TAIPEI, Taiwan - Houston Rockets General Manager Daryl Morey said yesterday that if free agent Carmelo Anthony is signed to the team, Jeremy Lin (林書豪) will have to be let go.
Adding insult to injury, the billboard above the front door of Toyota Center, the team's home arena, depicts Anthony wearing a Rockets jersey with the number 7 on it, which is Lin's number.
Meanwhile, Lin quoted Luke 6:29 on Twitter and said, "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."
Media outlets were quick to interpret the post as a response to the billboard and the news of his possible replacement.
Responding to one of his followers on Twitter, Lin posted the following message: "im entitled to standup for myself/say i felt disrespected as i did thru tweet but point is love unconditionally/as Jesus loved me."
Lin is slated to arrive in Taiwan on July 16 for one week. It is unclear as to whether the point guard will still be a member of the Houston Rockets when he visits.
According to reports, Anthony spoke with the management of the Houston Rockets in person, yesterday, and said that the team is anxious to sign him.
According to Morey, Anthony told the management that he would want to retain his number, #7, if he were to join the team.
The general manager also said that due to expense constraints, the team would have no choice but to let Lin go.
When Lin transferred to the New York Knicks from the Golden State Warriors, he reportedly wanted to keep the number 7. However, given that Anthony was already using the number, Lin was given the number 17. When he joined up with the Rockets, he went back to using 7.
Anthony commands over US$20 million (S$24.95 million) a year, and there is apparently little doubt among sports commentators that Lin, who is nearing the end of his three-year contract with the Rockets in the upcoming season, will be sacrificed if Anthony is signed.
Commentators further claimed that there is no room for co-existence within the Rockets for Anthony and Lin, who will see his pay increased to US$15 million, because the team is not willing to pay for both.