Last summer, Dwight Howard decided to sign with the Houston Rockets in free agency rather than re-signing with the Los Angeles Lakers for considerably more money.
As a result of Dwight’s decision, the Rockets have become a legitimate force to be reckoned with in the Western Conference while the Lakers have struggled and seem to be headed toward a high pick in the upcoming 2014 NBA Draft.
According to Howard, the main reasons for making the move to Houston was winning and to be happy playing the game he loves. Dwight felt as if Los Angeles wasn’t the right place to accomplish both of those things in the near future.
With Carmelo Anthony potentially becoming a free agent this summer, the superstar will be in a similar situation in comparison to Dwight last year. Dwight offered some advice for Carmelo saying the following according to USA Today’s Sam Amick:
“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….
Dwight also went on to describe his experience with the Lakers and the result of being on a losing team in Los Angeles via Amick:
“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.”
It’s interesting Dwight would tell Anthony to follow his head rather than his heart and that he was unable to get endorsement deals in Los Angeles. Not only was Dwight wrong about Los Angeles being the biggest market in the NBA, it’s actually New York, but it’s not that difficult for superstars to get deals in L.A. when you stick around for more than a year.
Although speculation continues to swirl about Carmelo leaving the Knicks in free agency with the Lakers ready and waiting, the consensus at this point in time seems to be that he’s staying put. Anything can change from now until July, but most believe Anthony wants to turn things around in New York rather than starting over elsewhere.
Lakers Nation Best Of: Top 5 Lakers Moments of the 1980’s