The Dwight Howard saga is over… at least until next season when it all will start up again. Howard could have opted out of his contract after this season, but today he signed the waiver electing to stay under contract through next year. This isn’t to say the Orlando Magic still won’t trade him at some point, but for now, he’s staying in Orlando.
I can understand the constant flip flopping done by Howard leading up to his decision, but he never should have been so public about it. He feels the same way, from Yahoo Sports;
“I apologize for this circus I have caused to the fans of our city,” he said. “They didn’t deserve none of this.”
Howard’s top choice was always a trade to the New Jersey, soon to be Brooklyn Nets, but for now he stays in Florida. And honestly that is the best place for him. If winning is what he craves, the Magic are a better team. If off the court glitz and marketing opportunities is what he craves, then maybe he should think about a career change.
I think a big reason behind him wanting to stay is his unwillingness to be looked at in a negative light, ala LeBron James. James is booed mercilessly at every visiting arena he enters. He’s public enemy #1 in Cleveland. Had Howard forced the Magic’s hand he’d be hated in Orlando and his fun loving image would take a hit. A source involved in the process had this to say;
“Dwight doesn’t want to be the bad guy. He doesn’t want to be unpopular. He flaked out.”
The unfortunate thing for him is that unless he signs long term with the Magic, the rumors and speculation will never go away. He’s just prolonging the inevitable.