SBL champion Joseph Lin of the Fubon Braves is more than ''Jeremy Lin's little brother''
TAIPEI (Chinese Taipei) – Joseph Lin, or Lin Shu Wei, of the Fubon Braves plays with a shadow cast over him almost everywhere he takes the court. After helping his team win the franchise’s first ever Super Basketball League (SBL) title, Lin is starting to shine a bit brighter on his own.
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It is inevitable for Lin Shu Wei to be constantly referred to mainly as “Jeremy Lin’s younger brother”. That’s what happens when you have a sibling that is one of the most well-known basketball players of Asian heritage in the NBA. Joseph will always be Jeremy’s little bro, but he has always been determined to make a name for himself as well. Ever since joining the Braves as a 23-year-old SBL rookie back in 2015, Lin is now casting a shadow of his own on the basketball scene in Chinese-Taipei.
Lin had played in NCAA Division III at Hamilton College and was a respectable rotation guard that made the All-Conference Second Team in his senior year. Though he had other options lined up for a post-collegiate career, he landed himself a deal with the Fubon Braves in 2015 after showcasing his skills in scrimmages during his brother’s Asian tour. He quickly hit a rookie wall early in his debut season and began questioning himself.
"There was a period where I was averaging 5 points and 2 assists," Lin told NBC News. "I would get into foul trouble and not really play for the whole first half so that was really tough."
"I was like, dang. I actually questioned 'am I this good? Like am I this bad? Am I going to play like this for the rest of the season?'"
Imagine a world where the Lin brothers decided to give up on their basketball careers after facing early hurdles.
Instead of giving up and giving in, Lin fought through the obstacles and proved that he belonged at the pro level. He was named the SBL 2015-2016 Rookie of the Year, became the first rookie ever to be named to the All-SBL first team, led the league in assists with 4.4 dimes per game, and dropped 12.1 points per contest.
Two years later, after leading the league in assists for a second straight season, Lin was already leading the Braves to their second ever SBL Finals appearance. Lin and the Braves were sent to the offseason heartbroken after losing to Pauian Archiland in 6 games.
There would be no broken hearts in 2019. The Fubon Braves went to finals for a second straight year, this time sweeping their opposition to win their club’s first SBL title. Celebrating as joyously as anyone else on the team as the teal ribbons streamed down onto the Sinjhuang Gymnasium in New Taipei City was Joseph. The 4-time SBL All-Star had put up an MVP-worthy season and despite missing out on the individual award, he made sure to go home with the most important trophy of them all: the SBL title.
Lin was second in scoring among local players (13.4 points per game) and 4th in assists (4.9 assists per game) during the regular season. He went on to maintainthat level of excellence in the finals with averages of 14.3 points, 2.8 rebounds, and 5.3 assists.
"I always hope to [make a name for myself] and [have] the best performance. I think [I was okay this year] because the team won the championship," Lin told the press after the title win.
Big brother Jeremy has constantly showed his support for Joseph and the Braves like the time Joseph dropped the league’s season-high of 40 points or when the Braves started their playoff run. He was quick to congratulate Joseph and the Braves the moment they won the title, not shying away from how proud he was of the success his brother has had over the years.
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Congrats on the championship!! SOOO proud of my lil bro! Came into the SBL as a 140lb undersized college grad but kept working amidst the doubt and criticism. Always being labeled “Jeremys little brother.” But God has truly blessed you so much over these four years: 4x All Star, 2x SBL Assist Leader, Rookie of the Year, First Team All League and now CHAMPION!! Colossians 3:23 - Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as for the Lord and not for men Love you @joe_linstagram !! Congrats @fubon_braves
In 2018, the elder Lin, who was a member of the Atlanta Hawks, made the trip back to Taiwan to root for the younger Joseph in the SBL Finals. This year, it is the younger Lin’s turn to play the role of the courtside supporter for Jeremy, now with the Toronto Raptors, who are currently playing in the NBA Eastern Conference Finals.
"I hope to bring him [good luck]. If [us] brothers can win together, it [would] be great," Joseph revealed, explaining his plans to go to the United States to watch the NBA playoffs.
The next stage for Lin and the Fubon Braves: Playing in Round One of the FIBA Asia Champions Cup. After conquering the Super Basketball League this season, Lin will have a chance to make an even bigger name for himself with the opportunity to go up against some of the best clubs in Asia.