But Howard's debut season in L.A. gave him something that none of his other suitors can offer—familiarity.
While the rest of Howard's potential employers attempt to paint the picture of what could be for Superman, a trio of notable Lakers took the opportunity to tell Howard how things can be better next season.
ESPNLosAngeles.com's Ramona Shelburne reports that Kobe Bryant, Steve Nash and Mike D'Antoni had a separate meeting with Howard after his unofficial official visit with the team on Tuesday. The four parties engaged in a Festivus-esque airing of grievances:
Nash, D'Antoni and Bryant met separately with Howard and had an "honest" conversation about many of the issues the Lakers dealt w/ in 2013— Ramona Shelburne (@ramonashelburne) July 3, 2013
Nash told Shelburne that it gave the quartet the chance to clear the air and find positives to build on:
Nash: "i thought it was a very productive meeting. We talked about last year and how it can be built on"— Ramona Shelburne (@ramonashelburne) July 2, 2013
From the Howard billboards lining Tinseltown to the Time Warner Cable reps who participated in his recruitment pitch, the Lakers are clearly pulling out all the stops to keep Howard around.
It might seem a bit extreme, but it's just the nature of the business this time of year. D'Antoni told Mark Medina of the Los Angeles Daily News that the Lakers put everything on the table and now will wait for Howard to make up his mind:
Mike D'Antoni: "You do what you got to do. Dwight will make his decision. Hopefully it's the Lakers."— Mark Medina (@MarkG_Medina) July 2, 2013
Howard might be envisioning greener grass on the horizon, but he doesn't have to imagine anything when it comes to the Lakers. To think, all of this time it seemed like that would be the reason he'd be searching for the first ticket out of town.