NBA star Lin back in the Big Apple

Updated: 2016-07-04 11:16

By Paul Welitzkin in New York(China Daily USA)

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NBA star Lin back in the Big Apple

Jeremy Lin, who played for the Charlotte Hornets of the NBA last year, will join the Brooklyn Nets for the 2016-2017 season. provided to china daily

"Linsanity" is returning to New York.

Jeremey Lin agreed to a three-year, $36 million contract with the Brooklyn Nets on Friday, his first day of free agency in the National Basketball Association (NBA).

Lin, 27, led the New York Knicks in 2012 on a remarkable winning streak which spawned a phenomenon labeled by the media as "Linsanity."

"The journey continuesthankful for the next chapter!!" Lin said Friday on Twitter.

"We are heading into the fifth anniversary of Linsanity and there couldn't be a better moment for his return to New York," said David Hollander, a professor of sports marketing at New York University. "During the height of the Linsanity period, Modell's (a New York area sporting goods retailer) sold more Linsanity merchandise than a Yankee World Series and Giants Super Bowl combined."

Lin spent the 2015-2016 season playing for the Charlotte Hornets where he averaged 11.7 points and three assists per game. He will be reunited with the Nets new head coach, Kenny Atkinson, a former Knicks assistant who is credited with helping catapult Lin's NBA career into stardom nearly five years ago, the New York Daily News reported

Lin's saga is a rags-to-riches NBA story. His full name is Jeremy Shu-How Lin and his parents are immigrants from Taiwan. He grew up in the San Francisco area and earned Northern California player of the year honors as a senior in high school. After receiving no athletic scholarship offers, he attended Harvard University where he was an all-conference player in the Ivy League. He was an undrafted player toiling in the NBA Development League when he joined the Knicks and sparked the team by averaging 18.7 points and 7.7 assists in 25 starts.

In addition to Atkinson, the Nets have a new general manager, Sean Marks, who came from the San Antonio Spurs. The Nets had a 21-61 record last year.

Hollander said there is more to the Lin signing than a way to boost season-ticket sales at the Barclays Center, the Brooklyn arena that houses the Nets.

"He (Marks) is not acquiring Jeremy Lin for marketing. He is bringing in Lin to establish a winning team," said Hollander. "Lin can play."