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Nick Anderson tells Dwight to “Speak Up” and to “Be a Man” – Wait, What?

2011 December 1
by Brian Serra

In a story this morning by Chris Tomasson on Fox Sports Florida in which Tomasson outlines the similarities between Shaq leaving Orlando and Dwight potentially leaving, Tomasson has some very surprising (or maybe not) quotes from former Magic players Dennis Scott and Nick Anderson. You can read the full story and all the quotes from the link above, but here are some of the quotes that make me stop and shake my head:

“I would like Dwight to speak up more,” Anderson said. “Leaders should speak up and take the good along with the bad. They say, ‘Be a man about it.’ Speak up. If there is something that needs to change (on the Magic) or some kind of players you’re interested in (having Orlando obtain), speak up.
“Superstars, they’re accountable for the good and the bad. Some people can handle that when everything is great but when rough times come about, they go and hide… Speak up. What are you scared of?”

First of all, I will give a pass to Dennis Scott. He is now a member of the media and has every right to be critical of Dwight or Shaq or whoever. 3D never had the best judgment anyways.  Nick Anderson is another story. As a “Magic Ambassador” he has a certain obligation to 1) promote the team with unapologetic positivity and 2) repeat number one.  Where does being critical of Dwight Howard fit into either of those two categories?

Even if you remove his job title and put him back as just a former Magic great, he is still way out of line.  Nick was never a superstar and NEVER faced the sort of pressures that Dwight is and will face within the next year. What does Nick Anderson know about being a superstar?  It’s something that you and I will never understand. We all want him to stay here; everyone else wants him to go there. With his comments, Nick just comes off as a bitter ex-player who had his career derailed because Shaq left. Whether we agree or disagree with Shaq leaving, it was his decision to make. The same goes for Dwight.

Look back at that first comment for a second… He wants Dwight to speak up more and to be more vocal about what he wants in Orlando. To whom? To the media? To Nick? Everything that I have learned since being intertwined into the “media game” has shown me that Dwight is very vocal to Otis Smith about whom he likes or dislikes. Unfortunately it’s not as easy to just snap your fingers and have his best friends appear on the team.

Here is another Anderson quote describing the big market myth:

“All the sponsors, they know exactly where you are,” Anderson said. “You don’t have to go to New York and Boston or LA or to (another) bigger market to get more exposure. Plus, if you go to one of those big markets like New York or LA, they’ve got other sports franchises. They’ve got movie stars. It’s not just you.

“In Orlando, you are the show. Besides Disney World, you are the show. What don’t you like about that? If I were in his shoes, I’d have everything (in Orlando)… The media down here is very generous in my opinion. If you go to one of those big-market places and you think the media is generous to you, you have another thing coming.”

 This comment is just silly. There is no denying that you can do more in a bigger market. Whether your aspirations are to further your career off the court or if they are to “change the world”, you can absolutely have a better opportunity to do that in NY or LA. I grew up and have lived my entire life in Central Florida, but I am not naive to the truth.

This isn’t the first time that Nick has openly spoken of his intense desire to keep Dwight Howard in Orlando. Back in January of this year he spoke to Brian Schmitz of the Sentinel and uttered many of the same words. He was emotional and again pleading for Dwight to stay and not to follow Shaq’s path. How many times does Dwight need to proclaim that he is not Shaq and doesn’t want to follow his path? When will Nick, and others trying to persuade him, understand that Dwight is his own man and will make his own decisions? 

My advice to Nick is simple: Stay. In. Your. Lane.

P.S. This is not writing about Dwight Howard’s future speculation. No, I did not break my pledge in my next post. This is about Nick Anderson’s comments. Thank you in advance for not calling me a liar.

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