By Barry Janoff
January 6, 2014: Adidas, which is pacing a distant second to Nike when it comes to NBA feet, and which has had bad luck with a series of long-term injuries to one of its key hoops endorsers, will try to mine some new basketball gold with the signing of Jeremy Lin.
Adidas confirmed the deal today (Jan. 6) with the Houston Rockets guard, whose contract with Nike has expired.
Lin rose to national prominence during the 2011-12 season with the New York Knicks, when he went from bench-warmer to star by averaging 22.5 points and 8.7 assists over a 12-game stretch in late January-February. In 25 starts that season — which ended for Lin in March when he suffered a meniscus tear in his left knee — he averaged 18.5 points and 7.6 assists.
Lin joined the Rockets as a free agent the next season. This season, he is averaging more than 14 points and four assists per game for Houston.
The 25-year-old Lin's on-court prowess and unique background — he is the first player of Taiwanese-Chinese heritage to play in the NBA, he attended Harvard and he made the league as an undrafted player — helped him to garner national attention and endorsements from Nike and Volvo. He also is working to expand his brand in Asia, where he has a deal with KFC in China.
The deal with adidas is expected to build his presence, as well as that of adidas, domestically and overseas. Financial terms were not disclosed.
Adidas said that Lin would be featured in a "variety of upcoming adidas marketing initiatives and will play a role in the development of basketball footwear and apparel."
“Jeremy’s relentless drive, passion for the game and background of leading winning teams throughout his career makes him a perfect fit for the adidas brand."
“Jeremy’s relentless drive, passion for the game and background of leading winning teams throughout his career makes him a perfect fit for the adidas brand,” Chris Grancio, head of global basketball sports marketing for adidas, said in a statement.
Adidas heralded Lin's signing via social media, including the Twitter hash tage, #alllin.
Lin joins an adidas basketball roster that includes Rockets teammate Dwight Howard, John Wall (Washington Wizards), Damian Lillard (Portland Trail Blazers) and Derrick Rose (Chicago Bulls), who missed all of last season with a knee injury and played in just ten games this season before suffering another knee injury.
Lin is fourth in voting for the 2014 NBA All-Star Game among backcourt players in the Western Conference behind Kobe Bryant, Chris Paul and Stephen Curry, according to the latest numbers released by the league. Both Bryant and Paul are currently out with injuries and not expected to be available for the game in New Orleans on Feb. 16.
Jeremy Lin Drives With Volvo
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