Report: Carmelo Anthony Wants 'The Dwight Howard Treatment' in Free Agency

Jim Cavan@@JPCavanContributor IApril 21, 2014

NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 02: Carmelo Anthony #7 of the New York Knicks during a game against the Brooklyn Nets at Madison Square Garden in New York City on April 02, 2014.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2014 NBAE  (Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images)
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The Phil Jackson era of the New York Knicks began in earnest Monday when the team announced the dismissal of Mike Woodson’s entire coaching staff—an organizational spring cleaning so complete, even Herb Williams, veteran assistant to the last six Knicks head coaches, was cut adrift (per USA Today's Sam Amick).

Next order of business: finding a way to retain Carmelo Anthony, who, according to the Sporting News’ Sean Deveney, is looking for “the Dwight Howard treatment” during his impending free agency.

League sources told Sporting News that, though Anthony had been a supporter of Woodson, the coaching change will not have any impact on how he will go about making his decision on where to play next season. Anthony has a player option worth $23.5 million next year, but he will opt out of that contract and hit free agency.

I’ll be honest, the line about wanting the “Dwight Howard treatment” (located three paragraphs down) kind of threw me for a loop.

So…Melo wants to be known as one of the most polarizing players in the NBA? Someone whom half the fanbase would just as soon throw a washing machine at if he asked for a life preserver?

Real talk: “The Dwight Howard” treatment sounds like it would be awful.

That’s not exactly what Anthony was referring to, of course:

That means he wants to go through the same sort of process that Howard went through last summer, when Howard set up shop in Los Angeles and set up meetings with five teams—Houston, the Lakers, Dallas, Golden State and Atlanta—each of whom came in and made formal presentations. Anthony has not finalized any list of teams, but the Knicks and Bulls are certain to be on it.

OK, now we get it. He wants to be courted by good basketball teams. Don’t we all. So many free dinners.

Deveney also cites a source close to Anthony who says New York’s next coach—a job many believe will be offered to current TNT color analyst, former Phoenix Suns general manager and Phil Jackson favorite, Steve Kerr—will have little bearing on whether or not Anthony will re-up with the Knicks, although it promises to be “part of the equation.”

Jackson, of course, has made no bones about his desire to keep Melo in the fold, telling a packed house of reporters during his introductory press conference that he had “no problems with committing to saying Carmelo is in the future plans,” per ESPN’s Ian Begley.

For his part, Kerr echoed those sentiments in a recent interview with ESPN’s Mike & Mike radio show (comments made towards the end of the segment).

The Knicks will do everything in their power to keep Anthony in the Orange and Blue. Whether that entails digging so far into the kiddy that the team’s future flexibility is prohibitively compromised—that’s where the speculative rubber hits Hearsay Road (find that on GeoGuessr, you are automatically World President).

If Chicago’s interest is a harbinger of things to come, Melo’s living room is about to be overrun with expensive flowers and thousands of chocolate samplers with only the weird nougat ones nobody likes left inside.