In a recent interview Orlando Magic center Dwight Howard spoke for the first time about his feelings towards a number of issues, including the free agency market and his current NBA team.
According to Foxsportsflorida.com:
If Orlando Magic fans weren’t already worried about the future of their superstar center, now’s the time to start.
Dwight Howard, Orlando’s golden child, a five-time All-Star and three-time defensive player of the year, recently spoke with Esquire magazine about everything from fashion week to free agency. He made his most definitive statements yet about his future in Orlando.
It didn’t sound good for the Magic.
“There’s more you can do in a bigger place,” Howard told the magazine’s Scott Raab. “I’m stuck in a tough position because I feel like right now, where I’m at, I’ve done so much. And I just don’t know what else I can do.”
Howard, who has been assaulted with questions about his future since the day after LeBron James signed with the Miami Heat, also seems frustrated — but, at the same time, honored — by the entire free-agency process.
“I can’t live for everybody else,” Howard said. “I don’t know what decision I’m gonna make as of right now. It’s been crazy. Everybody wants me to come here, come play here, come to our team, do this. It’s a great feeling, though, to be wanted.”
In addition to his thoughts on free agency itself, Howard also seemed somewhat overwhelmed by Magic coach Stan Van Gundy.
“I have no problem with him off the court,” Howard told Esquire. “The only thing I had a real problem with was the way he coached. It was very tough with Stan, because he yelled a lot, and I don’t want to be that guy to yell at my teammates along with my coach. . . . Sometimes, when you have so much negativity, it’s really hard to be positive.”
Howard has been Mr. Positive and a class act since the Magic drafted him No. 1 overall in 2004. He has helped breathe life back into the Orlando fan base — one that had taken a huge hit after the failed signings of Tracy McGrady and Grant Hill in 2000 — and he gave the franchise an identity it was sorely lacking.
Additionally, he has also helped revitalize the city financially. Howard’s revival of Orlando’s basketball culture paved the way to the city’s sparkling new Amway Center — a spectacular building that some affectionately refer to as the House That Dwight Built — and his charity work around Orlando is well documented.
And though Howard’s comments may make him seem as good as gone, he realizes what he means to the people of Orlando.
“The toughest part for me is the city — the people,” Howard told Esquire. “They’ve got burgers named after me in Orlando, they’ve got a website saying, ‘Please stay.’ I love the people in the city. I’ve literally sat on the bench with a towel on my head crying, because I feel the passion in the stands.”
But we won’t know until next summer whether that’s enough to keep him in Magic blue and white.
“I just think about what’s going to be best for what I want to accomplish in my life,” Howard said. “And I don’t want that door to close on me, wherever that door is. I don’t want it to close.”
One thing’s for sure: There will always be an open door for him in Orlando.
Right now they really need to just get a deal done so that there will be an NBA season first then worry about whether or not Dwight will stay in Orlando. Because right now no one is playing anywhere, and the free agency market is gonna be packed with players, including Dwight!
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