thursday he has not ruled out the possibility of playing for China one day as the American player was presented by his new team in Beijing.
“It’s definitely something that’s always on my radar,” the 31-year-old Lin said at his first press conference since joining the Beijing Shougang Ducks of the Chinese Basketball Association.
Although Lin was born in California and holds American citizenship, Lin’s parents were born in Taiwan, the self-governed island that Beijing sees as a rebel province awaiting reunification.
“The best way that I can kind of say it is, it’s a very, very complex decision, it’s very complicated,” Lin said.
“It’s something I have considered and something I’ll always continue to consider.”
But Lin – who was part of the Toronto Raptors team that won the NBA championship – added that his biggest concern at the moment is staying healthy and playing the upcoming season with the Ducks.
The first Asian-American to win an NBA trophy has been plagued by injuries in the past and his playing time in the last year was limited.
“Honestly, going through a lot of injuries like I have, I don’t think too far down the road anymore. Just one day at a time, one season at a time.”
Lin has struggled with injuries and inconsistency since he sparked ‘Linsanity’ for the New Yorks Knicks in 2012 when he led them to a seven-game win streak to level their record at 15-15.
He became an unrestricted free agent this summer, and struggled to find a new team in the NBA.
Lin showed keen awareness for the immense pressure playing on the national team would bring.
He defended the Chinese men’s team against the criticism they came under following their early exit from the Basketball World Cup this month, which China hosted.
“Normal fans cannot truly understand the pressure of the World Cup. Everyone is watching you, if you don’t play well, everyone is quick to blame you,” said Lin, speaking in Chinese.
“This pressure – an average person cannot understand.”