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No player will out and out admit that he’s got a wandering eye. But when Dwight Howard tells us that he’s thinking of “A championship here, that’s all I want. Nothing else matters to me”, we kind of have to believe him.Interviewed on yesterday’s Dan Patrick Show, Howard joked about emulating LeBron’s “Decision”, before getting serious and stating, for now, that he’s not worried about his 2012 free agency.
Or the extension Orlando could have offered him this spring, but didn’t. From NBA.com:
“Well, sometimes the outside sources are the ones that mess up the whole situation. But with my situation, I love Orlando and the city has been great to me,” Howard said. “I would love to finish my career here and I want a championship and I want to get it in Orlando. That’s the only thing that I’ve been thinking about. I haven’t been thinking what’s going to happen in two (seasons). That’s two (seasons) from now. Right now, my focus is on getting our team to a championship and doing whatever I can for this city.”
There are two factors at play here: One, he’s got an eye on the Heat. That team hasn’t been a cakewalk for anyone involved, either competitively or personally. The Knicks have looked better than Miami, but no one’s penciling them into this year’s Finals. In other words, super-teams may not, after all, be the path to salvation. They may cause more harm than good.
What’s more, Howard—like LeBron in Cleveland, actually—has gotten so good, so valuable at both ends of the floor, that he doesn’t need hyper-charged reinforcements to contend. A team with Dwight Howard has a shot at a ring. The Magic, even given their current mess of a roster, could conceivably turn into a powerhouse with a few tweaks or player renaissances. That’s a stretch, maybe, but it’s a while yet before Howard’s on the market.
The only thing that Dwight Howard needs is himself. For now, trying to win with Orlando isn’t as unlikely as it sounds.
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