MANHATTAN — The ‘Lin-sanity,’ it seems, cannot be stopped.
In the latest tribute to the Knicks surprise superstar point guard, Jeremy Lin, a Murray Hill bar has temporarily changed its name from Third and Long, covering up their nameplate on the front and side of the bar with orange letters to spell out to Third and "Lin."
“This guy came out of nowhere, and he’s making his mark on the city,” said Curtis Lanton, the manager of the bar at Third Avenue near East 35th Street.
Lanton said he and his boss began mulling over a Lin tribute several days ago.
“With all the hoopla with Jeremy Lin and the Knicks going on, not just in our bar but in the neighborhood in general, my boss and I were sitting around talking about it one night, and we figured, let’s run with this,” Lanton recalled.
So just hours before the Knicks were set to fight for their eighth straight win in a game against the New Orleans Hornets on Friday, Lanton and his team changed the “o” in Long into an “i,” and covered up the “g” with an orange posterboard cutout in the shape of a basketball and bearing Lin’s number, 17.
Lanton said he’s not sure just how long the bar’s name will stay a tribute to Lin, who cut his teeth in the sport on the basketball courts at Harvard. But in the few hours since the change, the reaction has already been phenomenal, with lots of photos, double takes and smiles, he said.
“I haven’t seen this much excitement about the Knicks in a few years,” he added. “It’s a good thing for the Knicks and the city and bars in the city as well.”
The renaming of a bar is an honor more commonly reserved for more established sports stars, like when an Upper East Side tavern named Brady’s changed its name to Manning’s for Super Bowl Sunday earlier this month.
But the 'Lin-sanity' has been infectious. A Lin-loving singer posted a Valentine’s Day ode to the basketball star on YouTube, and burger haven Shake Shack has concocted a Jeremy Lin Mint milkshake in honor of the NBA rookie.