Taiwan Needs Jeremy LIn for FIBA World Cup

By Phillip Pyle

Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Houston Rockets point guard Jeremy Lin, who is of Chinese and Taiwanese descent, has been invited several times to play in international basketball competitions. Rivals China and Taiwan have each sent invitations to Lin, while USA Basketball picked him as one of the 13 members of the USA select team in summer 2012. However, the 25-year-old has still not committed to any international play.

Still, Lin has remained opened to playing for the pride and honor of his home country – and that’s Taiwan. During his latest visit there, Lin spoke about the importance of playing for Chinese Taipei in future basketball competitions, though he was uncertain when the opportunity would arise.

“I try not to think too far,” Lin told Focus Taiwan. “I can’t speak for the future … I’m not making decisions until the time is appropriate.”

Taiwan fell short of securing a place in next year’s FIBA World Cup after finishing fourth in the FIBA Asia Championship in Manila. However, the country still has a chance to punch their ticket to Spain, if they are only willing to put up a fee worth 500,000 Euros for one of the available wild-card spots. Bringing in an NBA-caliber player like Lin would be sure to enhance Taiwan’s bid.

But losses to Iran in the semifinals on Aug. 10 and to South Korea on Aug. 11, dashed those hopes.

In Lin’s case, the Rockets point guard would also benefit a lot from playing against the finest basketball players in the world. Plus Taiwan would benefit greatly from his abilities.

Historically, NBA players that have participated in major basketball tournaments such as the Olympics and the FIBA World Cup produced very well in the upcoming season. LeBron James, James Harden, Carmelo Anthony, Kevin Durant and Tyson Chandler played won the gold at 2012 London Olympics, and all of them returned with a better statistical season.