Sunday was the most memorable day for Kaohsiung basketball in many years, if not ever, as former NBA players Jeremy Lin and Dwight Howard played their first professional games in the city for P.LEAGUE+ (PLG) and T1 LEAGUE, respectively, with Lin taking to the court for the first time in Taiwan.
It is safe to say fan's patience was rewarded, with Howard recording a super triple-double with 28 points, 22 rebounds, and 14 assists in the Taoyuan Leopards' 137-116 victory over defending champion Kaohsiung Aquas at Kaohsiung Arena. Lin scored 21 points and dished out 13 dimes plus six boards to help the Kaohsiung 17Live Steelers defeat the Formosa Taishing Dreamers 95-80.
Despite a highly efficient game from Howard, an eight-time NBA All-Star who made 11 of his 12 field goal attempts and went five for six from the stripe in nearly 34 minutes on the floor, the spotlight belonged to Lin.
A crowd of 5,000 packed into the Kaohsiung Fengshan Stadium, with an average online YouTube viewership of about 110,000 in his debut for a Taiwan-based franchise.
Both numbers set a new record for the three-year-old six-team league.
"I guess this is the best welcome (for me)," Lin said after the game, thanking the crowd for spending their time and money to cheer for the home team.
The 5,000 strong crowd was the largest Lin has faced in nearly three years, as the outbreak of COVID-19 in 2020 forced the Chinese Basketball Association (CBA) to play games in empty arenas.
Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel