The Rockets are pulling out all the stops in pursuit of Carmelo Anthony, and their latest ploy was a sign at Toyota Center that featured Carmelo Anthony in a Rockets jersey, in his historic #7. Unfortunately for the Rockets, that #7 is already occupied by Jeremy Lin, who has worn that number for the Rockets. Here's what we had to say in the story on the signs this morning:
The Rockets aren't even trying to hide the fact that Jeremy Lin is as good as gone if they can sign Anthony. They put Anthony in his #7 jersey, the number taken up by Lin last season. It is a pretty simple reality that if the Rockets can sign Anthony they have to trade Lin, but such a public admission of this is unusual. Let's hope that Lin isn't offended if the team strikes out.
About an hour and a half after our story went live (and a few hours after the signs went up), Lin reacted on Twitter to the apparent disrespect, giving a very thoughtful, respectful response that still clearly communicated his unhappiness with the situation:
Luke 6:29 - If someone slaps you on one cheek, turn to them the other also. If someone takes your coat, do not withhold your shirt from them— Jeremy Lin (@JLin7) July 2, 2014
@EmodMarco im entitled to standup for myself/say i felt disrespected as i did thru tweet but point is love unconditionally/as jesus loved me— Jeremy Lin (@JLin7) July 2, 2014
This is a messy situation, and the Rockets have to hope they can land Carmelo, because even though Lin is a competitor and a model teammate by all indications, there is no doubt his feelings are hurt. Lin will play for the Rockets and play hard, but there is no doubt he is gone after this season so Morey might want to simply trade him anyway, as his salary could allocated towards a bigger offer to Kyle Lowry or another free agent.
Though this year's free agency season is less than two days old, a lot has changed. It's safe to say that Omer Asik will likely not be the only casualty for the Rockets this off-season.