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Dwight Howard’s free agency advice to Carmelo Anthony: Follow your head not your heart

Feb 26, 2014, 3:01 PM EDT

New York Knicks v Houston Rockets Getty Images

Dwight Howard should not be the guy on the top of your list for advice on how to make your free agency process go smoothly.

Howard had an ugly, awkward exit after he forced his way out of Orlando,. He landed with the Lakers and was not healthy on a team that by the end of the season was a dumpster fire and he was the scapegoat.

However, he ultimately landed in a spot he likes in Houston, he is healthy and the 39-18 Rockets are looking like a team growing into a contender.

Since he went through a high-profile free agency, it was inevitable that someone would ask him what he thought of Carmelo Anthony’s should-he-stay-or-should-he-go situation with the Knicks. Sam Amick of the USA Today was that guy and Howard’s response was interesting (and not exactly what Knicks management wants to hear):

“I can’t say (what he’ll do). That’s on him. He’s got to decide. (But) he can’t be what everybody else wants. In this situation, you’ve got to take your heart out of it…So I’d just say for him, take his heart out of it and think with his head and think about business….

“If you don’t win, you’re not going to get all the (off-court endorsement) stuff you want anyway,” Howard said. “I saw that last year (in Los Angeles). I was in the biggest market for the NBA, and we lost, so those (companies) aren’t going to be coming to you for losing.

“When I was in Orlando, a small market, and we were winning. I was very popular with a lot of different deals on the table. So it’s moreso about winning, and you’ve got to put yourself in a position to where you’re winning basketball games and you’re having fun doing it. Losing is not fun, and Melo wants to win.”

He does. And in speaking to ‘Melo All-Star weekend it was clear his heart is in New York with the Knicks.

If he wants to win there are other destinations (Chicago for one) that are better fits, where he can instantly contend, but he would have to take a healthy pay cut and leave the Knicks to do it. Could Anthony leave $7 million+ a year on the table just to go to another market and try to contend? Or does he want the cash and want to go down a Knicks legend enough to trust management there to build a contender around him?

It’s going to be an interesting summer for Carmelo. He has to decide what really matters to him most. And that’s not always easy.

  1. romestar82 - Feb 26, 2014 at 3:04 PM

    For once….. Dwight is right!

    • romestar82 - Feb 26, 2014 at 3:27 PM

      Bitter Lakers Fans are mad?
      Don’t worry I am Lakers fan too but I also knew him leaving is the best for both parties

    • cruzan80 - Feb 26, 2014 at 4:48 PM

      He was also right when he left the Lakers…..

      • belleby123 - Feb 27, 2014 at 7:45 AM

        I thought for sure he was going to say “Make sure you get the coach fired before you leave.”

  2. 1heatedtoombrayduh - Feb 26, 2014 at 3:14 PM

    howard giving advice on how to handle free agency is like chris tucker and wesley snipes giving advice on paying taxes..

    • romestar82 - Feb 26, 2014 at 3:20 PM

      and why not take advice from someone who has the experience of failing on a subject at least now they understand what not to do

      • 1heatedtoombrayduh - Feb 26, 2014 at 3:27 PM

        why not take advice from someone who did it right the first time??

      • romestar82 - Feb 26, 2014 at 3:35 PM

        because no one in life get’s anything right the 1st time! We all make mistakes and those who skid through life without making mistakes will soon find themselves in “stuck” mode when they don’t get it right the 1st time

    • fanofthegame79 - Feb 26, 2014 at 3:26 PM

      I don’t know about that. From what Howard went through, he would be the perfect person to ask about free agency as he saw just about every angle of free agency. Do you know how people become experts in any given field – they either study it thoroughly or they have experience. In this case, Howard has direct experience.

  3. shadowgamesshades - Feb 26, 2014 at 3:25 PM

    Pot calling the kettle black much?

  4. nykfanwakemeupin2015 - Feb 26, 2014 at 3:25 PM

    I am a Knicks fan and think he would be stupid to stay

    • romestar82 - Feb 26, 2014 at 3:35 PM

      I’m a Lakers fan and I said the same.

      • nykfanwakemeupin2015 - Feb 26, 2014 at 3:59 PM


  5. kb2408 - Feb 26, 2014 at 3:33 PM

    Translation: Be like me and go someplace where you will never win a title. But at least you’ll have “fun”!!

    • paleihe - Feb 26, 2014 at 3:41 PM

      You suck at translating.

    • shadowgamesshades - Feb 26, 2014 at 3:47 PM

      Coming from a bitter Lakers fan.

  6. chitownmatt - Feb 26, 2014 at 3:39 PM

    Dwight is absolutely right.

    Endorsement deals are offered to league superstars much more so than the idea that they are given to the stars on the big market teams.

    Often, they are both one and the same, but not always; Kevin Durant is the best example of a national superstar that gets tons of endorsements even though he is on a small market team.

    I really can’t think of a single example of a big market team with a mediocre star that gets endorsement attention.

    • asimonetti88 - Feb 26, 2014 at 4:59 PM

      Mediocre stars don’t get endorsements no matter where they are.

      • 00maltliquor - Feb 26, 2014 at 5:07 PM

        Nate Robinson just got in a Taco Bell spot

      • asimonetti88 - Feb 26, 2014 at 5:10 PM

        He’s won the Slam Dunk Contest more than anyone else in history, while he may be considered a mediocre star generally, that fact does give him more starpower than his ability suggests.

  7. velocirep - Feb 26, 2014 at 3:41 PM

    Experience is the best teacher. Dwight is right, gotta give him that. Though it’s borderline too late for melo to get into the right situation to contend for a championship, possible, but he’s gotta evolve with the situation his gets into. The CBA is the new beast. Can’t see a team taking Melos max contract and ball hogging skills and contending against the top 4

  8. aboogy123456 - Feb 26, 2014 at 3:48 PM

    Dwight will win a lot with the Rockets, they have a very good team and he’s a great player, but the championship potential was in LA, and he was too shortsighted so he left. Now he’s an all star reserve.

  9. sportsfan18 - Feb 26, 2014 at 3:48 PM

    It doesn’t matter… Melo, MeHog, MeBrick will retire ringless…

    Check out Melo’s stats in the playoffs… all of them I mean, for his career. His FG% and his 3 pt shooting are very bad in the playoffs.

    He’s a shrinking violet in the playoffs. Just ask the Knicks fans that have watched MeBrick shoot .297% from 3 pt range in the 21 playoff games he’s played for them as a Knick.

    Ask the Knicks fans about his .404 FG% in the 21 playoff games he’s played for them…

    Is it any wonder that Melo has lost 2 playoff games for every one he’s won in his career?

    MeBrick shoots .417% from the field for his career in all of his playoff games…

    And when he’s taking the most shots of anyone on his team and missing them at alarming rates… well it equals a loss…

    • unxpexted1 - Feb 26, 2014 at 4:53 PM

      Right so give the shots to Pablo Prigiono, Felton, and JR Smith instead? Gotcha.

      • money2long - Feb 26, 2014 at 9:53 PM

        Parents just don’t understand

      • sportsfan18 - Feb 26, 2014 at 10:49 PM

        you’re right, you don’t. but guess what? with Melo taking the shots, what has happened is a FACT. It’s already in the books. They lose in the playoffs.

        he’s only won playoff games at a .338% clip in his career. again that is a fact.

        what YOU said only goes to prove my point. the others aren’t as good as Melo.

        Melo is their #1 player and they lose in the playoffs and he doesn’t play well in playoff games…

        he’s played almost a full season worth of playoff games so it isn’t a little sample.

        you are RIGHT that the others shouldn’t take the shots.

        But when Melo takes the shots, well what happens? They lose. Can’t argue as the games are in the books.

      • unxpexted1 - Feb 27, 2014 at 8:12 AM

        My point is, when Melo takes the shots, they lose….when melo doesnt take the shots….they lose. It’s not like he’s surrounded by talent and taking shots away from other above average players. They just don’t have a very good team and even last year they over-acheived in my opinion

  10. nokoolaidcowboy - Feb 26, 2014 at 3:52 PM

    Dwight is correct. You have to look at the organization as a whole. Including its owner.

  11. aboogy123456 - Feb 26, 2014 at 4:11 PM

    There is way too much praise for Dwight in this thread, did you guys actually read what he said? Go with your heart, not with your head? Winning helps you get sponsorships? What advice is he actually offering? He needs to remember that he was a huge reason that they were losing last year. He didn’t start trying until after all star break, and maybe if Kobe didn’t have to single handedly carry them then he wouldn’t have torn his achilles. Carmelo is still making more endorsement money than dwight, he doesn’t need his dumb advice.

    • chitownmatt - Feb 26, 2014 at 4:30 PM

      The question is, did you actually read what he said?

      “…you’ve got to take your heart out of it…So I’d just say for him, take his heart out of it and think with his head and think about business….”

    • kinggw - Feb 26, 2014 at 4:34 PM

      Actually, he said the exact opposite. It clear that as a bitter Lakers fan you can’t be objective when it comes to Howard. He played hurt and helped the Lakers. They were hurt more by the gimpy Nash, than Howard.

      • aboogy123456 - Feb 26, 2014 at 6:35 PM

        How am I not objective? Before Dwight left, I was one of the fans who wanted him to stay. I don’t pretend i’m happy that he’s gone either, he’s a great player and I wish he stayed. But I watched every game last year and you probably didn’t. Yes he was rehabbing but it doesn’t explain his lack of effort before the all star break, where he would often shoot jumpshots from the free throw line for example.

  12. tomtravis76 - Feb 26, 2014 at 4:12 PM

    Is Melo really going to leave almost 24 million on the table and opt out? Why? Stay with new York, some really really awful contracts come off the books after next season, get a new head coach, and hope that this time around the idea of being a knick and playing at msg is appealing to players. None of these big names have to opt out. Shoot why break up the heat, let it run its course. And not that I would want this to happen, but who is to say, Melo, LeBron and kyrie don’t get a big idea and take a stab at being the kings of NYC starting in 2015-16?

    • money2long - Feb 26, 2014 at 10:00 PM

      If the heat lose this season and MELO (as well as the rest of the nba) see the title window open for the rest of the league the following season, it will be hard for him to accept being in ny’s tough situation. His thinking will probably be, there’s a chink in the champ’s armor, I have to strike now , and he may look to sign with a team with a higher chance of immediate success. I hope he stays. And I hope his thinking is that he can make some noise in ’14-’15. But it will be a struggle for him to come up with an answer when he’s a free man. He should take his time deciding this summer. That’s my objective opinion on this matter. I wish him the best with what he will decide. He has played extremely hard this season. And it’s difficult, when you’re not hating, to feel some kind of remorse for someone in his prime yrs in this mind of situation this season.

      • money2long - Feb 26, 2014 at 10:02 PM

        Kind *

      • tomtravis76 - Feb 26, 2014 at 11:22 PM

        If the heat do lose, I am thinking it will be the pacers taking the Larry. The legend is trying his best to win now in Indiana and he has built a deep team to beat people up and come at you in waves of various looks.

        I am no Knicks fan but the script is unfolding the way the networks and league are dreaming for… the only man who could get LeBron to leave pat Riley…Phil Jackson takes NYC and the Knicks job. You don’t think LeBron wouldn’t love to play for the man who coached mike and Kobe to build on his personal evolution of the game?

        Oh and Dwight will never win a title unless it’s a coattails ring at the end of his career.

        And if melo can’t stay in NYC head to chocolate city, just 45 minutes south of Bmore to run with wall and Beal.

  13. timberwolvesbrisin - Feb 26, 2014 at 4:16 PM

    This assumes teams will go after Melo. That is def not the case.

  14. billtetley53 - Feb 26, 2014 at 4:20 PM

    The potential was in L.A.? Are you serial?!

    A recovering from injury Kobe, a broken down Nash And Gasol and a band of castoffs? That team is going to stink for at least 4 more years.

    Meanwhile, in Houston, they are at 40 wins, Have tradeable assets and a GM that isn’t a puppet for an owner that doesn’t have a clue.

    Yeah, he was way better off to stay in L.A., ugh.

  15. nflcrimerankingscom - Feb 26, 2014 at 4:45 PM

    Sign and trade.

  16. dablakdrphil - Feb 26, 2014 at 5:10 PM

    Will all my fellow Laker fans stop bashing D-12..yes he did things here in LA that we really didn’t like..such as going to the media and showing them stats of how many shots he attempted in one game

    But D-12 really did play hurt and still led the league in rebounding, shot over 55% from the field and average almost 2 blocks a game. If you asked me he came back too soon but we gotta get over him leaving LA, it was his decision to make and look at my Lakers and his Rockets, def was the better decision over D’antoni

    D-12 is a perfect example to give advice for on free agency because he experienced it and saw all the angles and drawn out processes when he was a free agent

  17. kingperk123 - Feb 26, 2014 at 5:12 PM

    Small market teams he is right. Melo go to the CELTICS or BULLS now pick one???

  18. boogiefan87 - Feb 26, 2014 at 5:24 PM

    Words from a whiny spoiled-brat star who messed up his old team to another of the same breed. Big LOL.

  19. billtetley53 - Feb 26, 2014 at 5:52 PM

    He’s not even a “mediocre star”. He’s a journeyman guard with no “star power”.
    You cannot be serious with this comment.

    • blackman24 - Feb 26, 2014 at 6:27 PM

      Actually it’s true. Howard can’t even take over a game when his team needs it, that’s what superstars are suppose to do. He is a mediocre C playing against other mediocre C’s.

      • aboogy123456 - Feb 26, 2014 at 6:45 PM

        you don’t need to be a great scorer to take over a game. Part of what makes howard so great is that he can take over with rebounding and defense, and it doesn’t get in the way of other scorers.

      • blackman24 - Feb 26, 2014 at 7:22 PM

        His rebounding and defense can only take him so far. You still need to be able to put the ball in the basket when your team needs it, and Howard is not that guy. So when Harden and those other guys have off games, can Howard be depended on to carry them if they need it, I think not.

  20. blackman24 - Feb 26, 2014 at 6:32 PM

    Howard is a joke.

    – a joke

    • sportsfan18 - Feb 27, 2014 at 8:58 AM

      Well, sadly, even while being a joke, not having heart, not improving his game, he’s still the best or one of the best centers in the game just based off of his God given talent.

      goofball that he is scores and pulls down the boards.

      he SHOULD be a lot more than he is, but even what’s there is better than most.


  21. velocirep - Feb 26, 2014 at 7:08 PM

    Yes. Give shots to Pablo, Felton & JR. Just like Jordan did to BJ’s Armstrong and Bill Wellington. Or lebron to Mario chapters and Norris cole. Or like how Shaq took some from Kobe.
    Players of Melo’s pay rate and status should build up their teams by giving confidence to role players.
    That’s why you score 44 and lose. No confidence, no chemistry, no trust.
    All a parts of a team that must, for the most part, be instilled by the leader on the court.

    • bjswoosh805 - Feb 27, 2014 at 12:35 AM

      i’ll disagree w/you on that one. I know it sounds easier said than done but Melo isn’t a playmaker but rather a shot creator w/score-first mentality. sure if you do gv those shots to prigioni, smith, and felton it doesnt usually translate into buckest but turnovers or bad shots are more likely the results. On top of that their defense can’t force turnovers to generate easy points.

    • unxpexted1 - Feb 27, 2014 at 8:24 AM

      I think people want Carmelo to be more than what he is. He’s skillset is good enough to win but he needs to have certain pieces around him. He’s not the best playmaker as he’s more of a scorer. So what do you do? Get a playmaking PG around him. His two best years came when he had veterans like Chauncey Billups and Jason Kidd. That’s the difference. Just like Kobe is a great scorer, but he had a strong minded PG like Derek Fisher to initiate the offense.

  22. au1978 - Feb 27, 2014 at 5:42 PM

    Some of you, including the writer, are confusing the Orlando/LA trade with free agency. The trade to the Lakers was a hot mess, but he handled his first free agency this summer as well as anybody could. He met with teams, weighed the pros and cons, didn’t get emotional, and made was just about everybody agrees was the best decision for him. Some people can say he’ll never win a championship with the Rockets, but time will tell whether or not that’s true.

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