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Jeremy Lin signs with Beijing Shougang Ducks as NBA teams take a pass

Jeremy Lin, last seen in the NBA playing for the Toronto Raptors, will play basketball in China. (Frank Franklin II/Associated Press)
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The NBA may have given up on him, as Jeremy Lin says, but he’s taking another shot at basketball, signing with the Beijing Shougang Ducks of the Chinese Basketball Association.

The move is bound to lift the spirits of the NBA free agent who touched off Linsanity during his time with the New York Knicks and was part of the Toronto Raptors team that won the NBA title in June. He had been passed over by teams since free agency began this summer and confessed last month that he had hit “rock bottom” because “the NBA has kind of given up on me."

In a statement, the Ducks said the team in the process of working with the league to get Lin’s registration paperwork approved, a procedural move. The Ducks have won three league titles in the last few years, led by Stephon Marbury, who is now coaching the Ducks’ top rival in Beijing.

Appearing last month on GOOD TV, a Taiwanese station specializing in Christian programming, Lin spoke of his frustration and determination.

“Man, it’s hard, life is hard,” he said, “because I’ve always wanted to do things the right way, and I’ve given more of myself to God every single year, and every year it gets harder.”

“In English there’s a saying, and it says once you hit rock bottom, the only way is up,” Lin continued. “But rock bottom just seems to keep getting more and more rock bottom for me.

“So, free agency has been tough. Because I feel like, in some ways, the NBA’s kind of given up on me.”

Lin, 31, is best remembered for his Linsanity performances in early 2012.

The son of Taiwanese immigrants, Lin is the first Asian American to win an NBA title, but averaged only 3.4 minutes in the playoffs and played only one minute in the Raptors’ six-game victory over Golden State.

“But we won a championship,” Lin said last month, “and I thought to myself, ‘You know what, it’s okay, I’ll take this hit and get back up.’ ” He thought next season would “be a lot different,” but “then free agency came around, and this was the last straw that broke the camel’s back.”

“After the season I had to get ready for this Asia trip, and it was the last thing I wanted to do,” he added. “Because I knew for six weeks I would have to just put on a smile. I would have to talk about a championship that I don’t feel like I really earned. I would have to talk about a future I don’t know if I want to have. And honestly, it’s just embarrassing, and it’s tough.”

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