While it has been understandably overshadowed by the NBA lockout, the name Dwight Howard is currently floating around on the NBA free agent list. Howard has been with the Magic for seven years and could still return to the team, but his latest comments make it appear more likely that he has played his last game in Orlando. Basketball odds
In an interview a recent interview, Howard spoke candidly about how difficult his decision is going to be and also about how life has been playing for the Magic.
“There’s more you can do in a bigger place,” Howard explained. “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.
“I can’t live for everybody else. 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.”
You can imagine how torn a player like Howard must be when he hits the free agent market. He has already expressed frustration with the Orlando media and what team wouldn’t want him? Players from the Heat, Celtics, Lakers, and every other powerhouse team in the NBA have almost certainly been in Dwight’s ear telling him how awesome it would be to come to their city. The difficulty of the decision is a given, but Howard’s comments about playing for Stan Van Gundy were what really made it seem like he will not be returning to the Magic. Basketball spreads
“I have no problem with him off the court,” Howard said. “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.”
This is not the first time Dwight has taken a shot at Van Gundy, but it would stand to reason that if he doesn’t agree with his coaching style he would be interested in finding a new coach.
The question is why? When a player of the caliber of Howard has legitimate questions concerning coaching style, team chemistry and philosophy, management must determine where their bread is buttered. Orlando, the bread is buttered with the best legitimate center and big man in the game. Howards remarks in the press sounds like a call for help. He is leaving a note before the team commits something akin to basketball suicide.
Howard is not only a great marquee player but someone that puts fans in the seats and draws television ratings for the NBA and the franchise. He sells product for the team and is the face of team. Not Van Gundy.
Since management seemed committed to Van Gundy rather than winning, the most likely scenario is that Howard will seek a new opportunity if and when the NBA resumes in 2011. For Orlando, a season without Howard may be like a season without basketball anyway. Where the star player will end up no one knows.