NBA star Jeremy Lin arrived in Taiwan along with the Houston Rockets and the Indiana Pacers early yesterday for the Taipei stop of the NBA’s preseason Global Games.
“Thank you. I’m back,” Rockets star Lin said while greeting his fans with a wave at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport.
The Taiwanese-American said he was exhausted from his early morning flight, which came just after his team’s NBA preseason game against the Pacers in the Philippines.
“It’s been a road trip... Good thing today we’ll have a little bit time to rest and recover a couple of days for the next game. I think we’re all gonna try to get some rest,” Lin said at a news conference just hours after the Rockets’ arrival at about 3:20am yesterday.
Rockets coach Kevin McHale said training camp is always an “exhausting time” for his players, but he thinks the whole team will recover day by day and work hard to prepare for tomorrow’s game against the Pacers in Taipei.
Lin came off the bench on Thursday evening to score 14 points, six rebounds and five assists in his 23 minutes on court in Manila, giving the Rockets a push to win 116-96.
The two teams will attend a pre-game press conference today, followed by training sessions that will be partially open to the media, the organizers said.
The official game will start at 1:30pm tomorrow at the Taipei Arena. It will mark the first time Lin will play an NBA game as a Rocket in Taiwan after signing a three-year contract with the team last summer.
Besides Lin, the Rockets squad for the games also includes All-Star players Dwight Howard and James Harden, while the Indiana Pacers roster features Danny Granger and NBA All-Stars Paul George, Roy Hibbert and David West.
The showdown will be the second pre-season game the NBA has put on in Taipei, following the encounter between the Denver Nuggets and the Pacers in October 2009.
A group of workers late on Thursday began to set up the court and scoreboard for the game.
Under the supervision of several NBA technical officials, about 30 Taiwanese workers started work at the Taipei Arena at 6pm on Thursday to assemble approximately 200 floorboards that were shipped from the US for use on the second Asian stop of this year’s NBA Global Games.
The pre-assembled material for the Rockets-Pacers game court was purchased by the local sports firm Bros Sports and will remain in Taiwan for other top-level basketball games.
In the NBA’s first preseason game in Taipei in October 2009, the material for the court was rented.
Bros Sports told CNA that it spent NT$4 million (US$136,000) to purchase the floor, which was made by US-based Robbins Sports Surfaces, a major supplier of high performance maple and synthetic sports flooring systems to the NBA.