The Houston Rockets are scheduled to meet with free agent Carmelo Anthony on Wednesday, and they made sure that the Toyota Center is prepared for his visit.
Putting up the sign is a good way for the Rockets to make a strong first impression with the free agent. However, it doesn't give them an edge on the competition. The Chicago Bulls put up similar signs at the United Center before their meeting with Anthony on Tuesday.
However, Houston did take one sign to the next level:
Rockets show Carmelo Anthony what he'd look like holding the Larry O'Brien trophy. pic.twitter.com/xs2WpkxBOf— RealGM (@RealGM) July 2, 2014
The Rockets' signs have to make Jeremy Lin feel a bit uncomfortable. In the signs at the Toyota Center, Anthony is wearing a No. 7 jersey. What number does Lin wear?
Update: Wednesday, July 2 at 2:25 p.m. ET
Jeremy Lin has responded to the Carmelo Anthony billboards:
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
--End of Update--
Update: Wednesday, July 2 at 5:27 p.m. ET
Yahoo Sports' Adrian Wojnarowski reported that the Rockets had let Lin know of their plans before they did it:
Houston pre-informed Jeremy Lin of the use of his No. 7 on 'Melo recruiting images, source tells Yahoo Sports.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) July 2, 2014
However, there are conflicting reports as to whether or not the team did in fact inform Lin of their plan:
Spoke to Lin's agents, Jim Tanner/Roger Montgomery, who say that Houston did NOT inform Lin that the No. 7 would be used for Melo images.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) July 2, 2014
--End of Update--
Of course, if Houston signs Anthony, Lin would likely have to be traded. Wojnarowski pointed that fact out in Lin's defense:
If 'Melo comes, Lin has to go in a trade -- which Lin's aware. Given 'Melo-Lin history, understandable why Lin would be sensitive about it.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) July 2, 2014
If Anthony does sign with Houston, there likely won't be much of an issue of getting him No. 7. However, the signs have created an awkward situation for the time being.