Lin signs with Bei­jing, shows na­tion’s at­trac­tive­ness

Global Times US Edition - - CHINA - By Wang Qi

“Lin­san­ity” will hit the Chi­nese main­land again af­ter the Chi­nese-amer­i­can NBA player Jeremy Lin signed with the Bei­jing Shougang Ducks in next sea­son’s Chi­nese Basketball As­so­ci­a­tion (CBA), which ex­perts said is an ex­am­ple of China’s cul­tural at­trac­tion for over­seas Chi­nese de­scen­dants.

Bei­jing Ducks an­nounced the news on Wed­nes­day, say­ing they are work­ing on Lin’s reg­is­tra­tion.

“Bei­jing, here I come,” Lin wrote on China’s Twit­ter-like Sina Weibo af­ter the team’s an­nounce­ment. The post has re­ceived more than 110,000 likes and retweets.

Lin, 31, also shared his excitement on his In­sta­gram and Twit­ter, say­ing that he al­ways knew his path would go through the CBA.

“I al­ways knew my path would go through the CBA… I knew how much of an honor it would be to play in front of my Chi­nese fans. I’m here now and there is more his­tory to be made!” Lin wrote on In­sta­gram.

In a tele­phone in­ter­view with the China Cen­tral Tele­vi­sion, Lin said that Bei­jing is a per­fect op­tion for him in terms of sports and cul­ture. And he is look­ing for­ward to vis­it­ing dif­fer­ent cities in the Chi­nese main­land.

“Lin has ex­pressed his full recog­ni­tion as an eth­nic Chi­nese on var­i­ous oc­ca­sions. Lin joined the CBA be­cause he em­braced his Chi­nese iden­tity,” An Yukang, a Bei­jing-based scholar on cul­tural stud­ies, told the Global Times on Wed­nes­day.

Ath­letes of Chi­nese de­scent, in­clud­ing soc­cer player Li Ke and skier Gu Ail­ing, re­cently be­came nat­u­ral­ized Chi­nese ci­ti­zens. An pre­dicted a trend that more and more eth­nic Chi­nese and Chi­nese de­scen­dants will com­pete in sports on be­half of China.

“The trend re­flects the in­creas­ing in­flu­ence and at­trac­tion of China, es­pe­cially in cul­ture and sports,” said An.

Lin’s par­ents are from the is­land of Tai­wan, and Lin’s re­turn is good news for both sides of the Tai­wan Straits, An said.

Fans are keen to see Lin shine in Bei­jing. “Proud of you my man! I’m go­ing to book Bei­jing’s tick­ets for next sea­son!” a Weibo user said.

Lin won his first NBA cham­pi­onship with the Toronto Rap­tors in July. He shocked fans with his phe­nom­e­nal per­for­mance at the New York Knicks in 2012, which gained his nick­name “Lin­san­ity.”

In 2011, Lin played for CBA side Dong­guan Leop­ards in the Asian Basketball As­so­ci­a­tion Club Cham­pi­onship and was voted MVP.

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