There has been talk all throughout this NBA campaign that Orlando Magic All-Star center Dwight Howard would leave the Magic for a bigger market once he becomes a Free Agent at the end of next season. The “Orlando Sentinel” has reported that the big man had a conversation with a reporter from the paper during a free Memorial Day barbecue that the Magic star held to show his appreciation to the fans of the Magic. Howard told the reporter that unlike former Orlando center Shaquille O’Neal he has every intention of remaining with the team when his chance for exploring other options come along.
The Orlando center told the reporter “I’m not trying to run behind nobody like Shaq or be behind somebody else. I want to start my own path and I want people to follow my path and not just follow somebody else’s path. I want to have my own path, and I want to start that here in Orlando. But I can’t do it alone. Not only do I need the right teammates, but I need the city behind me. That’s the only way it’s going to get done. We can change this small city that we have; this small market that we have; and we can make it a big market.As of right now, I’m a part of the Orlando Magic and I plan to be here.”
Howard plans on spending time with former Houston Rockets center Hakeem Olajuwon during this summer to help hone his skills. He said “I just want to become better, I want to win a championship. I just felt bad losing in the first round and I just want to make sure that our team has a chance to win a championship next year. And I want the Magic to do whatever they can to make sure that we can get our city behind us. That’s the only thing that I want to happen: just to have the city behind me and the support of our fans. I never said I was leaving. I never, ever thought about leaving. That’s basically where my head is right now. I never said anything to them about what my plans were because that’s not what I’m focused on right now.”
The Orlando center is by far the most dominant player in the pivot currently in the NBA. In an era that lacks the array of talent at the center slot that the Association has had over the years there is Dwight Howard and then everybody else. The 25-year old big man just completed his seventh NBA campaign and has averaged 18.2 points and 12.9 rebounds per game for his career.