Skip to content

Dwight Howard: “I don’t know what else I can do” in Orlando

Oct 17, 2011, 11:04 AM EDT

Orlando Magic v Atlanta Hawks - Game Six Getty Images

Once the lockout clock mercifully stops, the “what will Dwight Howard do?” clock will start. (Chris Paul will have one, too, but that’s not our focus today.)

Every time Howard speaks directly about Orlando, he says loving and glowing things. But ask him about his legacy and free agency — as Esquire Magazine did — and he sings a different tune. He sounds conflicted.

The tune he sang in Esquire to Scott Raab cannot make Magic fans feel comfortable.

“There’s more you can do in a bigger place. 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….

“The toughest part for me is the city — the people. They’ve got burgers named after me in Orlando, they’ve got a Web site 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. I just think about what’s going to be best for what I want to accomplish in my life. And I don’t want that door to close on me, wherever that door is. I don’t want it to close.”

As we said in our look at the Magic after the lockout, GM Otis Smith has put himself in a corner. They need more talent around Howard, talent that fits better. They have a lot of big contracts from guys that are only moderately helpful, even if they can use the amnesty clause on Gilbert Arenas there is little room to maneuver. The only trade chip of real value is Jameer Nelson, but moving him creates a new hole to fill. There are a lot of challenges and not a lot of options.

To add to that, Howard talked Stan Van Gundy and coaching styles in his interview.

“Stan’s a great guy away from basketball,” Howard said. “He’s passionate. He loves the game. I have no problem with him off the court. 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. Because they’re going to turn it all off. I had to find different ways to motivate my team. Sometimes when you have so much negativity, it’s really hard to be positive. I had a lot of negativity growing up, so I understand how to block the negativity out.”

This is the NBA, not a YMCA youth league, so there isn’t really a focus on positive vibes. Still, that factors in — if you don’t think the Magic would kick Van Gundy to the curb to keep Howard, you kid yourself.

I honestly think that Howard does not yet know what he is going to do, but he seems to be leaning going not staying.

  1. clownsfan - Oct 17, 2011 at 12:32 PM

    Dwight Howard can say & do whatever he wants. Fact is he’s got NO HEART! None.

    • savocabol1 - Oct 17, 2011 at 12:59 PM

      He is no different than the rest of his generation of players. Trying to take the easy way out.

  2. ogre2010 - Oct 17, 2011 at 1:07 PM

    It’s ok, I rather watch college basketball anyway. If I want too see players stack teams, I’ll watch YMCA or Hoop it tournaments

    • blueintown - Oct 17, 2011 at 4:50 PM

      College basketball teams don’t consolidate talent?

  3. passerby23 - Oct 17, 2011 at 1:15 PM

    What easy way out is he trying to take? He’s surrounded by bloated long-term contracts of declining players. Everybody knows they aren’t a contender and won’t be unless Otis Smith can work some pure magic to unload some guys. Everyone plays to win and you can’t blame the guy for exploring some options. By the time this lockout ends, there won’t be anymore opportunities to form super teams anyway.

    Probably will never happen but Howard in Toronto would be a great fit. They have young talent on the perimeter, a glaring need at centre, and lots of cap room.

  4. darealrandolph - Oct 17, 2011 at 3:22 PM

    Orlando Magic should trade Dwight Howard to NJN:Brooklyn Nets for Brook Lopez
    draft picks,Marshon Brooks,cash.

    if ur magic fan u dont want to see him in a laker uniform plus if u trade him for andrew bynum ur gettin an injury prone center brook lopez never missed nba game so i were the magic i would ship to the nets because they provide the best package.

    this is coming from a knicks fan

  5. darealrandolph - Oct 17, 2011 at 3:26 PM

    it clear his statement are sayin he leaving the orlando magic for a bigger city

    4 landing spot

    njn/brooklyn nets
    la lakers
    chicago bulls
    orlando magics if he stay

  6. trbowman - Oct 17, 2011 at 4:31 PM

    Jesus Christ, we know you’re going to LA.

    D12 is like that girl who tries to let you down easy, instead of just telling you straight she’s not interested.

    • darealrandolph - Oct 17, 2011 at 5:30 PM

      we know he want to be in big market but d12 is not going l.a Lakers because their an aging team plus they don’t have a good pg
      but if he was smart he should tell the magic organization straight up that he leaving so trade me b4 the season 11-12 start or he should shut up and sign the magic extension

      • darealrandolph - Oct 17, 2011 at 5:46 PM

        big market that the magic should deal d12 is Brooklyn because they have the best asset plus d12 get what he want play in a big market, new arena, and play with a top pg in Deron Williams magic get young talent Brook Lopez,Marshon Brooks,Damion James ,draft picks, cash maybe nene or Kris Humphries:

      • trbowman - Oct 17, 2011 at 6:34 PM

        Lakers are too big to fail. If they ever hit the lottery, Stern will make sure they’re picking high. They draw in free agents like no one else. They’ll be back on top. Too big to fail.

  7. kaf39 - Oct 17, 2011 at 4:32 PM

    Definitely lakers bound

    • Kurt Helin - Oct 18, 2011 at 9:07 AM

      I’ve heard rumors he doesn’t want to go to the Lakers because he doesn’t want to be seen as following in Shaq’s footsteps. Just a warning, Lakers fans.

  8. trueballs - Oct 17, 2011 at 4:45 PM

    Dwight should go to the Clippers….Frontline of Griffin and Dwight…Orlando get’s much more upside with DeAndre Jordan, Eric Gordon, and some other goodies…idk just imagining.
    Bynum is kinda viewed like a modern day Eddy Curry so I’m sure orlando is hesitant.

  9. 00maltliquor - Oct 17, 2011 at 4:58 PM

    SVG is my favorite NBA head coach for many reasons, and one of them is because of his coaching style, all the yelling, fire, passion, etc. Watching him on the sidelines and hearing him when they have him mic’d up amps me up to the extreme. I would LOVE to play for him. He gets me going. I hate how all the players seem like they don’t care/don’t listen. Many times you see Dwight not even look in his direction. I love Dwight, one of my favorite players, but damn he’s sensitive. I don’t want to call him soft, but ehh…as person, not as a player, but as a person he kinda is. Or seems to be.

    Another thing…oooh yeah, if the Magic don’t have some monsterous, turn of events insipiring season THIS year that results in either a championship or at the very least an Eastern Conference championship with a hard, gritty finals appearence, he is OUT like pagers and bellbottoms. The only thing that is really stoping him is that he does not like to be disliked. He does not want to be the bad guy, the enemy. That would break his spirit and shake him to the core. He doesn’t want to be the “LeBron” of his city. Or even ‘Melo. He’s gonna look for the easiest way to gently let his fans down and bow out as gracefully as possible so he can save as much face as possible. I see him asking for a trade behind closed doors before the trade deadline and he’ll ask managment to make it look like a Utah/ Deron thing where they just traded him in fear of losing him and not based on any real reason.

  10. darealrandolph - Oct 17, 2011 at 5:15 PM

    trueballs i like ur idea of him going to the clippers but think dwight wants to play with a dominate pg that why i think he going to the nets but as a knicks fan the clippers scare me because there in the race for cp3 and they have better asset than us.

    Dwight howard to the nets:

  11. darealrandolph - Oct 17, 2011 at 5:47 PM

  12. passerby23 - Oct 18, 2011 at 12:40 AM

    @ trbowman

    So the Lakers are too big to fail huh? Are the Celtics too big to fail? Pretty sure they had a string of five terrible seasons following the Bird-Mchale era and another string of bad teams this past decade.

    Are the Knicks too big to fail? The league’s largest market team was in total obscurity for a decade until this past year when they made the playoffs.

    How about the Chicago Bulls (another big market team)? How bad were those teams post-Jordan?

    Even just getting a lottery pick isn’t a guarantee of anything. When this Laker team is blown up, there are going to be some hard times. The roster is old almost top to bottom. There is really nothing in place for a transition to rebuilding and staying competitive. They are locked in with large contracts to old and aging players. A new era will be rebuilt after some hard years of suffering.

  13. asublimeday - Oct 18, 2011 at 4:06 AM

    He should have a show and declare that he will win seve— nevermind.

  14. jolink653 - Oct 19, 2011 at 11:23 AM

    he would look great in the orange and blue plus there’s lots of things we could name after dwight here in new york…just saying

  15. havlicekstoletheball - Oct 21, 2011 at 7:28 AM

    “I don’t know what else I can do”

    1. Stop shooting free throws like a blind man.

    2. Learn to pass out of a double team.

    3. Develop a reliable jump-hook.

    That might make you and your teammates better, and you actually might win something of note.

Leave Comment

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!

Top 10 NBA Player Searches
  1. D. Rose (2161)
  2. K. Irving (1792)
  3. A. Davis (1626)
  4. L. James (1431)
  5. K. Bryant (1386)
  1. K. Durant (1317)
  2. A. Aminu (1254)
  3. T. Thompson (1216)
  4. M. Leonard (1210)
  5. A. Jefferson (1204)