Earlier today, Space City Scoop addressed the billboard featuring Carmelo Anthony wearing a Rockets No. 7. The issue, of course, was that current Rocket Jeremy Lin already wears the number. Though relatively indefensible, Rockets GM Daryl Morey did address the issue (via Mark Berman, Fox 26):
It’s always a challenging situation during free agency,” Morey said. “You are always having to recruit players and there might be current players at current positions, might be people with the current numbers. It’s unfortunate that it’s often hard to handle. Reality is, it’s standard practice.When we went after Chris Bosh a few years ago,we had him in Luis Scola’s number. When we went after Dwight Howard he had (Pat) Beverley’s number. I get the sensitivity and I hate that it creates some hurt feelings. I don’t like that, but that’s obviously Carmelo Anthony’s number, that’s the number he wants. He told us that. Bottom line, if Carmelo comes Omer Asik and Jeremy Lin have to be traded. It’s just math. It’s not personal. My job is every day figure out how to win. Sometimes it creates challenging situations.
What Morey seems to be indicating here is that just because he has practiced this courting method in the past that it is perfectly acceptable.
It still isn’t.
While Jeremy Lin may not be the talent Carmelo Anthony is, he has been committed to the team for the last two seasons, and Melo at this point is just being courted.
There have been no promises, no guarantees, and Lin’s contact is fully guaranteed. That speaks for itself.
While Morey may feel Anthony is a big draw and would bring a lot to the Rockets, loyalty should be a two-way street. Lin responded as a consummate professional, citing his Christian values and the words of Jesus to “turn the other cheek.” While Lin’s forgiveness is admirable, it is unwarranted. He has been disrespected, and should Lin be dealt, it would be rewarding to see him drop a career high on the Rockets just to stick it to Morey. Maybe it would even be worth the “L.”