HOUSTON (FOX 26) -
Houston Rockets general manager Daryl Morey said pictures of Carmelo Anthony wearing jersey No. 7, which is also Jeremy Lin's number, on the marquee at the Toyota Center was part of the team's plan to recruit the free agent superstar and is "standard practice."
Anthony met with the Rockets on Wednesday as part of his free agent tour.
Lin expressed unhappiness with the situation on Twitter and wrote that he "felt disrespected."
Lin also Tweeted: "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."
Morey expressed disappointment that the Rockets' plans inadvertently created an issue.
"It's always a challenging situation during free agency," Morey said in an interview with FOX 26 Sports outside the Toyota Center. "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."
The Rockets had already informed Lin's representatives that he had to be traded if Anthony chooses to sign with the Rockets.
Asik has already been traded to the New Orleans Pelicans.
Morey is pleased with the way the day went with Anthony, who met with the Rockets at Toyota Center and then went to lunch with a group from the Rockets organization that included Morey, owner Leslie Alexander, CEO Tad Brown, center Dwight Howard, assistant coach Greg Buckner and Hall of Fame guard Clyde Drexler.
"Obviously, it's up to Carmelo Anthony, what he thinks," Morey said. "We put our best foot forward just like we did with Dwight Howard last year.
"We feel good that he's got the information he needs. He's got to make the best decision for himself, but I think if he looks at the best combination of chance to win and city and community, I don't think it's a hard choice. We're excited at the chance he might choose us."