HONG KONG—Jeremy Lin, the NBA’s first Chinese-American player, said Sunday he was “surprised” by Chinese fans support as he and his team Charlotte Hornets beat Los Angeles Clippers in a preseason game in Shenzhen.
The 27-year-old, whose ancestry is from Taiwan and China, in July signed with Hornets in a free agent deal worth $4.3 million over two years.
He had previously spent two NBA seasons with Houston after leaving the Knicks and last season with the Los Angeles Lakers.
Playing an NBA game in China for the first time, he said he felt “thankful” for Chinese fan support after his side won the match 106-94.
“I feel thankful and blessed...It’s the first time for me to play professional basketball in China,” he told reporters in Putonghua at a press conference following the sold-out game attended by 17,400 at the Shenzhen Universiade Centre.
“I am surprised that fans treated me so well...no matter in the hotel or when I was walking around, they’d bring up posters and the jerseys,” he said.
In 28 minutes of play, he scored 16 points.
Lin inspired “Linsanity” in 2012 when he came off the bench to spark a win streak by the injury-riddled New York Knicks.
It is also the first time an NBA game was played in Shenzhen, which borders Hong Kong.