Two days into the NBA season, two heartbreaking injuries. First, Celtics star Gordon Hayward broke his ankle on a gruesome play against the Cavs, and it appears he’s done for the season after getting surgery (just five minutes into his Celtics career). And then on Wednesday, Nets guard Jeremy Lin was carted off with an apparent knee injury suffered on a drive to the basket.
It was bad, and Lin knew so immediately. In the video below, you can see Lin stare at his knee for a second before saying, “I’m done” and then beginning to cry.
Jeremy Lin was assisted to the locker room after this play. pic.twitter.com/WrdI5jnQNE
— Anthony Puccio (@APOOCH) October 19, 2017
We don’t yet know the status on his injury. ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported Lin will undergo an evaluation on Thursday. But it doesn’t look good.
Brooklyn's Jeremy Lin will undergo evaluation of right knee in New York Thursday, league source tells ESPN. Tremendous concern on injury.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) October 19, 2017
Lin’s injury wasn’t as gruesome as Hayward’s, but it’s just as heartbreaking. Lin has never lived up to the “Linsanity” hype from his 2012 breakout with the Knicks. But realistically, that was never going to happen.
Since signing the $25 million deal that Linsanity earned him with Houston, Lin has bounced around as a serviceable starter and high-end backup, which is still something to celebrate for an undrafted free agent out of Harvard. He signed a three year, $38 million contract with the Nets last summer and after a solid start — he nearly posted a triple-double in the home opener against the Pacers — a nagging hamstring issue wound up costing him 44 games.
Assuming Lin doesn’t receive some fortunate news on Thursday, he’ll miss significant time. The Nets may be among the NBA’s worst teams even though — thanks to a backcourt with Lin and D’Angelo Russell — they were supposed to be much more watchable in 2017-18. Russell is the team’s best scorer (he had 30 points Wednesday), but Lin is their floor general. At 29 years old, Lin isn’t the Nets’ oldest player, but he’s their leader. In 25 minutes on Wednesday, Lin put up 18 points on 5-of-12 shooting along with four assists, looking like a competent point guard.
Make fun of the Nets all you want. But Lin sincerely thought they had a shot at the playoffs, and this season was possibly his final chance to lead a team.
Fortunately, Lin’s still in good spirits as he awaits Thursday’s evaluation.
Gods ALWAYS faithful and in control ????
— Jeremy Lin (@JLin7) October 19, 2017