Jeremy Lin finally has a place to call his own (Getty Images)
Jeremy Lin's long, national real estate nightmare is over. Like many young professionals working in the New York City metropolitan area, he struggled for weeks to find a suitable living space as his role with his employer was far from assured. Now that his contract option has been picked up for the rest of the season -- and, er, Lin has absolutely set the sporting world on fire with his week and a half of jaw-dropping play for the New York Knicks -- Lin has decided to move into former Knick David Lee's old apartment in the Trump Towers (not those Trump Towers) in White Plains, N.Y., near the team's practice facility.
Lee still owns the apartment, and is subletting it to Lin in the same way he did with current Knicks big man Amar'e Stoudemire last year while the All-Star looked for a Manhattan apartment of his own. This lineage means that Lin is clearly the best defender to have lived between these particular walls. And true to a New York-area's tenant board, some of his new neighbors are somewhat happy with this. From the New York Daily News:
"I'd say 90% of the people in the building will be very, very happy," said tenant Daniel Ratki, 32.
Ninety percent, eh? Harvard educated, soft-spoken man and cheerful man of devout religious beliefs, greatest thing to happen to sports in who knows how long, Savior of the Saint-less New York Knicks. Ninety percent? That's a tenant board, for you. "So, Mr. Christ. We hear you like to walk around with sandals. And how much of this water, exactly, will you be turning into wine?"
(No, that's not a reference to Lin's religious beliefs. Stop it.)
Lin will pay $3,800 a month rent, and will live in the same general area (if not complex) as some of the other Knick youngsters. The Daily News has pictures of apartments in the White Plains Trump Towers, but not Lin's apartment.
Here's a description, from the Daily News, of the apartment Lin will be napping in during the short breaks between the Knicks' compacted locked-shortened season:
His 20th-floor pad boasts marble bathrooms, cherry wood floors, a built-in sound system and killer views of New York City in the distance.
Built in partnership with developer Louis Cappelli, the tower has indoor and outdoor pools, a spa, a gym, basketball courts — and an indoor court on the ninth floor.
Of course, with Lin's rapid rise comes a little time to look back as his sample size as a starter grows and grows. Yes, working against crummy defensive outfits from Utah, Washington, Minnesota, Toronto and a Los Angeles Lakers team dragging on the heels of a back-to-back pair of nights should be right up his alley. And the absence of Carmelo Anthony and Amar'e Stoudemire for most of Lin's minutes as a starter allows the guy to pile up the possessions and stats.
He's also doing work with his chances, though. In five games as a starter, Lin is averaging 27.2 points per game on 50 percent shooting, with 8.8 assists. Six turnovers a game, yikes, but it takes every bit of strength within me (long-time readers know I hate making these simple, often stupid, comparisons) to point out that another small basketball college player in his second year, given heaps of responsibility like that, would be turning it over just as much.
I watched Steve Nash in his first and second year backing up all manner of great point guards (Sam Cassell, Jason Kidd, Kevin Johnson) out in Phoenix, and Jeremy Lin is no Steve Nash. But given the same set of circumstances, a player formed against limited competition like Lin (at Harvard) and Nash (at Santa Clara) would be coughing it up to the tune of six times a game as well. At about the same amount of minutes played this deep into their respective careers, Lin's turnover rate (the percentage of possessions he uses up that turn into turnovers) is actually markedly improved from Nash's after the same amount of NBA minutes.
And these starter stats don't even take into consideration his breakout performance off the bench against the Nets on Feb. 4, when Lin led the Knicks to the first win of their six-game streak with 25 points, seven assists and zero turnovers.
The numbers as a starter, though, have put him in rarefied air. USA Today reports that Lin is in august company just three points behind John Drew (a sparkling scorer and former All-Star from Atlanta) with the most points scored in his first five games as an NBA starter (136). He's ahead of Charlie Scott, scoring machine Dan Issel, and a pretty fair big man in the oddly named Shaquille O'Neal.
Keep in mind that some big-time scorers spend years on the bench, taking in reps and Sixth Men of the Year awards, and don't toss this many points in once they grab a starting gig. There's no Kevin McHale or Ben Gordon on this list. John Havlicek may have made it, the list only goes back to 1970, but we doubt he came out of the gate scoring 140 points in his first five chances as a starter. And if Lin scores 27 points on Tuesday, according to USA Today, he'll be at the top of the list through six NBA starts.
There are endless caveats to Lin's first week and a half of national prominence. But as the games and numbers pile up, and the sample grows more and more dependable, you have to give more and more credit to this start. He will tail off, if only because he's never had to play this many NBA minutes while still dealing with travels and practices and the fatiguing burdens of the NBA day-to-day lifestyle. And the pressure that comes with the fact that the president of the United States is paying attention.
For now, though, this is just about unprecedented. Yes, we're still smitten.
(But no, we're still not using puns built around the word "Lin." As if there are any left.)
Courtesy of the New York Daily News and Cappelli Enterprises, here are some photos of the apartment complex that Lin will live in, including a basketball court that he will almost most certainly not shoot at considering that the Knicks' practice complex is just a short jaunt away. Again, not the actual apartment he'll live in, but other, random photos of other apartments in the complex.
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- Jeremy Lin