NEW YORK (Reuters) - Jeremy Lin’s 2017-18 NBA season looks to be over after the Chinese-American suffered a knee injury that left him writhing in pain on the court in his team’s season-opening loss, the Brooklyn Nets said on Thursday.
Lin, who was diagnosed with a ruptured patella tendon of the right knee, landed awkwardly and crumpled to the floor after driving to the basket for a layup in the fourth quarter of the Nets’ 140-131 loss to the host Indiana Pacers on Wednesday.
The 29-year-old guard, who had 18 points and four assists in 25 minutes, immediately clutched his knee and said “I’m done” before bursting into tears and being helped off the court.
“Jeremy worked tremendously hard during the off-season and in training camp and was excited for the prospects of the team this season,” Nets General Manager Sean Marks said in a statement.
“We feel awful that the injury will cost him the season, however our entire organization will be there to support Jeremy in every way possible throughout his recovery. Jeremy remains an important part of this team and will continue to contribute in a leadership role.”
Lin, the first American of Chinese or Taiwanese descent to play in the NBA, went from an unknown professional basketball player to an overnight sporting sensation in 2012 when he led a winning turnaround for his former New Knicks team.
He averaged 20.9 points and 8.4 assists per game in February of that year while leading the Knicks to 10 wins in a 13-game stretch that overwhelmed New York City and caught the imagination of Knicks fans.
Lin went on to appear on the covers of numerous magazines, and replicas of his No. 17 jersey soon became a top seller amid a media and fan frenzy around him nicknamed “Linsanity”.
Lin, who was benched later in that breakout season after suffering a knee injury, left the Knicks a few months later after they refused to match a restricted offer sheet in free agency.
He went on to play for the Houston Rockets, Los Angeles Lakers and Charlotte Hornets before signing a three-year, $36 million contract with Brooklyn last year.
Editing by Frank Pingue in Toronto; Editing by Ed Osmond