When basketball player Jeremy Lin became the first Asian American to win a National Basketball Association (NBA) ring while playing for the Toronto Raptors last season, it seemed unlikely that the baller would leave the league any time soon. But that’s exactly what the Torrance, California-native announced via Instagram on Tuesday (August 27). Linsanity wrote that he joined the Beijing Shougang Ducks of the Chinese Basketball Association. “I always knew my path would go through the CBA solely bc I knew how much of an honor it would be to hoop in front of all my Chinese fans,” he wrote.

“All I can say is thank you to the NBA, my family, inner circle, every fan who came to watch or rooted for me during these last nine years!” Lin continued. “To challenge stereotypes, make history, rep Asians at the NBA level and pave the path as others have done for me has been an absolute privilege.”

But the NBA didn’t always show Lin love; he recently spoke about the struggles of being a free agent. “In English there’s a saying and it says once you hit rock bottom, the only way is up,” he said during a speech last month in Taiwan. “But rock bottom just seems to keep getting more and more rock bottom for me. So, free agency has been tough. Because I feel like in some ways the NBA’s kind of given up on me.”

Now, Lin gets a shot to start over. Read his full Instagram statement:

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

All I can say is THANK YOU to the NBA, my family, inner circle, every fan who came to watch or rooted for me during these last 9 years! To challenge stereotypes, make history, rep Asians at the NBA level and pave the path as others have done for me has been an absolute privilege. Im overwhelmed with gratitude for each person who has been with me each step of the way. ⁣ Equally excited for this next step with the Beijing Ducks! I always knew my path would go through the CBA solely bc I knew how much of an honor it would be to hoop in front of all my Chinese fans. Im here now and there is more history to be made! Also congrats to @joe_linstagram on a contract extension fresh off a championship with the @fubon_braves … you’re a beast and to be able to sign our contracts on the same day is something Ill forever cherish. Love you lil bro! #linstanation #farfromdone #glorytoGod

A post shared by Jeremy Lin 林書豪 (@jlin7) on Aug 27, 2019 at 6:30am PDT