Golden State Warriors guard, Jeremy Lin, may be headed to the FIBA Asia Championship this September – with a Taiwanese passport.
According to NetEase, Lin has been added to the 24-player training camp roster for the Taiwanese national team. An official announcement was made on Monday by Taiwan Basketball Association chairman, Ting Shou-chung.
Though Lin’s participation for Taiwan this summer is largely up in the air at this point, it appears as if the opportunity will be there if he wants it. With little progress having been made in negotiations between owners and players, it appears inevitable that the NBA is heading towards a lockout once the current collective bargaining agreement expires on June 30th. If a lockout extends into September and October, which some feel it may, then Lin would be able to play for Taiwan at the Asia Championship. And since the NBA Summer League has already been cancelled, Lin would also have time in the summer to train and practice with the team.
Lin is expected to notify Taiwan of his decision when he visits the island in August. According to Ting, Lin told rated his chances of playing for the team this summer at 50%.
People inside the Taiwanese national team are more optimistic. Newly appointed technical consultant to the team, Bob Hill, who spent a combined nine years in the NBA as head coach of the New York Knicks, Indiana Pacers, San Antonio Spurs and Seattle Supersonics, told a reporter in an interview for Sohu that he accepted the position based on his relationship with Lin and on the understanding that Lin probably be playing for the team this summer. Hill has worked with Lin the past two summers, and said that it was Lin who initially introduced him to the idea of working with the Taiwanese.
In addition to Taiwan, who has publicly expressed interest in Lin since the end of the NBA regular season, China has also investigated the feasibility of convincing the former Harvard standout to join the Chinese national team. However, since Chinese law prohibits dual citizenship, the Chinese Basketball Association was quickly refused by the American-born player and his family.
Lin was in China for about a week earlier this month making appearances.
“It’s not only Taiwan, the mainland [China] is also hoping that Lin will represent them in international play,” said Ting. “But, playing for China would mean that he’d have to give up his American citizenship and there is no chance of that happening.”
Both of Lin’s parents were born in Taiwan, which makes him eligible under FIBA rules to represent them in international play.
“His father is really happy about the opportunity for him to play for Taiwan, but his mother is still hoping that her son will focus on securing long term stability in the NBA,” said Ting.
In his rookie season for the Warriors, Lin appeared in 29 games and averaged 2.6 points and 1.4 assists per game.
The FIBA Asia Championship will be held in Wuhan, Hubei province from September 15-25.