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Jeremy Lin Has A Weird Apartment, Possibly Agoraphobic

Image courtesy of Zimbio

Image courtesy of Zimbio

In the April 2015 issue of ESPN The Magazine, denoted the ‘The Point Guard Issue’, Pablo Torre provides a glimpse into the current life of Lakers bench player Jeremy Lin. And the picture he paints isn’t pretty.

It’s been just over three years since Linsanity gripped the globe, and three teams later, Lin isn’t just a shell of the player he was for those few magical ‘Melo-less weeks with the Knicks back in 2012, he’s a shadow of the person he once was.

Everyone knows the guy’s story, mostly because it was rammed down our collective throat. Undrafted out of Harvard, Lin was cut twice before landing in New York. His future so uncertain that he was spending days at Madison Square Garden, but nights crashing on his brother’s couch.

Image courtesy of Zimbio

Image courtesy of Zimbio

Even though (then) Knicks coach Mike D’Antoni had taken a shine to Lin, when asked if he should “bring [his] car over from the West Coast,” D’Antoni replied that it “may not be such a good idea.” And it turned out he was right.

Within a month D’Antoni had resigned from the Knicks, due in large part to a strained relationship with superstar Carmelo Anthony. Although Anthony flatly denied any “bad blood” between the two, the friction between them had been plainly obvious for quite some time.

Lin was not happy about D’Antoni’s departure, the man who had been his biggest supporter within the organization. Lin’s relationship with Anthony wasn’t much better, with the two constantly downplaying rumors of tension between them. Even though the truth eventually came out.

Following the 2011-12 season, Lin became a free agent. His first offer came from the Rockets, a three-year deal worth $25 million. Anthony paid lip service to Lin’s prior contributions with the Knicks, but said (with a laugh), “It’s up to the organization to say they want to match that ridiculous contract that’s out there.”

Lin signed with in Houston, where it didn’t work out—he was traded to the Lakers in July 2014. The move was designed mostly to free up salary cap after this season, which is good because Lin’s tenure in Los Angeles hasn’t been a good one. Kobe Bryant has been about as welcoming and patient with Lin as ‘Melo was in New York.

Image courtesy of Zimbio

Image courtesy of Zimbio

That’s just basketball though. Players come and go all the time in the NBA, often with little fanfare. It’s Torre’s description of Lin’s world off the court that really sets the profile apart from others in the issue, drawing a stark contrast between the memory of Linsanity and the reality of Lin’s life.

Responsible with his spending, Lin is living in a two-bedroom, 1,200 square foot apartment in Santa Monica. Nondescript from the outside and a 10-minute walk from the ocean, the inside is a bit more interesting.

“Stuffed pandas and toucans cling to stalks of fake bamboo in the foyer. Racks of sneakers, a dozen rows tall, cover one wall in the living room, near an electric piano holding Lion King sheet music and the computer where Lin, now 16 years old, plays Defense of the Ancients online. … Outside the kitchen hangs a white canvas board where his family and friends have used different colored Sharpies to inscribe, among other messages, an inside joke about Chipotle and Bible verses.”

That just sounds weird.

Still stinging from Linsanity and the backlash that followed, Lin wants nothing more than anonymity in his private life these days. According to him, his neighbors have no idea he lives there. “Every time I see someone, I just run and hide,” Lin says.

That just sounds sad.

He adds, “This building has pretty good security. And I know it’s not New York anymore. But I’m still kinda scarred from what happened.”

Aside from his teammates and others he’s professionally required to interact with, Lin’s social circle consists of approximately three people—his brother, his brother’s wife, and his trainer. He isolates himself from friends and family because always want to engage him about basketball.

Image courtesy of Zimbio

Image courtesy of Zimbio

He’s rarely recognized in his own neighborhood, often donning a hoodie, sunglasses, and other items aimed at concealing his image. Who can blame him?

Lin says he has “posed with professed fans for pictures at a takeout counter” multiple times, “only to find that a friend, waiting by the door, had overheard those same fans laughing about how much Jeremy Lin sucks.”

Throughout the profile, you get the sense that Lin is locked in struggle between an intense need to succeed and a growing desire to disappear entirely.

Following this season, Lin is once again set to become a free agent. If he doesn’t find the right fit for himself this time, he may very well come to the conclusion that a career for him in the NBA just wasn’t meant to be.

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