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- Dwight Howard tried to lure Carmelo Anthony to the Houston Rockets.
- Anthony made the revelation to The New York Post.
- His back spasms forced him to sit out Wednesday’s game against the Dallas Mavericks.
New York Knicks All-Star forward Carmelo Anthony told The New York Post on Nov. 24 that Dwight Howard “tried extremely hard” to lure him to the Houston Rockets.
Anthony himself made the revelation to The New York Post’s Marc Berman on Nov. 24:
“Carmelo Anthony says he has no regrets about turning down the Rockets this summer, but acknowledged he took ‘a long, deep look at it’ after Dwight Howard sold him hard.
“Anthony made his first trip back to Houston on Monday since his ballyhooed recruiting visit July 2, when he met with the Rockets representatives in the morning and afternoon. Later that night, he met with Mavericks owner Mark Cuban in Dallas, where the Knicks play Wednesday.
“The Rockets have recovered from Anthony’s rejection and are off to a 10-3 start.
“‘All that stuff was intriguing, all the stuff I took a real good look at,’ Anthony said at the Knicks morning shootaround at Toyota Center. ‘The weather, the tax situation, things that come along with being here in Houston. I took a deep look at it.’
“The Rockets placed behind the runner-up Bulls in the Melo Sweepstakes, and some records suggested even the moribund Lakers piqued his curiosity more than living in Texas. Entering free agency, Anthony said in a video interview with Vice Sports that moving his young son, Kiyan, to a different spot in the country would be a potential deterrent.
“But one persistent center known as ‘Superman’ kept the Rockets in the hunt. They were able to open up cap space for a max deal by trading Omer Asik and having a tentative deal in place for Jeremy Lin.
“‘We had some great dialogue back and forth,’ Anthony said of his discussions with Howard. ‘I talked to him. We talked about some things. Ultimately it came down to what I really felt and really wanted at that moment. We had some contact and conversations. He tried. He tried extremely hard. It didn’t have anything to do with Dwight or James [Harden]. It came down to my own personal decision.’
“Rockets legend Clyde Drexler, now a team broadcaster, was at the recruiting lunch with Anthony and team dignitaries.
“‘He went with his heart,’ Drexler told The Post. ‘The heart’s a strong thing. He’s going to be a great player for a long time. He doesn’t get his due.'”
Berman also writes about Anthony’s current bout with back spasms, which forced him to sit out the Knicks’ 109-102 overtime loss to the Dallas Mavericks on Wednesday:
“Anthony sat out his first game of the season in the Knicks’ 109-102 overtime loss to the Mavericks Wednesday night with back spasms. He didn’t say specifically when he will be back, but gave a slice of encouragement in an inteview with The Post.
“‘I could barely walk or do anything yesterday so I’m doing a little better,’ Anthony told The Post. ‘I’m walking.’
“Anthony stepped slowly into the arena with an arena security guard and seemed subdued.
“‘I don’t think it will be too long,’ Anthony told The Post. ‘I think the spasms will go away. But I’m not going to play with spasms.’
“On why he decided to attend the game, Anthony said, ‘I had to come.'”