The Rockets’ pitch to Carmelo Anthony in his visit to Houston today – the one before his afternoon session in Dallas – seems, from the outside, to be a bit clumsy. Why? Because the ‘No. 7’ photoshop of Melo plastered all over the Toyota Center isn’t Melo; it’s a miffed Rockets player.
The Houston Rockets hosted Carmelo Anthony on Wednesday morning as part of Melo’s world-wide flesh-peddling tour. (Chicago was Tuesday. Dallas is this afternoon. The Lakers are Thursday. His existing team, the Knicks, will see him this weekend.)
Early signs indicate that Dallas’ approach is low-key and business-like (though that could change if-and-when Mark Cuban and Dirk Nowitzki bring in the dancing girls later tonight).
The Rockets’ presentation? It featured lots of huge signage, quickie-photoshop stuff. And yes, that’s Melo’s head up there …
Perched atop Jeremy Lin’s jersey.
Lin wears No. 7 in Houston.
So this is classless. Or awkward. Or funny.
Or, if you are Lin … classless.
"Luke 6:29,” Lin tweeted. "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.”
And after being challenged for having the nerve to feel insulted, Lin responded:
"I’m entitled to stand up for myself and say I felt disrespected.”
If Melo becomes a Rocket, Lin will likely be shipped out to make financial room. So … "slap his cheek”? What if Melo doesn’t become a Rocket and Houston continues to employ Lin? What if Melo sees the event not as flattery ("My, what a big photoshop!”) but as a gaffe?
If the Mavs want to follow the Rockets’ lead, they could quickly slap some Melohead atop the No. 7 bodies of Diop, Ledo or Odom, I suppose. Or, they could make their pitch center on winning basketball games.
Meanwhile, when it becomes the rudderless Lakers turn? They will have to photoshop themselves a coach. And the Lakers, like the Bulls, the Knicks and the Mavs, will hope that the Houston luncheon with Melo was go generally woeful that Rockets officials arranged for Warren Sapp to be in charge of leaving the waitress a tip.