Here’s Mario Elie’s exact quote, if you can’t get the video to play:
“Hopefully, Dwight Howard, you’ve got to come down to Texas, man. No state taxes, ain’t no pressure down here. You don’t have to worry about LA, Hollywood, or Brooklyn. Texas is great. The fans are terrific down here. We support. We’re not like the Miami fans leaving when the game’s not even over. (laughs) We stay until the end here in Houston. Come on down to Texas, Dwight.”
Elie is currently a Brooklyn Nets assistant coach, listed alongside Popeye Jones, Doug Overton, and Patrick Spurgin (technically a player development coach). With new Brooklyn head coach Jason Kidd looking to build a bench with significant coaching experience, all four may not make it to next season. Elie’s mind is elsewhere — even if Elie doesn’t end up with the Rockets organization, he played for the team from 1993-98.
As for Howard, the Nets have no shot to acquire him anyway — they’re over the cap and can’t sign him outright, and can’t do a sign-and-trade since they’re above the luxury tax apron; the team would need to shed about $30 million in salary just to get there. Not happening.