There have always been unwritten rules of the game:
— Taking out the starters in the fourth quarter of a blowout.
— No dunking or nailing a 3-pointer at the buzzer with a double-digit lead.
— Don’t throw the ball off an opponent’s face to get an out of bounds call.
But apparently there are no rules of decorum these days during the offseason. Or they’re getting a lot harder to define.
First we had Jason Kidd making a full-court press to replace Larry Drew as head coach of the Bucks even though Drew still held the job at the time.
Now we have the Rockets rolling out the welcome mat as part of their pitch to Carmelo Anthony by installing an image of the free agent over the front door to the Toyota Center wearing a No. 7 jersey.
The front door of Toyota Center. pic.twitter.com/EkdMC22Ji5
— Jonathan Feigen (@Jonathan_Feigen) July 2, 2014
Trouble is, that No. 7 belongs to Jeremy Lin and he’s still on the team.
Of course, if Anthony were to decide to throw in with Dwight Howard and James Harden and move to Houston, it would require that the Rockets trade Lin in order to clear out space under the salary cap. The word is that general manager Daryl Morey even has a deal — Philadelphia? — already lined up in the event that Melo picks the Rockets.
Still, is this a Lin-sult?
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
It is not the first time that Anthony and Lin have been a bad fit in the same colored uniform jerseys. Back in the early part of 2012 when Linsanity was the toast of New York and became a global phenomenon, Anthony was injured and on the sidelines. When the All-Star forward finally returned to the Knicks’ lineup, the pair did did not mesh, the offense bogged down and Anthony griped loudly.
The Rockets pursued Lin, who was a free agent in the summer of 2012, and eventually wrested him away from the Knicks by including a “poison pill” offer of a $15-million salary in the last of a three-year contract. Anthony called that “a ridiculous contract.” The Knicks didn’t match the offer and Lin has gone on to enjoy two seasons of being an integral part of the Rockets’ rotation. Until now.
After spending Tuesday in meetings with the Bulls, the Melo-thon moved onto Houston for a Wednesday morning meeting with the Rockets that turned into lunch before he was scheduled to fly to Dallas to meet with the Mavericks.
The Rockets welcoming committee consisted of team owner Leslie Alexander, team president Tad Brown and Hall of Famer Clyde Drexler, along with Howard and Harden. According to reports, the two sides met into the middle of the afternoon.
“It was just a really good meeting,” Drexler told reporters. “Carmelo is probably one of the best scorers in the history of the NBA. Anytime you have a chance to get a guy of that magnitude, you’ve got to pull out all the stops.”
It goes without saying that Lin wasn’t on hand to offer a hug or that No. 7 jersey.
What’s interesting is that if Anthony were to choose the Rockets, he might not even opt to wear No. 7. He wore No. 15 in college at Syracuse and at his first NBA stop in Denver. He couldn’t wear No. 15 in New York because it had already been retired in honor of Hall of Famer Earl Monroe. That number has currently been assigned to Rockets’ first-round draft choice Clint Capela, but something surely could be, ahem, worked out.
Apparently, the unwritten rules are even harder to read in the summer.