Perhaps the Dwight Howard saga still has legs. A report surfacing now points to Howard’s indecision on whether or not he plans to stay in LA long-term.
Howard leads the league in flip-flopping and intends to keep his stats up with his latest statement.
Via Fox Sports:
“Coming here to play with Kobe, Steve, Pau, and Metta (World Peace) is the ideal situation for me,” Howard said. “All those guy are great players, and there’s something I can learn from each one of them, and hopefully I can blend right in with everyone. “I’m not going to come right out and guarantee that we’re going to win a championship. But I can assure every Laker fan out there that we will bring our “A” game with us every time we step onto the court.”
So, while DH12 has had a lot of time to rehab, get used to his new home city and think about the risk he took in forcing a trade, there’s one thing hasn’t changed in Howard’s life — he’s nowhere close to signing a contract extension with the Lakers. ‘I think the best thing to do is talk about it at the end of the year,’ Howard said. ‘We just went through that last season, basically, and I don’t want to go through it again or see anyone have to go through it. This is going to be my decision, and I’m going to wait till the end of the year. But I’m happy to be in L.A. This is a great place. I love the coaching staff and I love the organization for everything they’ve done for me since I got traded here. Hopefully I’ll have a long career here in L.A.”
Howard has some good things to say about the Lakers chances this season, which should leave LA fans with some piece of mind heading into the 2012-12 NBA season, but the looming issues of whether Howard will stay or go could haunt this team and it’s fans all season much like it did Orlando Magic fans last year.
Howard has become enemy of the state in the NBA and the fans are not so shy as to hide their feeling about the Superstar who killed a coach, a GM and a franchise in one summer.
“When we would play in other arenas — or even at home sometimes — for one time in my career I felt I was hated,” he said sadly. “It was like people couldn’t stand to look at me.
“I’d see little kids with signs that said “We hate you” and stuff like that, and I said to myself ‘Man, that really hurt.’ But I just tried to stay focused, block all that stuff out and remain the same person. I didn’t want to let that negativity all around me turn me into a negative person.
“It’s easy when everything is going good to stay positive. But when everything is going against you, you have to fight not to let it change what kind of person you are or what kind of teammate you are.”
The chance that Howard opts out may be much slimmer than they were in Orlando, due to the fact that he has a far better shot of winning a championship with Kobe, Nash and Gasol, but so long as the option still remains, so will the doubt of Lakers’ fans across the country. However, Los Angeles can offer Dwight Howard the most money next summer and will most likely be right in the championship picture this season.