Dwight Howard: Magic Center Says Things Need to Change in Orlando
Dwight Howard Wants to Win a Championship, And He Wants Teammates Who Want the Same Thing
When last I checked in on the ongoing saga that is Dwight Howard's future, reports that the Orlando Magic center had signed an extension with the team were debunked for good.
These days, Howard is overseas doing some work for adidas, but he found time to talk to NBA.com about his situation in Orlando, a picture that has been clouded by his impending free agency.
Not surprisingly, Howard is still unhappy with the makeup of the Magic, and he said as much during a meeting last week with owner Rich DeVos and CEO Bob Vander Weide.
Howard said his only goal is to win a championship, but he indicated that he needs teammates who share his goal:
I want to win a championship. I think the owners have to really know that. That's been my goal and my mission since I've been in the NBA -- to win a championship. I don't have side goals or agendas. My main goal is to win a championship. I want to have 14 other guys who feel the same way.
As for whether or not the Magic have any players like that right now, the five-time All-Star said it comes and goes:
It's off and on. Sometimes guys are there whole-heartedly and then sometimes I've had teammates allow people getting in their ears and things like that effect the way that they play and approach the game.
In terms of which players would fit the bill, Howard said he told DeVos and Vander Weide that he wants guys who will "play hard," "fight," and "battle" for a championship.
The Magic do have a two-year extension on the table for Howard, but he made it clear that he has no intentions of signing it. He will become a free agent after the 2011-2012 season, but he maintains that he wants to stay in Orlando.
"That's the truth," said Howard. "I don't have to keep things calm or anything. This is how I really feel in my heart. A lot of people want to see me go other places, but I want to stay in Orlando."
And if the Magic underachieve and fall short of a championship once again?
"Then things have to change," said Howard.
This is easy enough in theory, but not so much in reality. The Magic have a lot of money tied up in Howard, Gilbert Arenas, and Hedo Torkoglu, and the easiest of those three to move is Howard.
As such, Howard may not be leaving Orlando via free agency if the Magic brass label his contract situation as a lost cause.
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