Photo: Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images
Jeremy Lin would have quit basketball and gotten a real job rather than played professionally overseas if he couldn’t make the NBA, he told GQ’s Will Leitch in a big cover story this month.Here’s what he said:
“I absolutely would not have liked playing in Spain or somewhere like that, so I was just gonna do it a year. Then I was gonna be done.”
Lin graduated but went undrafted in the 2010 NBA Draft. Most undrafted players go overseas to prove themselves over a period of years to break their way back into the NBA. But he signed a summer league contract with the Golden State Warriors that summer, and thanks to some solid performances (most notably, one where he went toe-to-toe with No. 1 pick John Wall), earned his way onto the roster.
But if it didn’t work out with Golden State, which is the case with most summer league invitees, things could have turned out very, very differently.
Lin’s improbable rise is filled with moments like these — a succession of “what if’s?”
If the Knicks don’t get hammered by backcourt injuries last February, he never gets playing time.
If the Rockets never waived him, he’d still be an unknown back-up.
But this latest one, that he would have quit after a year if no one gave him a big break, is probably the most amazing of all.
Leitch asked him what he would have done, but Lin said he has no idea.
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