Jeremy Lin has seen it all in his professional basketball career.
He went from undrafted to D-League star to international superstar during his "Linsanity" tenure with the New York Knicks, earning him a huge NBA contract with the Houston Rockets. He became an NBA champion with the Toronto Raptors when they beat the Warriors in 2019 but his career has been decimated by injuries and he wasn't in the league last season.
Now, the 32-year-old is back in the G League with the Santa Cruz Warriors, and he has never sounded happier.
"I'm very excited," Lin said in a video released by the G League. "I think with COVID and everything that happened in 2020, a disappointing time, nothing can be taken for granted. Just to be able to get on the court and play is refreshing. I'm just grateful, and for me, one of my biggest goals is to come here and soak everything in and enjoy it. This is my 11th year playing professional basketball, but for whatever reason, it almost feels like my rookie year in terms of just ... I don't know, there's something different that after last season, after COVID, there's something different every time you step on the floor.
"I just want to soak everything in and embrace it as much as I can. If I don't do that, then I don't think that would be a successful G League bubble. Regardless of the play and the performance and the results, if I can't enjoy the present, then I'm missing out on a huge opportunity."
Lin starred last season in the Chinese Basketball Association with the Beijing Ducks. He averaged 22.3 points, 5.7 rebounds and 5.6 assists per game. The Bay Area native wanted another chance in the NBA, but nobody came calling.
He officially signed with Santa Cruz on Jan. 9.
The Santa Cruz Warriors open their season in the G League's Orlando bubble on Feb. 10 against the G League Ignite. Lin and the Warriors will go up against top NBA draft prospects like Jalen Green and Jonathan Kuminga.
"It's gonna be really exciting just to play and compete against some of these guys," Lin said. "I got to check them out for a little bit in Walnut Creek over the summer and man, they're so talented. It's gonna be a great challenge. I think that's what every basketball player really wants, right? You want a challenge, you want the bright lights and you want these opportunities.
"For us to all share the court together, it's gonna be a fun opening game."
There are no guarantees Lin will be back in the NBA. What he can guarantee is he will soak up every moment he has with Santa Cruz.